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Blue Moon Sold for $48.5M in Diamond ‘Record’

Nov 12, 2015 2:10 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Sotheby’s has auctioned the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond for $48.5 million, setting what the auctioneer claims is a world record for a diamond of any color.

The internally flawless diamond with “truly outstanding” color sold at a Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on November 11, breaking the previous record set when the auction house sold the 24.78-carat Graff Pink diamond for $46.2 million in the same city in 2010.

The Blue Moon was expected to go for between $35 million and $55 million. The eventual selling price represents a price per carat of more than $4 million, which Sotheby’s also described as an auction record – beating the $3.3 million-per-carat Zoe Diamond.

The stone was sold by New York jewelry company Cora International and the buyer is based in Hong Kong.

Cora chairman Ehud Laniado said in a statement: “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 jeweler 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.”

Other stones sold at the Geneva tender included a fancy vivid purple-pink diamond ring, which sold for $13.9 million, described as an auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond. A sapphire and diamond ring more than doubled its presale high estimate, selling for $3.2 million, while a ruby, sapphire and diamond bar brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels beat expectations fivefold by selling for $2.5 million, Sotheby’s said.

Sotheby's sold a total of $139.1 million at the magnificent jewels and noble jewels auction, with 83 percent sold by lot.

The Sotheby’s sale comes on the heels of Christie’s selling the 16.08-carat ‘Sweet Josephine’ pink diamond for $28.6 million in Geneva on November 10 to a Chinese buyer.

UK newspaper The Guardian reported that both the Blue Moon and Sweet Josephine were bought by Hong Kong real estate investor Joseph Lau, who then renamed them after his seven-year-old daughter on purchase. He changed the blue diamond's name to 'Blue Moon of Josephine.'
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Tags: Auctions, blue diamonds, Blue Moon, colored diamonds, geneva, Rapaport News, Sotheby's
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