Apollo and Artemis, the most expensive diamond earrings in the world

Significant jewellery auctions are reasonably common, with industry stalwarts such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s holding several remarkable auctions each year. Over the past few years coloured diamonds, particularly blue and pink diamonds, have performed exceptionally well. These stones almost always exceed pre-sale expectations and frequently set record prices.

It is rare however, for an exceptional blue diamond and an exceptional pink diamond to take centre stage on the same night – until last night. At the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale in Geneva last night (16th May 2017), two remarkable diamonds set a record as the world’s most expensive pair of earrings.

Unlike most earrings which feature almost identically matched gemstones, Apollo and Artemis, the two key diamonds comprising the earrings, are radically different.

Sotheby’s chief auctioneer David Bennet said that coloured diamonds are extremely rare “show stoppers”.

“These are in their own right extraordinarily rare stones, but taken together they are unprecedented, they are absolutely stunning,” he said.

Apollo, a 14.54ct Fancy vivid blue flawless diamond, sold for $42.5 million. Artemis, a 16ct VVS2 Fancy intense pink, sold for $15.5 million.

Why the huge price difference? The pure vivid blue of Apollo is rarer, and therefore worth more than the intense pink Artemis. Both diamonds were mined in South Africa.

A combined price tag of $58 million for the two stones, bid by an anonymous telephone buyer, makes the pair the most expensive earrings in the world.