‘Rarest of the Rare’ Blue Diamond Expected to Top $48M at Auction
The 15.10-carat fancy vivid blue, mined by Petra last spring and purchased by De Beers and Diacore, heads to Sotheby’s in April.
Sotheby’s announced Wednesday it will offer the 15-carat fancy vivid “De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond” in a single-lot sale this spring.
The diamond is estimated to sell for more than $48 million, or $3.2 million per carat.
Mining company Petra Diamonds uncovered the original rough, weighing 39.34 carats, at the Cullinan mine in April 2021.
De Beers Group and manufacturer Diacore International, a De Beers sightholder and master diamond cutter, purchased the stone for $40.2 million last July.
Since then, the companies have been analyzing, cutting and polishing the stone to bring the diamond that’s been dubbed the De Beers Cullinan Blue to life.
What emerged is an internally flawless 15.10-carat step-cut fancy vivid blue diamond Sotheby’s is calling the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction.
The GIA Monograph Report on the stone states: “Achieving a fancy vivid color grade in a step cut or emerald cut adds to the rarity, since most other fancy shapes intensify the body color more efficiently in the face-up position than step cuts. To achieve a fancy vivid grade with a step cut or emerald cut, the inherent bodycolor has to be stronger than virtually every other fancy shape.”
Sotheby’s will offer the diamond in a live single-lot auction in late April—tentatively April 27—anchoring Sotheby’s Hong Kong Luxury Week.
Prior to that, it will be showcased in a worldwide tour, starting in New York before traveling to London, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, and Taipei.
“Blue diamonds of any kind are rare on the market, but this is the rarest of the rare; nothing of remotely similar caliber has appeared at auction in recent years. Hundreds of millions of years in the making, this extraordinary blue diamond is surely one of nature’s finest creations,” said Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia.
“Now brought to dazzling life by the hand of one of the world’s most skillful cutters, it is the ultimate masterpiece—as rare and desirable as the very greatest works of art. At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest, world-class, colored diamonds, we are incredibly excited to bring to the market what is sure to become one of the most celebrated gems in the world.”
According to Sotheby’s, only five blue diamonds weighing more than 10 carats have gone to auction before, with none exceeding 15 carats.
The world auction record for highest price per carat belongs to “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” a 12.03-carat internally flawless cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond, which sold for $48.5 million, or about $4 million per carat, in November 2015.
The “Oppenheimer Blue,” a 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue step-cut diamond, sold for $57.5 million in May 2016, setting the record for the most expensive jewel sold at auction.
The 59.60-carat “Pink Star” diamond later eclipsed the Oppenheimer Blue, selling for $71.2 million in April 2017. It remains the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.
Senior Editor Brecken Branstrator chooses the pieces she’d most want to see in person.
When it comes to knowing the identity and quality of your pearls, count on GIA as your independent pearl experts.
“Today’s Wedding Jewelry Consumer” shares data about engagement ring market size, lab-grown and natural diamonds, and more.
Advanced technology levels the playing field, helping jewelers give customers what they want.
Several Couture brands have partnered with Platinum Guild International ahead of the jewelry trade show.
The jewelry company is moving into bridal just a month after branching out into the watch world.
The 2008 economic crisis, COVID-19, and sanctions on Russian goods have set the stage for an interesting decade for natural diamond supply.
The Generating Community Impact fundraiser on June 11 will feature Karine Bah Tahé of Blue Level Training.
Kaiser, whose illustrious career spanned decades, died suddenly on Friday.
He will step into the retailer’s newly created role of chief development officer.
GemIntro is meant to give a broad introduction to gems and gemology.
Three industry experts discuss “recycled” gold vs. mined, their challenges and benefits, and how jewelers can navigate the area.
Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Buccellati put on stellar performances.
From a slowdown in sales growth to rising costs, Fruchtman Marketing outlines its expectations for the second half of the year.
Once a part of Julius Klein Group, the diamond company combines its direct supply and cutting expertise with a keen eye to the future.
John A. Green of retailer Lux Bond & Green and Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé have joined the board of directors as of May 18.
The retailer also said demand for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches continues to exceed its supply.
The Connecticut jeweler reflected on five decades in the industry and what the future holds for the family business.
The chapter has organized a day trip to the Sterling Hill Mine and Museum in Ogdensburg on Saturday, May 21.
The stones come from a deposit close to Mahenge and have been on the market for several months.