A 6.16-carat diamond called Farnese Blue will appear on the market for the first time in history this spring, after having remained in the same family for over three centuries.
Sotheby's will be offering the gem at its Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale taking place in Geneva on May 15, 2018. The stone's value is calculated between $3,690,000 and $5,270,000.
According to a press release issued by the auctioning house, the pear-shaped blue diamond was given by the Philippines to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (1692-1766), and has subsequently passed down through four of the most important royal families in Europe: Spain, France, Italy, and Austria.
It is said that the fancy dark grey-blue diamond originated at the Golconda mines in India and has travelled throughout the old continent for some 300 years, from the aftermath of the Spanish Succession War to the fall of the Habsburg Empire. However, with the exception of close relatives and the family jewellers, no one knew of its existence.
In the media statement, Sotheby's management expressed feeling honoured for being entrusted with the sale. “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," Philipp Herzog von Württemberg, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and Managing Director of Germany, said.