The “Cullinan Dream”, a a fancy intense blue 24.18-carat cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond extracted from the renowned Cullinan mine in South Africa, famous for contributing to the British Crown Jewels, sold for $25.4 million in New York on Thursday at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York.
The sale price was at the lower end of pre-auction estimate of $23-$29 million.
The blue diamond is set in an inscribed platinum ring flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond, weighing a total of 2.36 carats. It was bought by an anonymous absentee bidder.
The stone was cut from a 122.52-carat blue rough diamond recovered by Petra Diamonds, which now operates the Cullinan mine, in June 2014.
Petra sold the rough diamond into a cutting and polishing partnership in September 2014 for $23.5 million. The agreement enables Petra to realise a further 15 percent of the sales proceeds of the Cullinan Dream.
Thursday's sale comes weeks after the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond once owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer, whose family once controlled De Beers, fetched a record $57.5 million in Geneva.
The Cullinan mine is where a 3,106-carat diamond was discovered in 1905. It was presented to the British monarch King Edward VII and cut up, resulting in gems forming part of the British Crown Jewels.
They include the Cullinan I in the Queen's Sceptre and the Cullinan II, which is in the crown that the British monarch wears to the opening of parliament.