Rare blue diamonds favoured by royalty and celebrities across the ages
An extremely rare blue diamond ring will lead Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale on 24th April 2013. The fancy deep-blue diamond is set in a 'Trombino' ring made by Bulgari, the renowned Italian jeweller favoured by Hollywood film stars, and the epitome of fashion and innovation during the 1960s. The ring was made circa 1965 and is estimated to fetch £1,000,000 to 1,500,000 at auction.
Blue diamonds are very rarely seen on the market and fancy-coloured diamonds are among the most valuable and sought-after in the world. They have delighted royals and celebrities over the centuries, with the most famous blue 'Hope Diamond' bought by King Louis XIV of France in the late 17th Century. The stunning 45.52-carat diamond, originating from India was eventually stolen from the Crown Jewels by thieves in the French Revolution and then smuggled to London, finally coming to rest in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.
In September 2011, Bonhams sold a fancy vivid-blue diamond ring by Bulgari for £1,900,000. The ring, set with two pear-shaped diamonds, one white and the other fancy vivid-blue generated unprecedented interest, more than doubling the pre-sale estimate. In April this year, the Bulgari ring features a cushion-shaped fancy deep-blue diamond, weighing 5.30 carats. It is set horizontally within a mount pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds and courses of baguette-cut diamonds.
The term "fancy" is used to describe a diamond of intense colour and the colour "fancy deep-blue" is one of the rarest. The extraordinary colour blue is derived from small atoms of boron mixing with the carbon atoms in a diamond, affecting the absorption of light passing through the stone and lending it a blue appearance. Blue diamonds are structurally very pure and account for less than one per cent of all diamonds mined.
Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewellery Department for the UK and Europe commented, "Blue diamonds, especially those over 5.00 carats, are extremely rare to see on the market and continue to be highly sought-after. During the 1960s and 70s Bulgari was well known for its imaginative settings and use of coloured diamonds making them one of the most innovative and fashionable jewellers of the time. This ring epitomises that 'golden era' of elegant simplicity and we are honoured to be handling the sale of such a unique gem."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com