From The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond to The Chopard 201 Carat Watch here are 14 Of The Most Expensive Jewels In The World

#5 – The Zoe Diamond
The Zoe diamond isn’t just the most expensive blue diamond in the whole world; it’s also the most expensive diamond in terms of price-per-carat at $3.3 million per karat. The piece came to auction from the collection of Rachel and the late philanthropist Paul Mellon in the 2014 Sotheby’s auction.

The stone weighs 9.75 karats and is considered to be a fancy vivid blue diamond. Although many believed the gem would only fetch about $15 million, the stone actually sold for $32.6 million, making it the most expensive blue diamond in the world.

While a lot of these high priced diamonds have a well-known history such as origin and date of discovery, not much is known about this diamond, in a way, it came out of nowhere and snatched the crown.

What we do know is that the amazing diamond was certified by the GIA as a 9.75 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond – the highest color grading possible for blue diamonds and that it has a great clarity grading of vvs2 – an extra ordinary grading for diamonds of this size.

It was auctioned by Sotheby’s NY as part of the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, one of the most famous bankers that made his fortune investing in finance, industrial and oil sectors. As it seems, his Midas touch rubbed off also to his diamond investments.

But… even though this diamond’s history is a blank page, it doesn’t mean that it will fade away.

According to Rapaport, the proceeds from the sale benefit the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation that supports the Oak Spring Garden Library and is endowed to continue on the Mellon’s Upperville estate in Virginia to support horticultural and educational endeavors.

Also, the sale itself of the Zoe diamond made history as well…

Since there are many niches in the diamond industry (truly a surprisingly fragmented industry), there are many records. Every niche gets its own set of records – the most expensive orangy pink, the largest pink, the most expensive deep blue, the biggest blue etc.

These diamonds are treated like stallions and the “record holder” diamond often gets to be named and this added prestige will also add to its value.

BUT… this surprising blue diamond has broken the most honorable records, and not one but two!

The Most Expensive Blue Diamond in the World

Blue diamonds are among the rarest and sought after diamonds. The combination of these two (low supply with high demand) makes them extremely expensive. Even a 1 carat blue diamond of high quality can cost several hundred thousand dollars. Weirdly, the cause for their color is boron, a fluke of nature (like with all colored diamonds – each with its own fluke).

Therefore, when saying that a diamond is the most expensive blue diamond ever – it means that it leads a very honorable list of diamonds.

Wittelsbach DiamondWittelsbach Diamond
Image via Christie’s

The previous record holder was the famous Wittelsbach Diamond – . It was sold by Christie’s during December 2008 for $24.3 million dollars. The purchaser at the time was Sir Laurence Graff (hence its new name Wittelsbach Graff Diamond) that later despite the opinions of many historians and diamond lovers sent it to the polishing wheel in order to improve it (which he did). The result is a 31.06 carat pure fancy deep blue diamond with internally flawless clarity – a diamond that when (and if) sold would be worth $XX,XXX,XXX (fill in the blank with any number, your guess is as good as mine).

Most Expensive Diamond per carat In the World

If you ask anyone from within the industry what is the most prestigious  title a diamond can hold you’ll get one answer – The Most Expensive Diamond.

However… this one answer has two meanings…

Diamonds are priced per carat. So… While this diamond was sold for $32,645,000 the record it broke was for another number – $3,348,205 – The highest amount ever paid for a diamond per carat.

Which of these is more important (total or per carat)? – it doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is that the Zoe Diamond smashed the previous record held by “The Orange Diamond”.

The Orange is a 14.82 carat pure vivid orange diamond that sold $35.5 million – which comes to $2.4 million per carat.

The Zoe broke it by 40%!!!

How this affects the prices of blue diamonds?

To my opinion… it doesn’t.

Prices of colored diamonds are steadily increasing simply because the tremendous increase in their popularity (i.e. demand) without any increase in supply. A sale of an extraordinary diamond here and there for extraordinary price cannot (or at least should not) influence the prices.

At the end, even with these diamonds, the amount you are willing to spend on a specific of diamond is a matter of taste. Even during the sale of the now famous Zoe Diamond, there were seven bidders battling for it but the price was a result of only two people battling to the end.

The buyer was an anonymous collector from Hong Kong, which leaves only one question…


#4 – The Chopard 201 Carat Watch
While Chopard is well known for making exquisite pieces of jewelry, they really went over the top when the designers created the 201 Carat Watch. In addition to the gleaming white and yellow gold hardware hidden underneath, the watch is comprised of 874 of the highest grade diamonds that you could find. In the center of the Swiss timepiece, there are three heart-shaped diamonds. A pink that weighs 15.37 karats, a blue diamond that weighs 12.79 karats and a yellow diamond that weighs 11.36 karats. The rest of the watch is made up of clusters of different colored diamonds as well. The watch is priced at $25 million dollars.

#3 – L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace
The L’Incomparable Diamond Necklace is the most valuable necklace in the world and costs an incredible $55 million dollars to call yours. The piece was created by the famed Mouawad firm and features the world’s largest internally flawless diamond. The center diamond, referred to as the “incomparable” diamond weighs 407.48 karats, an astounding weight. What better to compliment a massive yellow diamond than 230 karats worth of smaller diamonds. That craziest part about the diamond isn’t its size or value, but rather the means in which we can to have this spectacular piece. In the 1980’s, a young girl was playing in a rubble pile in the Democratic Republic of Congo when she came across a funny rock. After closer inspection from adults, the rock was discovered to be not a rock, but an 890 karat rough diamond instead. After being sold numerous times, the diamond underwent four years of studying and cutting to reach the point it’s at today.

#2 – The Pink Star Diamond Ring
Up until November 2013, the Graff Pink diamond held the record for being the most expensive diamond ring ever sold at auction. The massive center stone weighs 59.6 karats and was sold at Sotheby’s auction for $83 million. The diamond you see here was cut from a 132.5 karat rough diamond mined in southern Africa. The ring was sold to Issac Wolf for $82 million dollars during the Sotheby’s auction, but it was later returned to Sotheby’s after he defaulted on the payment. After its return, the ring was revalued at $72 million dollars.

#1 – The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond
When this blue diamond was first discovered, it weighed 35.56 karats and lived in both the Austrian and the Bavarian Crown Jewels. In 2008, a London jeweler, named Laurence Graff, bought the stone for $23.4 million and started to alter its appearance. Jewelers around the world were infuriated with the move, but Gaff had already removed nearly 4.5 karats from the diamond. The move, which actually enhanced its clarity and value, allowed Graff to sell the jewel to the Qatari royal family for a whopping $80 million dollars. Which, in turn, probably made the other jewelers even more upset.


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