Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Antwerp dealer to sell famous collection to Saudis as royal wedding gift

Saudi Arabian billionaires are trying to buy Prince William and Kate Middleton a famous set of coloured diamonds called the Rainbow Collection for their wedding from an Antwerp dealer.

The 301 stones are the world's largest and finest assortment of coloured diamonds and are owned by gem dealer Eddy Elzas, the Sunday Mirror reported.

The jewels are reportedly worth £60million ($90 million) and would be an extraordinary wedding present for the couple due to get married on April 29.

A member of the Saudi Arabian royal family tried to buy the gems as a wedding gift for Prince William’s parents Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981, but Elzas turned down the offer, the newspaper reported.

The nespaper cited a source at the Antwerp-based jewellers as saying that Elzas is now looking to sell them on condition that whoever buys them gives them to Prince William and his fiancee. The source said: "Lots of Middle Eastern investors are keen to buy the collection and give them to William and Kate because it would be a huge badge of honour.

"A deal is now very close to being done and an announcement is set to be made soon. Mr Elzas is due to retire soon so is looking to sell. But he will only sell if they go to William and Kate. He thinks it would be a fitting gift for the couple."

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