Photos: Rare ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ Diamond Sells for Record Price—$57.6 Million

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
May 19, 2016 7:18 pm Last Updated: May 19, 2016 7:18 pm

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.

A woman holds up the 'Oppenheimer Blue,' a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat during a press preview by Christies's auction house on May 12, 2016 in Geneva. The Blue Oppenheimer will be auctioned in Geneva on May 18 with a pre-sale estimate of $38-45 million and could become the most expensive cut diamond in the world, according to the house Christies. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman holds up the ‘Oppenheimer Blue,’ a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat during a preview by Christies’s auction house on May 12, 2016, in Geneva.
(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

This photo taken on May 12, 2016 in Geneva during a press preview by Christie's auction house shows the 'Oppenheimer Blue,' a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat. The Blue Oppenheimer will be auctioned in Geneva on May 18 with a pre-sale estimate of $38-45 million and could become the most expensive cut diamond in the world, according to the house Christies. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
The ‘Oppenheimer Blue,’ a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat, May 12, 2016.
(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

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.”

This photo taken on May 12, 2016 in Geneva during a press preview by Christies's auction house shows the 'Oppenheimer Blue,' a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat. The Blue Oppenheimer will be auctioned in Geneva on May 18 with a pre-sale estimate of $38-45 million and could become the most expensive cut diamond in the world, according to the house Christies. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
The ‘Oppenheimer Blue,’ a rare fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 14.62 carat, May 12, 2016.
(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.