An exquisite vivid blue diamond – The De Beers Cullinan Blue – has sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for HK$451 million (US$57.5 million). This is just shy of the current record for a blue diamond, achieved in 2016 when The Oppenheimer Blue (14.62 carats), sold for US$57,541,779.
A vigorous eight-minute bidding war ensued between four diamond lovers eager to secure the 15.1-carat prize took the price well above the HK$380 million reserve with the precious gem going to a telephone bidder. Possessing exceptional clarity, it is the biggest internally vivid blue diamond that the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded. Blue diamonds of such dimensions are incredibly rare, with only five 10-carat-plus examples having reached auction previously – none of which have exceeded 15 carats, making the existence of this peerless gem truly unique.
“The (diamond) captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on it. With its powerful vivid colour, and breathtakingly beautiful cut, it is truly a once-in-a-generation stone, and quite simply the greatest blue diamond of its size I have ever seen during my 31-year-career,” said Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia of the sale.
Read our previous story on Blue Diamonds: A look at the world’s stunning coloured gems.