Diamond Tiara With Emerald Fetches World Record $12.7M

The diamond and emerald tiara, which German prince Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck's specially made for his second wife Katharina around 1900, sold for $12.7 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels Sale.

It was top lot at a sale that netted 78.9 million Swiss francs, third highest for a jewelry sale, with 90 percent of 479 lots on offer finding new owners, the auction house said.

"It is needless to say a world record price at auction for a tiara," said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby's Europe and Middle East jewelry department, as he brought down the hammer to applause.

The tiara also set a record at sale for a piece of emerald jewelry, the auction house said in a statement. The winning proposal was taken over the telephone by Lisa Hubbard, chairwoman of Sotheby's jewelry department in North America - a hint as to the location of the new owner.

The tiara was among jewels of royal attribution that accounted for 19.6 million Swiss francs of the sale's proceeds, far exceeding expectations, according to Bennett.

Another headline seller was a 10.99-ct. fancy strong pink diamond that hasn’t appeared on the market for more than 30 years. It sold for $10.8 million, the third highest price for a pink diamond at sale.

The diamond features a classic emerald cut, usually associated with white diamonds, Sotheby’s said. This gem, mounted as a ring, has natural color and VS1 clarity. It’s further assessed to be type IIa, meaning it is almost or completely devoid of impurities with extraordinary optical transparency. Fewer than 2 percent of all diamonds in the world are given this grade of clarity and most of those diamonds are white.

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