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Blue diamond goes for record sum

The diamond was found in the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa Keystone

A rare blue diamond has sold for a record SFr10.5 million ($9.49 million) at auction in Geneva.

This content was published on May 13, 2009 - 07:59

The winning bid for the 7.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond was the highest price paid per carat for any gemstone at auction, Sotheby's said after its Magnificient Jewels sale on Tuesday.

It is the rarest stone to enter the international market this year and had an estimate of SFr6.8-10 million. It went to an anonymous telephone buyer after a 15-minute bidding battle between two callers.

David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's jewellery department in Europe and the Middle East, said the results showed the market's resilience despite the economic downturn.

The previous record price for a fancy vivid blue diamond was SFr8.7 million for a stone weighing 6.04 carats at a sale in Hong Kong in 2007.

The new owner will have the right to name the stone, which is mounted on a platinum ring.

The internally flawless gemstone was cut from a 26.58-carat rough stone unearthed last year at Petra Diamond's Cullinan mine, near Pretoria, in South Africa.

swissinfo.ch with agencies

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