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The Blue Moon diamond broke three world auction records
The Blue Moon diamond broke three world auction records

Fugitive buys blue diamond for record US$48.5M

A rare blue diamond believed to have been sold to a convicted felon is among the coloured stones that recently achieved world record prices at auction.

The 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond known as the Blue Moon set a new price-per-carat record at auction for any diamond or gemstone when it sold for US$48.5 million (AU$67.5 m) earlier this month.

The Blue Moon sale, part of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva, represented more than US$4 million (AU$5.6 m) per carat.

The 9.75-carat Zoe Diamond – also a fancy vivid blue diamond – previously held the record after being sold by Sotheby’s for US$3.3 million (AU$4.7 m) per carat in November 2014.

The Blue Moon’s sale additionally set a new auction record price for any “jewel”.

Prior to the recent sale, the records for both the highest price paid for any diamond as well as that paid for any “jewel” were held by the 24.78-carat pink diamond known as The Graff Pink, which was sold by Sotheby’s in November 2010 for US$46.2 million (AU$64.4 m).

The Blue Moon – which has since been renamed the Blue Moon of Josephine – was discovered in January 2014 at South Africa’s famous Cullinan mine as a 29.62-carat rough diamond.

In the same week as the Blue Moon sale, a 16.08-carat cushion-shaped fancy pink diamond set another world auction record. The stone, which has been named Sweet Josephine, was sold for US$28.5 million (AU$39.7 m) at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva, breaking the world record auction price paid for a pink diamond.

Multiple media reports indicated that Joseph Lau had purchased both coloured diamonds for his seven-year-old daughter, Josephine.

Lau is a Hong Kong property developer not only renowned for his billionaire status but also because of his reported prison evasion. Last year, Lau was convicted of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison by a Macau court but escaped capture by avoiding travel to the region.

It is understood Lau was also the private Hong Kong collector behind the 2014 purchase of a 10.10-carat Burmese ruby and diamond brooch – now known as the Zoe Red – and the Zoe Diamond, which were said to have been gifted to his 13-year-old daughter of the same name.

In addition to the Blue Moon, Sotheby’s set a new record at its recent sale for a fancy orangey pink diamond. A 15.2-carat pendant from the collection of actor Sir Sean Connery was sold for US$4 million (AU$5.6 m), achieving the world’s highest auction price for a fancy orangey pink diamond.

 

New world auction records

The Sweet Josephine pink diamond
The Sweet Josephine pink diamond
The fancy orangey pink diamond from Sir Sean Connery
The fancy orangey pink diamond from Sir Sean Connery's collection

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World’s largest blue diamond to be auctioned











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Friday, 23 August, 2019 07:57pm
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