A Blue Diamond from the 1700s Gifted by the Philippines to the Queen of Spain Has Sold at Auction for $6.7 million
May 23, 2018
The Farnese Blue, a 6.16-carat blue diamond gifted by the Governor of the Philippines to Queen Elisabeth Farnese of Spain for her wedding, has sold at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for $6.7 million. Named after the monarch, she was King Philip’s second wife after the death of his first at only 25 years old. When they wed in 1714, the country’s financials were in a bad place. The King asked his different colonies around the world to send wedding presents to them instead of purchasing them in Spain. One of the most special was the Farnese Blue, a rare diamond mined at India’s Golconda mines (the same location in which the Hope Diamond was found), later acquired by the Philippines for the new Queen.
Over time, the diamond has been passed down as an heirloom through different royal families. After Queen Elisabeth of Spain, it made its way to France, to a descendant of Marie Antoinette. For 300 years, the precious jewel has found its place in various royal houses throughout Europe. It’s rich history and actual structural beauty made it a highly valuable item. Sotheby’s initial sale estimate of $3.5-$5 million was exceeded in only four minutes. The Farnese Blue sold for almost $7 million by an undisclosed, private bidder.
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“With its incredible pedigree, the Farnese Blue ranks among the most important historic diamonds in the world. From the first minute I saw the stone, I could not resist its magic, and as such, it is a huge privilege to have been entrusted with this sale,” said Sotheby’s Europe Chairman and German Managing Director Dr. Philipp Herzog von Württemberg in a statement to Luxou.com.