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The largest Vivid Blue diamond ever to appear at auction has sold for $57.5 million. The 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond easily outstripped the last record-holder for ‘most expensive blue diamond;’ the esteemed position was last held by the 12.03-carat ‘Blue Moon’ diamond which sold last November for $48.4 million. Discover everything with Design Limited Edition!
The rectangular-cut ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ went to auction on May 18th with an estimated worth of $46.1 million. The bidding began at 30 million Swiss francs and continued at an agonizing pace punctuated by long pauses and nervous laughter. Obviously, the bidders were conscious of the importance of the moment and the significance of the precious gem up for grabs. The ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ was named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, a famous diamond dealer and racehorse owner.
The Oppenheimer Blue is just the latest in a line of historic blue diamonds that have been auctioned off at Christie’s. In 1983 the auction house sold a blue diamond ring that had been worn by Marie-Antoinette. The popularity of these gems continues to grow, in part due to their historical significance and beauty, but mainly due to their scarcity.
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According to François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific and China, “Blue diamonds have gained a wider following, not only because they are stunning, but because there are so few of them available in the world.”
But what are the reasons to make the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond’s a world-record sale? By nature of its color, the Oppenheimer Blue is beyond rare. Less than .0001 percent of all diamonds mined are blue, according to Christie’s and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Second, it is classified as a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, the highest color saturation grading given by the GIA for blue diamonds.
On June 9, Christie’s hopes to continue its blue streak, when a 24.18-carat Fancy Intense Blue diamond dubbed the Cullinan Dream is expected to sell in the range of $23 to $29 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York.
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Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie’s has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful.
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