The largest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever to appear at auction has sold for an eye-watering US$57.5 million.
Dubbed the De Beers Blue, the 15.10-carat, step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond is the third most valuable diamond of any color to be put under the hammer.
In the blue diamond stakes, its price (HK$450,925,000 or US$57,471,960) is only bested by record-holder The Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for US$57,541,779.
It took a tense eight minutes between four potential buyers to take the price beyond pre-sale estimate of $48 million during the auction, hosted by Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
The DeBeers Blue’s new owner was represented via phone by Wenhao Yo, Sotheby’s Asia Jewellery and Watches chairman.
The stone was found at South Africa’s legendary Cullinan Mine, which is “one of very few sources in the world for extremely rare blue diamonds”, in 2021.
It’s the same mine where some of the world’s most famous diamonds have been discovered, including the 530-carat Great Star of Africa, the largest faceted colourless diamond.
The small amounts of boron in the diamond crystal lattice are what gives the stone its blue hue.
Sotheby’s says blue diamonds of this importance are “exceptionally rare, with only five 10-carat+ examples ever having come to auction, none of which have exceeded 15 carats”.
World’s top five most expensive Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds
- The Oppenheimer Blue
Step-cut, 14.62 carats, VVS1 clarity
Christie’s Geneva, May 2016 sold for US$57,541,779
- The De Beers Blue
Step-cut, 15.10 carats, internally flawless
Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, May 2022 sold for US$57,470,391
- The Blue Moon of Josephine
Cushion-shaped, 12.03 carats, internally flawless
Sotheby’s Geneva, November 2015 sold for US$48,468,158
- The Memory of Autumn Leaves
Pear-Shaped, 14.54 carats, internally flawless
Sotheby’s Geneva, May 2017 sold for US$42,087,302
- The Zoe Diamond
Pear-shaped, 9.75 carats, VVS2 clarity
Sotheby’s New York, November 2014 sold for US$32,645,000