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Convicted billionaire property developer Joseph Lau spent a total of $77 million on two rare diamonds for his 7-year-old daughter Josephine at Geneva auctions.
GENEVA—A Hong Kong billionaire tycoon paid a total of $77 million (U.S.) at auctions in Geneva for two large and rare coloured diamonds for his 7-year-old daughter Josephine — and renamed them after her, his office said Thursday.
Joseph Lau was the top bidder for the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” diamond that sold Wednesday night for a record-setting 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.5 million U.S.), said a spokeswoman for Lau, who declined to give her name. Sotheby’s said the buyer promptly renamed the pricier gem “The Blue Moon of Josephine.”
Lau was also the buyer of a 16.08-carat vivid pink diamond that sold for 28.7 million Swiss francs ($28.5 million U.S.) auctioned by Christie’s the night before, she said. The buyer renamed that diamond “Sweet Josephine,” Christie’s said.
“Yes, the two diamonds are bought by Joseph Lau,” said the spokeswoman, who added that they were named after Lau’s daughter.
The blue diamond, set in a ring, was said to be among the largest known fancy vivid blue diamonds and was the showpiece gem at the Sotheby’s jewelry auction.
The Blue Moon — named in reference to its rarity, playing off the expression “once in a blue moon” — topped the previous record of $46.2 million set five years ago by the Graff Pink, Sotheby’s said.
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