Diamonds or Art?

Diamonds deals with super-rich outshine art sales

International Herald Tribune
By Douwe Miedema, Reuters
Published: November 19, 2007

“ZURICH: A string of spectacular diamond sales last week showed that the world’s richest people are still willing to spend, offsetting a disappointing art auction that some had seen as an omen of economic gloom.

Fears that the super-rich might not be immune to the credit crisis arose when a Vincent van Gogh landscape went unsold at a Sotheby’s auction instead of fetching its expected price of $28 million to $35 million.

But on Thursday, Christie’s sold a rare red diamond for a record $2.6 million, while a day earlier, Georges Marciano, the founder of Guess Jeans, spent $16 million on a huge white diamond, one of the two most expensive stones ever sold at an auction.”

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The story goes on to state that these recent events may signal that the demand for Impressionist paintings is showing signs of weakening, even as Sotheby’s had its most successful auction of postwar art, which saw a Jeff Koons sculpture sell for a record $23.56 million and a Francis Bacon canvas go for $46 million.

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