The Wittelsbach Diamond was fetched last month for a record price at auction in London by famous diamond retailer Laurence Graff.
In spite of a global economic slump, the 35.6 carat, 17th century diamond sold on Dec. 10 for $24.3 million at King Street, Christie's reported. This is the most any jewel has ever fetched at auction. The record was previously held by a 100 - carat diamond sold in 1995 in Geneva. This record-breaking price tag equates to an average per-carat price of $683,667.
Spain's King Philip IV bought the Wittelsbach diamond in 1664 and included it in dowry for his teenage daughter. Her husband, Leopold I of Austria, passed the gem along through the generations. It earned its official name almost 80 years later in 1722, when Leopold's granddaughter wed Charles of Bavaria- a memeber of the Wittelsbach bloodline. The Wittelsbach Diamond was offered for auction in 1931, but didn't sell.
The Wittelsbach Diamond's color and clarity have been linked to the Hope Diamond. Graff bid against several Russian professionals for the cushion-shaped gem, notably Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading in New York. The price was almost double the diamond's pre-sale estimate.
Source: Diamond District News, January 2009