World record set for sapphire at Christie’s auction

November 22nd, 2008 - 1:43 am ICT by IANS  

Geneva, Nov 22 (DPA) A world record was set when a 42-carat sapphire sold for $3.5 million at a Christie’s auction, a spokeswoman said Friday.The precious stone auction, which took place the previous day in Geneva, fetched $22.5 million, said Alexandra Kindermann from the auction house, noting that the level of prices dropped more than 20 percent when compared to the spring.

The drop is considerate, particularly as autumn auctions are considered to have the better pieces.

The best prices were paid for vintage jewellery, traditionally seen as a long-term investment, though modern works have been harder to sell, presumably due to the financial slowdown.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s said this week that it was unable to sell a large blue diamond for which it set a minimum bid of $6.67 million.

“The price is reasonable. We are convinced we will sell it at another auction,” an official told DPA.

The precious stone market was in flux and it remained unclear where it was heading, David Bennett of Sotheby’s said in a press statement, echoing comments made by industry experts.

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