That’s a surprise, especially when the Graff family seems to have difference of opinion over the stone. Bloomberg quoted the younger Graff yesterday expressing little interest. Today Bloomberg reports that Laurence Graff was the buyer:
Christie’s said the price was a record for a single stone at auction. The 35.56-carat grayish-blue gem, mined in India and owned by the same private collector since 1964, had been expected to fetch 9 million pounds. The hammer price was 14.6 million pounds before fees.
Raymond Sancroft-Baker, a Christie’s jewelry specialist, bought the gem. He said he was bidding on the telephone for London dealer Laurence Graff. Sancroft-Baker said he was underbid by a group of collectors from the Commonwealth of Independent States, represented in the room by a New York agent who would not give his name to Bloomberg News.
“Christie’s must have been able to find a buyer for this diamond because of its historical interest,” said Sam Taub, director of the Antwerp-based diamond wholesalers CLS Diamonds.
“There are few buyers for stones of three carats and above,” said Taub, speaking in a telephone interview. “For the last three years the biggest buyers have been from Russia and the Middle East. They’re not around any more and prices have fallen drastically.”
He said that wholesale prices of diamonds of three carats and over had fallen more than 30 percent over the last six months.