Sale of “Blue Moon” underscores strength of top tier diamond market
GENEVA, November 2015 – The sale of the Blue Moon, an extremely rare and flawless 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, for a world record price for a gemstone at auction of $48.4 million, highlights the strength of the top tier diamond market.
In an exhilarating two-way bidding war at the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on November 11, the audience gasped as the bids moved ever higher into world record territory, and a loud round of applause in the packed hall followed when the hammer came down on the sale to a Hong Kong buyer.
The previous record belonged to the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold for $46.20 million in November 2010.
The Blue Moon, later renamed the “Blue Moon of Josephine” by the Hong Kong buyer, set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat.
The previous day, a Chinese client based in Hong Kong bought an extraordinary 16.08-carat Vivid Fancy pink diamond at a Christie’s auction in Geneva for $28.55 million, above the estimate. This was a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction.
Previously, the highest price paid for any blue diamond sold at auction was $32.6 million for the Zoe Diamond in November 2014.
As a store of value, the world’s most magnificent and collectable diamonds and gemstones have proven to be bulletproof investments in recent years, achieving world record prices per carat at auction.
So just how rare is the Blue Moon?
After the sale, Ehud Laniado, chairman of New York-based jeweller Cora International LLC, the seller of the stone, said: “The Blue Moon diamond is a true gift of nature. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has graded 400 blue diamonds and only four have been graded vivid blue.
“So even amongst this extremely rare class of blue diamonds, to find one Vivid Blue diamond which is over 12 carats and internally flawless, really only happens once in a blue moon.
Lanadio said it took Cora experts five months to assess the rough stone originally unearthed from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.
They then created 30 models of the diamond and cut each one differently until they achieved the perfect result.
It took three more months to bring the Blue Moon diamond to its ultimate spectacular shape using advanced technology and sophisticated tools.
“A jeweller has the chance to handle a unique diamond like this only once in a lifetime if they’re lucky and we are thrilled at Cora to have had this opportunity,” Lanadio said.