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[NEW YORK] A blue diamond from the South African mine famous for contributing to the British Crown Jewels sold for more than US$25 million in New York on Thursday, Christie's said.
The auction house said the Cullinan Dream was the largest Fancy Intense Blue type diamond to go under the hammer and was snapped up by an absentee bidder for US$25.4 million, including premiums.
Christie's said it is the biggest of four blue diamonds cut from a 122.52 carat rough discovered in 2014 at the Cullinan mine northeast of Pretoria where the biggest ever rough diamond was unearthed a century ago.
The mine yielded the 530.20 Cullinan I, which is the largest polished white diamond in existence and part of the Crown Jewels housed at the Tower of London.
Thursday's sale comes weeks after a dazzling blue diamond once owned by Britain's late mining magnate Philip Oppenheimer fetched a record US$57.5 million in Geneva.
Jewel auctions have seen a surging value of precious stones, as the world's ultra-rich invest in hard assets as a safeguard against stock market volatility.
The Cullinan mine is where a 3,106-carat diamond was discovered in 1905. It was presented to the British monarch King Edward VII and cut up, resulting in gems forming part of the British crown jewels.
They include the Cullinan I in the Queen's Sceptre and the Cullinan II, which is in the crown that the British monarch wears to the opening of parliament.