Huge colorless diamond goes for record $27 million at auction

Wed May 15, 2013 8:53pm EDT
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(Reuters) - A pear-shaped colorless diamond that is the largest ever offered at auction sold for a record of nearly $27 million in a Geneva auction, where records were also set for the prices of pearls and sapphires, auctioneer Christie's said.

The 101.73 carat "Winston Legacy" diamond, the centerpiece of the Magnificent Jewels auction, was bought by jewelry and watch firm Harry Winston for 25.9 million Swiss francs ($26.7 million) on Wednesday.

"Harry Winston acquired the most perfect diamond ever offered for sale at auction," said Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry, Christie's Switzerland and Americas,

The auction took in a record total of $102 million for 257 lots, showing that the appetite for gems remains undiminished.

"World record prices were set for diamonds, pearls and sapphires, thereby firmly establishing the international appetite for the most beautiful gems and jewels," Kadakia added in a statement.

On Tuesday, a set of diamond and natural pearl earrings belonging to Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida sold for $2.37 million at rival auctioneer Sotheby's, an auction record.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Paul Tait)

A Christie's member of staff displays a pear-shaped, D colour, flawless diamond of 101.73 carats during an auction preview in Geneva April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse