The Wittelsbach blue diamond known as “Der Blaue Wittelsbacher”, dating to the 17th century, was sold for US $ 24.3 million [18.7 million Euros]. The 35.56 ct diamond has become the most expensive diamond sold at auction (Christie’s, London, 10thDecember 2008). The buyer was Graff Diamonds (Laurence Graff, 6 New Bond Street). It represents a world record for any diamond sold at auction.
Royal Provenance: King Philip IV of Spain (1605-1665) preferred only the very finest gemstones for the dowry of his daughter, Infanta Margarita Teresa (1651-1673). This rare 35.56 carat diamond originating from the famous Indian diamond mines. Upon the Princess’s death in 1673 her husband, Emperor Leopold I of Austria retained the dowry and the diamond was passed on to his heirs. In 1722 the diamond entered the Wittelsbach family, on the occasion of the marriage of Maria Amalia, Archduchess of Austria (1701-1756) to Charles Albert, the Bavarian Crown Prince (1697-1745), and became a family possession until 1931 when Christie’s offered for sale jewellery from the Bavarian Crown Jewels, included the Wittelsbach. This diamond was offered for sale, on 10th December 2008, from a private collection, where it has been since 1964. (for reference see Christie’s Jewels). The Wittelsbach diamond was likely to be used as a piece of jewelry, as a ring or a pendant. The buyer, Laurence Graff is the world’s number one dealer in diamonds and gems and Britain’s 36th richest man.