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Rare red diamond sells for world-record $2.6 million

A model from Christie's in Geneva displays a 2.26 carat purplish red diamond ring November 6, 2007. The ring has sold for USD 2.6 million, setting a world record for a red diamond, Christie's said. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

GENEVA (Reuters) - A rare purplish-red diamond ring has sold for 2.97 million USD 2.6 million, setting a world record for a red diamond, Christie’s said.

British jeweller Laurence Graff bought the ring whose octagonal stone weighs 2.26 carats and is the largest red diamond to appear at auction, it said.

The previous record for a red diamond, considered the rarest of coloured diamonds, was a 1.92 carat gem that sold for more than $1.6 million in 2001, according to the auction house which held a semi-annual jewellery sale in Geneva on Thursday night.

An emerald and diamond necklace, which belonged to German Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck at the end of the 19th century, sold for just over 2 million Swiss francs ($1.78 million) to an anonymous bidder.

In all, Christie’s jewellery sale netted 53.9 million Swiss francs ($48 million), with 80 percent of the nearly 400 lots on offer finding new owners.

“After nearly a billion dollars of art changed hands at Christie’s New York in the last two weeks, the jewellery sale at Christie’s Geneva demonstrated the same trend with spectacular prices achieved for exceptional jewels and gemstones,” said Eric Valdieu, director of Christie’s jewellery department in Geneva.