Onassis diamond bought for €4.5m

A PEAR-SHAPED diamond once owned by Christina Onassis has been sold at Christie’s in London for €4.5 million.

The 38-carat D-colour diamond, the centrepiece of a necklace, had been estimated at €2.3m to €2.8m. The gemstone was sold to a buyer on the telephone yesterday.

It was part of a collection of more than 40 pieces of jewellery being sold by the Onassis family. All of the pieces found buyers above estimate, generating €8.6m with fees, instead of an expected €3.8m, said Christie’s.

A Carl Faberge semi-precious stone Buddha with a moving head, tongue and arms fetched €1.7m. It was bought by Moscow collector Alexander Ivanov, who was in the room bidding. He spent €11.4m on a Faberge egg last year.

The Buddha, which was owned by Onassis’s Greek ship-owner father, Aristotle, had been expected to fetch €442,000.

Christina Onassis died in Argentina in 1987, aged 37, having been married and divorced four times. Her father kept the Buddha “in pride of place’ on the yacht he named after his daughter, said the London-based auction house.

A diamond ring with a pear-shaped stone weighing 14.79 carats, also owned by Onassis doubled its estimate taking €1.4m.

“The Onassis provenance probably added a premium of 30% to 50% to the minor things,’ said Christie’s jewellery specialist Raymond Sancroft-Baker. “But for the major pieces, a diamond is a diamond is a diamond.’

Christie’s 228-lot jewellery sale took a total of €19m with fees, a company record for any such auction in London as 83% of the lots found buyers. The presale estimate had been €10m-€12.5m.


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