The Farnese Blue, a historic diamond passed down from generation to generation within European royal families, now belongs to an anonymous buyer who paid $ 6.7 million for the stone.
This historic 6.16 carat historic diamond was known only to families it belonged to for centuries, until it came up for auction as a highlight of the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction, held on Tuesday, May 15 at Sotheby’s in Geneva.
The stone sold for much more than its pre-sale estimate of between $ 3.7 million and $ 5.3 million.
This historic Fancy Dark Gray-Blue pear cut diamond was mined from the Golconda mines in India, which also gave the world the famous Hope and Wittelsbach-Graff diamonds.
The stone was given to Elizabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (1692-1766) and to the descendants of Pope Paul III, after the marriage of the Queen with King Philip V of Spain, grandson of Louis XIV, King of La France.
As the marriage took place in 1714, when the Spanish succession war had emptied the kingdom’s coffers, the government demanded from its colonies that they send wedding gifts to Madrid.
In August 1715, what was called the “Golden Fleet” sailed to Cuba. It consisted of 12 ships carrying gold bars and emeralds. After only 10 days at sea, a hurricane in the Gulf of Florida destroyed the entire fleet, with the exception of one ship.
The emeralds seem to have been lost but a historic diamond came to Spain, it was a pear-cut blue diamond, donated to the new queen of Spain by the governor of the Philippine Islands.
During the next 300 years, at the time of the weddings of the descendants of Elizabeth and Philip, the stone passed into the hands of the four most important royal families in Spain, France, Italy and Austria.
In the early 1800s, one of the owners of Farnese Blue created a diamond tie pin and another mounted it on a tiara worn by his mother.
There is even a written report of the Farnese Blue route, which we have thanks to a detailed inventory of family jewelry compiled by Maria Anna von Habsburg (1882-1940), Archduchess of Austria.
The Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction of May 15th totaled $ 85.7 million.
The Farnese Blue is perhaps the historic diamond that has attracted the most interest but it was not the top lot of the sale.
This honor went to a 51.71-carat Type IIa Flawless D-cut round diamond, which sold for $ 9.3 million.
Lot number two, which arrived just ahead of the Farnese Blue, was a 50.39 carat Type IIa Flawless Oval cut diamond.
Both diamonds were mined in Botswana, according to Sotheby’s.