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By
AFP
Published
May 16, 2012
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Historic diamond sells for $9.7 million

By
AFP
Published
May 16, 2012

GENEVA - A centuries-old diamond passed down through generations of European royalty fetched nine million Swiss francs ($9.7 million) at auction in Geneva on Tuesday.


The Beau Sancy diamond / Photo: Sotheby's

The 35-carat "Beau Sancy" diamond was worn by Marie de Medici, Queen consort of Henry IV, at her coronation in 1610.

An anonymous telephone bidder purchased the jewel, put on the market by the House of Prussia and described by auctioneer Sotheby's as one of the "most fascinating and romantic" gems ever to come to auction.

The buyer paid 9,042,500 Swiss francs or $9,699,618 including the buyer's premium for the pear-shaped, double rose cut diamond.

The price was more than double the $2 million to $4 million estimate.

"You are buying an historic work of art - you are not buying a diamond," said Philipp Herzog von Wuerttenberg, chairman of Sotheby's Europe, following the sale.

The Beau Sancy attracted five bidders, from North America, Europe and Asia, he said, refusing to give further details about the buyer.

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