Photos: Rare ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ Diamond Sells for Record Price—$57.6 Million
The rare “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond was sold on May 19 by Christie’s Geneva at a record price—$57.6 million.
The stone is the most expensive diamond ever to be sold at auction. A previous diamond, the Blue Moon, had a record sale of $48.5 million.
The “Oppenheimer Blue,” a rectangular-cut diamond, had a pre-sale estimate range of 38 million to 45 million francs.
The 14.62-carat, labeled as the largest Vivid Blue diamond up for auction, was bought by an unidentified buyer.
A spokeswoman from Christie’s said the bidding for the “Oppenheimer Blue” started at 30 million francs and lasted over 25 minutes.
The mesmerizing blue stone was set in a ring with a smaller trapezoid-shaped diamond on each side.
The gem is named after Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who oversaw De Beers mining and had given the diamond to his wife. He died in 1995 at the age of 83.
Raymond Sancroft-Baker, Christie’s director of European jewelry, said Oppenheimer “had the pick of all diamonds over a 50-year period, and this is what he picked out for his wife.”
“There’s been several other blue diamonds which have been sold in the past, but nothing really quite of this quality,” Sancroft-Baker said.
He also said that while the diamond wasn’t internally flawless, it was “nearly perfect.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.