After other blue diamonds set records, Christie’s is selling the largest fancy intense blue diamond ever offered at auction
It’s a blue streak.
Blue may be one of the rarest diamond colors, but we are seeing an increasing amount of aqua-hue stones hit the auction block.
On June 9, Christie’s will sell the Cullinan Dream, a 24.18 carater that is the largest fancy intense blue diamond ever offered at auction. The gem is the headline offering at the Christie’s upcoming New York Magnificent Jewels sale.
The auction comes on the heels of the May 18 sale of the Oppenheimer Blue, which fetched $57.5 million, setting a new benchmark for any jewel at auction. The sale of the 14.62 ct. Oppenheimer stone shattered the record set just six months earlier by another blue gem, the Blue Moon, which went for $48.5 million in November (and still holds the record for a per-carat price).
The Cullinan stone isn’t being priced in that ballpark; Christie’s has given it a $23 million–$29 million estimate. But since the Blue Moon set its record, an impressive parade of blue diamonds have been hauled from the vaults, including the Shirley Temple Blue and the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, which sold for $32 million.
The Cullinan is relatively new stone but is notable for its provenance: It is one of four blues cut from a piece of 122.52 ct. blue rough (below) discovered in 2014 at the legendary Cullinan mine in South Africa.
In 1905, that mine produced a 3,106.75 ct. stone that eventually produced the Cullinan I, the largest polished white diamond in existence. It is now housed in the Tower of London as part of the Crown Jewels of England.
(Top photo courtesy of Christie’s; bottom photo courtesy of Petra Diamonds)