As our diamond ambassador Jeffrey Rackover keeps on touting, diamonds are a good investment, even in times of trial. The recent auction of fine jewels at Christie’s at certainly proves his point. The most expensive diamond ever was sold for $24.3 million in December 2008, during the height of the economic downturn, beating a previous record of $16.5 million for a 100-carat diamond in 1995.
Although perhaps the lucky new owner ponied up some of the dough based on the diamond’s intriguing heritage. The Wittelsback is a 35.56-carat blue diamond, mined in India. The historic diamond was chosen by King Philip IV of Spain as part of the dowry for his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa. Her suitor, Leopold I, later became Holy Roman Emperor and passed the diamond on to his heirs after she died in 1673. When the Archduchess of Austria married Bavaria’s Crown Prince in 1722, the diamond became known as “Der Blaue Wittelsbacher” (The Blue Wittelsbach) after the Crown Prince’s family.
While the Wittelsbach is the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction–and likely the most expensive diamond ever sold, period–the world-famous Hope diamond would no doubt put the Wittelsbach to shame were it ever sold.