Apollo and Artemis aren’t just Greek gods; they’re also the most valuable earrings ever sold at auction. Or at least that’s what they were called before they were auctioned off. The anonymous buyer who made off with these dazzling dangle earrings gave them new monikers – “The Memory of Autumn Leaves” and “The Dream of Autumn Leaves”. Although, considering that the pair sold for a combined total of US$57.4 million (HK$447.7 million), you wouldn’t want to go frolicking around in a pile of leaves while wearing them.
The more valuable of the two is the 14.54-carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond, which went for US$42 million alone. In recent years, only the Cullinan mine in South Africa has produced blue diamonds with any regularity, but the stones are still exceptionally rare. Less than 0.1 percent of the diamonds have a blue hue, and even fewer are graded a fancy vivid blue diamond. The fancy intense pink diamond earring is slightly larger at 16 carats, but it’s less rare than its periwinkle partner.
The earrings were the “stars” of the auction, according to Sotheby’s representative David Bennett. “These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right,” he says. “Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking.”