Diamond earrings fetch record $80 million at Swiss auction

A Sotheby's employee displays the Apollo blue diamond and the Artemis pink diamond earrings during a preview at the Sotheby's, in Geneva, Switzerland.
A Sotheby's employee displays the Apollo blue diamond and the Artemis pink diamond earrings during a preview at the Sotheby's, in Geneva, Switzerland.PHOTO: EPA

GENEVA (AFP) - Two spectacular diamonds mounted as earrings fetched a record US$57.4-million (S$80 million) on Tuesday (May 16) at auction in Geneva, with an unnamed Asia-based buyer netting both, Sotheby's said.

The earrings were sold as separate lots. After protracted bidding, the flawless and vivid "The Apollo Blue" fetched US$42.087-million and the equally intensely luminescent "The Artemis Pink" went for US$15.33-million, buyers premium included.

The earrings, named after Greek gods, had respectively been valued at between US$38 million and US$50 million and US$12.5 million and US$18 million.

The 14.54-carat "Apollo Blue" is the largest gemstone in its category ever to be auctioned and has been cut and polished to a pear shape.

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The 16-carat "Artemis Pink" is near identical in shape. It is also one of the world's most "chemically pure" diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America, which experts say gives the stone such a high degree of transparency.