Porter Rhodes Diamond Sells For $3.5 Million
Oct. 21, 1987
NEW YORK (AP) _ The Porter Rhodes diamond, purchased in 1930 as a wedding gift by the Duke of Westminster, brought $3.5 million in a record-setting sale, says Sotheby's auction house.
The 54.99 carat stone was purchased Tuesday by London dealer Laurence Graff, said Sotheby's spokesman Matthew Weigman.
Among other gems sold Tuesday were an emerald-cut fancy blue diamond ring, which brought $2.2 million, and a marquise-shaped diamond ring, which fetched $1.2 million, Weigman said. Both buyers were European dealers, he said.
An Art Deco diamond, ruby and emerald bracelet, circa 1925, sold for $489,500, about six times its estimated price, said Weigman.
The sale brought a total of $26.7 million, a record for jewelry sold at auction in America, Weigman said. The previous auction record was $17.1 million in April 1987, Weigman said.
The world-record price paid for a stone was $5.1 million for a diamond at a 1980 auction in Geneva, Sotheby's said.
The Porter Rhodes diamond, which gets its name from its first owner, was discovered in 1880 at the Kimberley Mine in South Africa. In 1930, it was the wedding gift of the Duke of Westminster to his third wife, Loelia Ponsonby.
It was owned by an unidentified family after having been sold several times.