Hong Kong Tycoon Grabs $48.5Mn Blue Moon Diamond for Daughter at Sotheby’s Auction

Published on Nov 12, 2015

An exceptionally large blue diamond sold Wednesday for 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.5 million) – a record price for any jewel at auction, Sotheby’s said, culminating two Geneva auctions in which a convicted Hong Kong tycoon, Joseph Lau, bought rare coloured diamonds for his daughter.

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The 12.03-carat ‘Blue Moon’ diamond, set in a ring, was said to be among the largest known fancy vivid blue diamonds and was the showpiece gem at the Sotheby’s jewelry auction.

A packed room broke into applause after the hammer came down at a price of 43.2 million Swiss francs, excluding fees – within the pre-auction estimate range of about 34 to 54 million francs.

The Blue Moon – so-called in reference to its rarity, playing off the expression “once in a blue moon” – topped the previous record of $46.2 million set five years ago by the Graff Pink, Sotheby’s said.

The diamond also set a new record of more than $4 million per carat, capping the daylong high-end jewelry sale that reaped roughly $140 million.

Blue diamonds are formed when boron is mixed with carbon when the gem is created.

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Henry Sapiecha

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