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An enormous and extremely rare blue diamond has recently sold at auction in Hong Kong for $80, 000 000 AUD. At Paul Bram we are committed to keeping our clients up to date with all significant developments and happenings in the wonderful world of diamonds and jewellery. As such we present below a brief bulletin with regard to this sensational sale.

The diamond is known simply as ‘The De Beers Blue’, after the most famous diamond house in the world, De Beers, who were the owners of this magnificent gemstone up until the fall of the hammer at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, on Wednesday 27 April. 

This is one of the highest prices ever paid for a diamond, and the news spread quickly around the world. The final price paid was $57.5 million (US), which is approximately $80 million AUD. 

 The diamond itself is in excess of the 15 carat mark, so it is huge. It is described as ‘step cut vivid fancy blue’ diamond, weighing 15.10 carats. The stone was unearthed at the South African Cullinan Mine last year, by Petra Diamonds. It was then sold to De Beers and Diacore, the latter cutting and polishing the stone into its impressive final incarnation. Blue diamonds are exceedingly rare, and this one has incredible size, clarity and amazing colour, making it a total superstar stone. 

The spectacular blue diamond was estimated to sell in the region approaching $50 million US dollars, so to reach just shy of $60 million well exceeded expectations and apparently the atmosphere in the room was absolutely electric. During the last two years, most high profile auctions have had to be held in an on-line only setting, but now that restrictions have eased, it seems the well-heeled punters have flocked back to the galleries at the auction houses or at luxury reception rooms at 5 star hotels, where these sorts of upmarket sales are held. 

The De Beers Blue diamond was contested in the end by no less than four bidders, in a battle which lasted for nearly 10 minutes. Eventually the gavel fell to Wenhao Yu, Chairman of Jewellery and Watches for Sotheby’s Asia, who was bidding on behalf of a client whose identity is not known. 

 The most expensive blue diamond to ever be sold is the ‘Oppenheimer Blue Diamond’. It sold in 2016 for just a fraction more, at $57,541,779 (US). That diamond is actually not quite as large, at 14.62 carats, but the stone itself is considered more prestigious. 

The record for the highest price ever paid at auction is still held by the pink diamond known as the ‘CTF Pink Star’, which went for $71.2 million (US) in 2017. 

Chair of Sotheby’s Asia, Patti Wong, released a statement on the day of the auction, describing the first time she saw the diamond: “The De Beers Blue captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on it. With its powerful vivid colour, and breathtakingly beautiful cut, it is truly a once in a generation stone, and quite simply the greatest blue diamond of its size I have ever seen during my 31 year career at Sotheby’s.”

The auction house said that only a small number of gemstones weighing more than 10 carats have appeared at auction, “making the appearance of this flawless gem a landmark event in itself.” Sotheby’s stated that the diamond is the largest internally flawless step cut vivid blue diamond ever to be graded by the GIA (Gemological Institute of America). 

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