Largest blue diamond ever auctioned fetches $57.6 mn
The dazzling 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which was once owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer, has been sold during an auction in Geneva. The largest stone of the exceptionally rare Fancy Vivid Blue class fetched a record-breaking $57.6 million from an anonymous buyer at auction house Christie's. A Christie's spokesman stated that it was the jewel of all records and over hundreds attended the auction.
Investments in magnificent jewel auctions
The recent semi-annual magnificent jewel auctions in Geneva saw many eye-popping bids, which indicated the surging value of rare precious stones. Several billionaires had reportedly invested in the gems to safeguard against market volatility.
Second largest uncut diamond auctioned
Canada-based mining company Lucara Diamond had announced that it had sold a huge uncut 813-carat diamond 'The Constellation' for a record-breaking $63 million. Dubai-based Nemesis International DMCC, a rough-diamond trading company, had bought the stone at a price of $77,649 per carat. 'The Constellation', world's second largest uncut diamond, was reportedly unearthed in 2015 in Botswana; no other details of the sale were revealed.
Largest uncut diamond ever discovered to be auctioned
The record sale price of 'The Constellation' was less likely to last long as Lucara had announced that it would auction the largest diamond ever discovered–'Lesedi la Rona' or 'The Lady' weighing 1109 carats in London in Jun'16.
Record price in Fancy Vivid Pink category
Sotheby's auction house had sold the 15.38-carat 'Unique Pink' stone; an Asian private buyer had paid up a record-breaking $32 million for the stone. Ehud Laniado, President-Cora International (seller of the 'Unique Pink' stone), said that the stone's value would increase over time; she was however satisfied with the sale price. Sotheby's had also auctioned a 7.32-carat blue diamond for $17.1 million.
'Oppenheimer Blue' beats 'Blue Moon of Josephine'
Before the auction, Christie's stated that the Oppenheimer Blue had a chance of surpassing the record of the 12.03-carat 'Blue Moon of Josephine'. It was bought by Hong Kong-based billionaire Joseph Lau at Sotheby's in Nov'15 for $48.4 million.
Surpasses pre-auction valuation by over $12 million
Reportedly, the blue colored beauty's pre-auction valuation was set between $38-45 million; the most expensive polished diamond easily topped the pre-auction value. Alexandra Kindermann, a Christie's spokeswoman, said that the bidding for the Oppenheimer Blue, which Sir Oppenheimer presented to his wife, lasted no more than 25 minutes. The blue diamond was set in a ring with two small trapezoid-shaped diamonds on its sides.
First ever public auction of Oppenheimer Blue
Oppenheimer Blue has made its first ever appearance at a public auction; however, the blue stone passed through many hands after Sir Philip Oppenheimer's death. According to Jean-Marc Lunel–Christie's diamond expert, Fancy Vivid Blue class stones are usually small and weigh about five carats. Raymond Sancroft-Baker, Director (Europe)–Christie's, said that no other blue diamond ever sold had the quality like that of Oppenheimer Blue.
Sir Philip Oppenheimer once owned the blue diamond
The Oppenheimer Blue was named after its first owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer; he died on 8 October 1995 in London at an age of 85. He belonged to a family that manages the De Beers Mining Company and was knighted in 1970. He was a former chairperson of London's Central Selling Organization and oversaw DeBeers diamond marketing cartel to keep price swings under control.