Royal blue diamond goes on sale for first time

A Farnese Blue diamond, which travelled through royal families for the past 300 years, will go on sale.

A Farnese Blue diamond, which travelled through royal families for the past 300 years, will go on sale. Photo: Sotheby's

A 6.16-carat Farnese Blue diamond, worn by European dynasties for the last 300 years, will go on sale for the first time in its history.

The gem will go on sale at the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on May 15, and is valued between $US3.69 million ($4.81 million) and $US5.27 million ($6.88 million).

According to a press release issued by the Sotheby’s auction house, the pear-shaped blue diamond was gifted to the Italian-born Elisabeth Farnese, queen of Spain in 1715, following her marriage to King Philip V of Spain.

The diamond originated at the Golconda mines in India before traveling through seven generations of European royal families, journeying from Spain to France, Italy and Austria.

Blue diamond sale

Diamond is being sold with a detachable fitting and a plaque explaining its provenance. Photo: Sotheby’s

Queen Elisabeth passed on the Farnese Blue diamond to her son Philip, the duke of Parma, who then handed it down to his son Ferdinand before his son Louis I, the king of Etruria inherited it.

Charles II, the Duke of Lucca, was next to own the adorned jewel before giving it to his grandson, Robert I, the last ruling duke of Parma, who took the stone from Italy to Austria.

The stone was then mounted to a tiara belonging to his mother Louise Marie, Thérèse of Artois.

When Robert I died, the diamond passed to his son Elias of Bourbon, and to his wife, Maria Anna von Habsburg, recording the stone’s history.

Sotheby’s European chairman and managing director of Germany said the auction house felt honoured for being entrusted with the sale.

“With its incredible pedigree, the Farnese Blue ranks among the most important historic diamonds in the world,” Philipp Herzog von Württemberg said.

“From the first minute I saw the stone, I could not resist its magic.”

The Farnese Blue diamond will appear at Sotheby’s displays in Hong Kong, London, New York, Singapore and Taipei, before its sale in Geneva.

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