The million-dollar rock 7 times better

Geneva: A 35-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire has fetched a whopping $7.3 million.

The sale, to a private anonymous Asian buyer, set a world record for a Kashmir sapphire at $209,689 per carat, Christie’s, the auction house, said in a statement.

The exceptional gem was the third top-selling lot at the auction, which totalled $97,515,535.

The top lot was a 5.18-carat, VS2, rectangular-cut, fancy vivid pink diamond and diamond ring that sold to an anonymous buyer who placed the winning phone bid, establishing a price of $10,709,442, or $2,067,459 per carat.

The second top lot of the sale was a 55.52-carat, D, flawless, pear-shaped type IIa diamond that  sold to an Asian private for $9,033,721, or $162,711 per carat.

Kashmir sapphires are sought after for their rich cornflower blue or velvety blue colour.

Sapphire-bearing rock deep in the North-Western Himalayas was exposed in a rock slide in 1881, prompting a rush of mining activity. The mines were exhausted by the 1930s.

The cushion-shaped sapphire ring that was sold on Wednesday is set with triangular-cut diamond shoulders and baguette-cut diamonds elsewhere, mounted in gold. The sapphire is of the notable velvety hue often compared to the colour of a peacock’s neck feathers.

(With inputs from PTI)

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