The rare and flawless Blue Moon Diamond sold for $48.4m on Wednesday, setting a world record for a gemstone at auction, Sotheby’s said.
The cushion-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring, has the top grading of fancy vivid blue and weighs 12.03 carats. It had a pre-sale estimate of $35m to $55m.
“It is a new record price for any gemstone and per carat,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, told a packed showroom in Geneva that erupted into applause.
The buyer, from Hong Kong, promptly renamed it The Blue Moon of Josephine, Bennett told reporters, noting that it had also set a world record for any jewel at more than $4m a carat.
At rival Christie’s on Tuesday, a large diamond of a rare pink hue fetched $28.55m.
Christie’s said that the stone, named The Sweet Josephine by the Hong Kong-based Chinese client who bought it, set a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction.
The same buyer was believed to have bought both star lots at the semi-annual sales in the Swiss city.
“For me the Blue Moon was always the blue diamond of my career. I’ve never seen a more beautiful stone – its shape, colour and purity. It’s a magical stone,” Bennett said.
The previous record was held by the Graff Pink of 24.78 carats, sold by Sotheby’s for $46.2m in 2010.
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