Friday, October 23, 2009

Philadelphia Philanthropist’s Diamond Ring Fetches $7.7M

A 32 carat diamond ring owned by billionaire philanthropist Leonore Annenberg sold for $7.7 million at action Wednesday at Christie’s, New York to an unidentified buyer, according to news reports.

Annenberg purchased the square emerald-cut diamond for her 90th birthday. The ring was offered for sale by Annenberg's estate. She died in March at the age of 91.

The ring is designed by Manhattan jeweler David Webb. It is flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds, one of them 1.61 carats and the other 1.51 carats.

“The Annenberg Diamond … combines the best of the 4 C’s: top color, perfect clarity, ideal cut, and excellent weight. And if you add to this the impeccable provenance of the Annenberg name, you have one of the finest gems to appear on the market for many years,” François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Europe and International Head of Jewels, said in a statement prior to the auction.

Annenberg, served as chairwoman and president of the Annenberg Foundation and was the U.S. chief of protocol during the Reagan administration. Her husband, Walter H. Annenberg, was a prominent newspaper publisher, broadcaster, diplomat, and philanthropist. He died in 2002 at the age of 94.

The Annenbergs lived in the suburban Philadelphia community of Wynnewood. Several of Walter Annenberg’s businesses were located in the area, including the newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, and TV Guide, which he founded in 1952.

More information is available on Christie’s Web site.

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