Who pays nearly $24m for blue diamond in GCC?

An Arab woman has paid nearly $24m for a blue diamond, setting a new world record price for its category, it has been confirmed.

Nayla Hayek, the CEO of American luxury jewellery and watch firm Harry Winston and the daughter of Lebanese-born Nicolas George Hayek, the late co-founder of the Swatch Group, paid $23,795,372 for the world’s largest blue diamond.

The price for the 13.22 carat gem – which is imaginatively named The Blue – has set a new world record of $1,799,953 per carat, the largest price ever for a flawless vivid blue diamond in the world, weighing 13.22 carats, was sold to.

Hayek, who is was ranked sixth in CEO Middle East magazine’s 2014 list of the world’s most powerful Arab women, said: “In January 2013 we purchased Harry Winston and since then my ambition has been to acquire the most desirable and unique gems. When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy-vivid blue the GIA had ever graded, I had to buy it. Today, I am proud to own the most beautiful blue diamond in the world: The Wonston Blue.”

Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale sold a total of $154,193,622, with 85 percent of the 250 lots sold.

“World auction prices were achieved in a record breaking auction with intense bidding throughout the sale. The Cartier Devant de Corsage Brooch realised a staggering $17.5m, a 660 percent increase having first sold for $2.65m at Christie’s Geneva back in 1991,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s Jewellery Department.

“The jewellery market continues to remain extremely vibrant and we look forward to a buoyant season as we move into auctions at Christie’s Hong Kong, London, Paris and New York,” he added.