Diamond of Europe sold for $9 million at auction
GENEVA - Reuters
AFP PhotoA diamond coveted by kings, queens and princes for centuries, used to reinforce alliances between nations and pawned to pay off royal debts sold for 9 million Swiss francs ($9.57 million) at Sotheby’s in Geneva on the night of May 15 night.
The auction house called the “Beau Sancy” diamond “one of the most important historic diamonds ever to come to auction,” reflecting its role in the fluctuating fortunes of Europe’s royal families for more than 400 years. No fewer than five bidders competed for the stone, driving the price to nearly five times above its pre-sale low estimate of 1.85 million Swiss francs in an eight minute battle.
The diamond originated from the mines in India and was acquired by Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy, in Constantinople in the 1500s. It remained in Berlin after the last king of Prussia fled to exile on the end of World War I in 1918. British troops found the stone and returned it to the estate of the House of Prussia, where it remained ever since.