The 10 Most Expensive Pieces Of Jewelry Ever Sold At Auction

From tiaras to rings, wealthy connoisseurs have spared no expense buying up the world’s priciest jewelry.

Many of the jewels on this list, sold at the world’s biggest auction houses, have impressive histories and famous owners.

And the most expensive item on the list—a pink diamond ring purchased last year by famed jeweler Laurence Graff—went for nearly double the price of the second most expensive item.

 

#10 This vivid blue and diamond ring sold for $10 million

via Sotheby’s

What: A cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 6.01 carats, flanked on each side by an oval pink diamond weighing 0.46 and 0.44 carat respectively, mounted in platinum.

The buy chose to remain anonymous. The sale broke a record for price-per-carat for any fancy vivid blue diamond sold at auction.

When: Oct. 5, 2011

Where: Sotheby’s Hong Kong

#9 The Louvre bought the Empress Eugenie Brooch for $10.5 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What: An antique diamond bow brooch from François Kramer, circa 1855. It was designed as an old mine and old European-cut diamond openwork sculpted bow.

The brooch was created by François Kramer for the wife of Napoléon III, Empress Eugénie. Henri Loyrette, President of the Louvre and his administration arrangement a private sale with Christie’s to bring the brooch back to France.

When: April 22, 2008 

Where: Christie’s New York

#8 A vivid pink diamond and diamond ring by Graff Diamonds sold for $11.8 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What: A fancy vivid pink cushion-shaped diamond weighing 5.00 carats, mounted by Graff Diamonds. The rare pink diamond was mined in South Africa.

According to Christie’s website, unlike many other colored diamonds, the color in pink diamonds comes from the diamond’s exposure to heat and pressure during transportation into the earth’s crust.

When: Dec. 1, 2009

Where: Christie’s Hong Kong

 

#7 This unmounted heart-shaped diamond sold for $11 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What:  A heart-shaped diamond weighing 56.15 carats. It was originally cut from the Cullinan Diamonds, and the Cullinan 1 is now a part of Britain’s Crown Jewel collection.

The diamond was part of the Magnificent Jewels collection that went on sale at Christie’s in May. Christie’s marketed the diamond as “Love At First Sight,” and released it for viewing on Valentine’s Day.

When: May 18, 2011

Where: Geneva at Christie’s auction house

#6 This emerald and diamond tiara that once belonged to Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck sold for $12.3 million

via Sotheby’s

What: The diamond-and-emerald confection was commissioned by German prince Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck for his second wife Katharina around 1900, and is believed to have belonged to Eugenie, wife of French Emperor Napoleon III.

It has a row of 11 polished pear-shaped emeralds, totaling 500 carats, and was purchased by an anonymous bidder.

 When: May 17, 2011

Where: Geneva at the Sotheby’s auction house

#5 Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet sold for $12.4 million

The Sun

What: The onyx and diamond panther bracelet was once owned by Wallis Simpson, whose love affair with King Edward VIII led to his abdication in 1936.

It was rumored Madonna may have purchased the piece.

When: Nov. 30, 2010

Where: Sotheby’s London

#4 This Bulgari two-stone colored diamond and diamond ring sold for $15.7 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What: The ring is set with a triangular-cut fancy vivid blue diamond, weighing 10.95 carats, and a triangular-cut diamond, weighing 9.87 carats, and dates from 1972.

It was purchased by an Asian collector after a three-way bidding battle.

When: May 19, 2010

Where: Christie’s New York

#3 The Perfect Pink sold for $23.2 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What: A rectangular-cut fancy intense pink diamond ring weighing 14.23 carats, which is very rare for pink diamonds.

The piece was purchased by an anonymous buyer.

When: Nov. 29, 2010

Where: Christie’s Hong Kong

#2 The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond sold for $24.3 million

via Christie’s Auction House

What: A historic cushion-cut fancy deep grayish blue diamond weighing 35.56 carats.

Laurence Graff purchased the diamond in 2008 for about $22 million. He had the diamond cut by three different diamond cutters to remove the flaws in 2010.

The diamond originates from Indian kingdom of Golkonda. It’s rumored that King Philip IV of Spain purchased the jewel and included it in the dowry of his teenage daughter, Margaret Teresa, in 1664.

When: December 2008 

Where: Christie’s London

#1 This pink round-cornered rectangular diamond sold for $46.2 million to jeweler Laurence Graff

via Sotheby’s

What: A pink round-cornered rectangular step-cut diamond weighing 24.78 carats, set between shield-shaped diamond shoulders, in platinum.

The diamond was formerly owned by jeweler Harry Winston. This beauty set the record for most expensive single jewel ever sold at auction. Laurence Graff renamed it “The Graff Pink.”

When: Nov. 10, 2010 

Where: Geneva at Sotheby’s

 

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