Shared from the 2017-05-18 Chattanooga eEdition

Heart-shaped diamond sells for $13 million, under estimate

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ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

A Christie’s employee displays the flawless heart-shaped Boehmer and Bassenge “La legende” diamond during a preview at the Christie’s in Geneva, Switzerland.

GENEVA — A heartshaped diamond billed as the largest of its kind to be auctioned off sold for less than the pre-sale estimate Wednesday, fetching a hammer price of about $13.3 million.

The 92-carat “La Legende” was the standout piece among some 250 jewels put on the block during the day at Christie’s in Geneva. It had been expected to go for $14 million to $20 million. The diamond dangles from a pearl necklace in a piece designed by Paris’ centuries-old Boehmer & Bassenge jewelers.

Christie’s said that including the buyer’s premium, the Legende sold for $15 million — a new high for a heart-shaped diamond sold at auction. The previous record had been set six years ago at Christie’s, with a 56-carat stone that sold for $10.9 million.

Francois Curiel, the Asia-Pacific chairman for Christie’s, said the sale overall reaped $93 million.

He declined to identify the buyer of the standout stone. But he said those who made purchases in the auction came from all around.

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