Opp and Away! This Blue Diamond Is Now the Most Valuable Jewel—Ever



The 14.62 ct. Oppenheimer Blue sold for $57.5 million, beating a record set just six months ago

The Blue Moon has been eclipsed.

On May 18, the Oppenheimer Blue sold for $57.5 million, or $3.9 million per carat, at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in Geneva—setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a jewel at auction and blowing away its presale estimate of  $38 million–$45 million. The largest fancy vivid blue ever auctioned, the 14.62 ct. emerald-cut was once owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer, the former head of De Beers’ Central Selling Organisation. 

Even more astonishing: The record it shattered was set only six months ago, by the Blue Moon, which garnered $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November. (Ehud Laniado, whose company cut that stone, believes that sale fueled the sudden spurt of blues that have come to the auction block. He also notes that the Blue Moon still holds the per-carat price record.)

“We expected a healthy price, but the fact that it is now the most expensive jewel, diamond, blue diamond, and colored diamond ever sold at auction was the icing on the cake,” says François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific and China, “a sort of a birthday present for Christie’s 250th anniversary.”

He believes its provenance helped its price: “Philip Oppenheimer could have had any diamond in the world, and this is the one he chose.”

Other impressive sales at the auction, which garnered $148.6 million overall:

– The Oriental Sunrise, a pair of 12.2 ct. and 11.96 ct. fancy yellow oval-cut diamond earrings, sold for $11.5 million, or $476,238 per carat.

– The Pohl Diamond, a 36.09 ct. D VS1 rectangular-cut diamond ring by Cartier, sold for $4.3 million, or $120,876 per carat.

(Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s)

JCK News Director