GENEVA (AP) – A rare 7.03-carat blue diamond sold for 9.3 million Swiss francs (more than $8.4 million) Tuesday, the highest price ever for a gem of its kind, according to auctioneers Sotheby’s.

Including commission, the successful bidder will pay around 10.5 million francs ($9.5 million).

The gem, which is smaller than a dime, shaped like a cushion and one of only a few blue diamonds ever found, was among 346 lots auctioned Tuesday in Geneva. Only 266 lots sold, indicating that the economic crisis is keeping some buyers away.

On average, the rings, bracelets and necklaces on offer sold for almost 10 percent less than expected.

“I was a little bit concerned in this market,” said David Bennett, head of jewelry for Sotheby’s Europe and Middle East.

The anonymous telephone bidder has yet to name the diamond, Bennett said.

The gem was discovered last year in South Africa and has been graded highly for its vivid color and clarity, Sotheby’s said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.