Category Archives: BLUE DIAMONDS

Now There Are Near-Perfect Copies of the Hope Diamond

Scientists created cubic zirconia replicas of the historic gem’s previous forms—the original brought from India and the famous “French Blue”

The Hope Diamond that famously resides at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. has long been known for its inimitable color—a deep, steely blue, shifting ever-so-slightly in the light. It’s a hue that replica makers have tried and failed to copy; curator Jeffrey Post says the color attempt is always “garishly awful,” an aquamarine blue or a sickly “Windex blue.”

The true color is a trick of the light, thanks in part to the gemstone’s unique blue color and cut. It hasn’t always looked this way, either. When Jean Baptiste Tavernier first sold the original 112-carat diamond from India to King Louis XIV in 1668, it was crudely cut and a lighter color. Tavernier called it “un beau violet” (a beautiful violet). It would become bluer and darker as the gem passed through different hands, both French and American, and was recut twice more.

For the first time, scientists have created near-perfect cubic zirconia replicas of the diamond in its previous forms: the original brought from India, King Louis XIV’s “French Blue” and the current version encased in a Cartier pendant. It’s a project that’s taken a decade to perfect, involving cross-Atlantic collaborations between the Smithsonian, the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris and the gem-cutter John Hatleberg.

“We’ve been able to use a modern technology to bring back from history a diamond that no one has seen since 1792,” said Post at an October press conference. “We are actually putting ourselves back in the eyes of King Louis XIV and seeing what he saw.”

When the famous blue diamond first joined Louis XIV’s crown jewels in 1668, it was a lot bigger and flatter than it was today. It was cut in the Mughal style, with a large, flat base and top to match. Because there weren’t as many facets—the small flat faces on a crystal surface—to reflect light internally, it was a much lighter blue. “It’s like looking through a window,” Post said, holding the replica up to a lamp.

 
A computer simulation of how the Hope Diamond likely appeared when it was owned by King Louis XIV of France. (Image by François Farges)

The gem became much darker and smaller once the court jeweler got his hands on it. It was cut with more facits and shrunk to 69 carats. It was then that it became known as the “French Blue,” said François Farges of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, and it perfectly matched Louis XIV’s sensibility.

“Think of the garden at the Castle of Versailles with the straight lines, perfectly well-arranged symmetry, good angles,” Farges said. “It is the same inspiration you have in the French Blue.”

It was cut precisely but unusually, with a small eye in the middle that let light pass clear through. This was done intentionally, as Farges and Post proposed in a 2014 paper. According to the crown jewels inventory, the diamond was set into gold and mounted on a stick. Farges found that, when placed in a gold setting via a computer model, the center of the diamond would look like a golden sun—the symbol of Louis XIV, “the sun king.” It’s even more impressive, Farges said, if you consider that the blue of the diamond and the gold of the sun represented the French monarchy.

Now, Post could hold up a replica of the French Blue placed in a facsimile of its gold setting and show the faint golden sun-like shape in the middle. Farges said that historical records suggest Louis XIV would have pulled the jewel from a gold chest and proudly displayed the stick for important visitors; it was meant to be observed, not worn.

“The big message was that France was so rich that they could use all those diamonds at any time to build a huge army in case the country would be invaded,” Farges said. “It was really a political instrument just to serve the glory of the king against the foreign kingdoms.”

All of these details about the diamond’s journey, color, faceting and use wouldn’t have been discovered without historical records like Tavierner’s drawings in his journal and those Farges has studied at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.

Farges said he stumbled upon one of the most important records about the diamond by accident. He was looking through the drawers of diamonds in the national gem collection and found a lead cast. He was puzzled by its shape, which didn’t resemble any type of diamond he had seen before, so he spent the night doing research. To his surprise, he found that it was the lead cast for the French Blue.

“I came to the conclusion that it was the only replica, the only historical replica known to date of a French blue diamond, that we thought was completely lost. It’s not totally lost,” Farges said. “For the first time, we had the model in 3D that was perfectly accurate, with all of the facetings.”

Before creating the older versions of the diamond, Hatleberg set out to make a replica of the current version of the Hope. Almost 30 years ago, Post took the Hope out of its pendant setting and gave it to Hatleberg so he could make a silicone mold and then a resin epoxy cast. From there, he cut cubic zirconia to match the cast, and then brought several of the copies to a company in Minnesota to add the coloring.

To replicate the color, the company used a method called precious metal nanodot vapor deposition. They take a colorless stone and thinly coat it with metal atoms, making tiny adjustments to ever-so-slightly tweak the color. This technology wasn’t available even five years ago, Hatleberg said.

Hatleberg would then come to Post and Farges with copies coated with different colors. “We’d go, ‘A little too dark, too light, too green, too blue, too purple,’” Post said. “And after literally years of doing that, dozens of trips back and forth, we finally ended up with a stone that all of us here, all of us who know the Hope Diamond, looked at and said, ‘We can’t tell the difference.’”

The replica might look exactly the same as the original Hope Diamond, but aspiring jewel thieves or counterfeiters, beware; there’s no way that you could slip a fake past an expert. Under an ultraviolet light in a dark room, the Hope Diamond phosphoresces, Post says, glowing orange for about a minute or so. He can use a spectrometer to measure the light spectrum, which differs from diamond to diamond like a fingerprint, he says.

It’s unclear when visitors will be able to look at the replicas in real life, but Post says he hopes the stones will be on display at the Natural History Museum within the next year or two. There will also be a set of replicas that travel around the country out on loan, and a set for the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.

In the meantime, Post said, he hopes to study the Hope’s history even further with Hatleberg and Farges. “It’s such an interesting diamond, both scientifically and historically,” Post said. “We know we’re going to keep learning from it. We’ve only begun to learn all of its secrets.”

Henry Sapiecha

Decadent Diamonds from Sotheby’s Auction House

This spring, Sotheby’s presents the ultimate in coloured diamonds: Apollo and Artemis comprised of a blue diamond weighing 14.54 carats, internally flawless, type IIb, and a pink diamond weighing 16.00 carats, VVS2 clarity, type IIa. The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but are being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence. They are, says David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, “by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction.”

pink-blue teardrop dimond earrings image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds. Exceptional fancy vivid blue diamond. Estimate CHF38,125,000–50,160,000 ($38,000,000–50,000,000). Important fancy intense pink diamond. Estimate CHF12,545,000–18,060,000 ($12,500,000–18,000,000). To be offered in Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 16 May in Geneva.

VIEW AUCTION

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The CTF Pink Star. Sold for HK$553,037,500 ($71,200,000).

PINK-STAR-DIAMOND IMAGE www.worldwidediamonds.info

On 4 April 2017 in Hong Kong, Sotheby’s set a new auction record for any diamond or jewel when The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat oval fancy vivid pink internally flawless diamond – the largest Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the GIA has ever graded – sold to renowned jeweller Chow Tai Fook, who has renamed the stone the CTF Pink Star. Not only was the price more than double the previous record for a fancy vivid pink diamond, but it was also a new record for any work ever sold at auction in Asia.

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Rare platinum, fancy vivid green diamond and diamond ring. Estimate $1,000,000–1,500,000. To be offered in Magnificent Jewels, Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald on 25 April in New York.

rare-platinum-fancy-vivid-green-diamond-and-diamond-ring.image www.worldwidediamonds.info

In the elite world of fancy coloured diamonds, green and red are by far the rarest body colours. The appearance of green in a diamond is caused by millions of years of exposure to a source of natural irradiation in the earth, either among uranium compounds or percolating groundwater, which changes its specific absorption of light. Our upcoming New York sale presents a cut-cornered square mixed-cut Fancy Vivid Green diamond weighing 1.64 carats, flanked by two cut-cornered triangle-shaped diamonds weighing approximately .65 carats.

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Fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring, Piaget. Estimate CHF78,030,000-12,040,000 ($8,000,000-12,000,000). To be offered in Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 16 May in Geneva.

Fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring 7.04 carats image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Another exceptional colourful diamond on offer this spring in Geneva, this ring is set with a modified rectangular brilliant-cut fancy intense purplish pink diamond, weighing 7.04 carats, VS1 Clarity, type IIa, between triangular diamond shoulders.

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Extraordinary pair of platinum and diamond earrings. Estimate $4,500,000–5,500,000. To be offered in Magnificent Jewels, Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald on 25 April in New York.

diamond earrings feature two square emerald-cut diamonds, weighing 20.29 and 20.02 carats, topped by two smaller square emerald-cut diamonds weighing 1.01 carats each image www.worldwidediamonds.info

These earrings feature two square emerald-cut diamonds, weighing 20.29 and 20.02 carats, topped by two smaller square emerald-cut diamonds weighing 1.01 carats each.

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The Unique Pink. Sold for CHF30,826,000 ($31,561,200).

unique-pink-diamond-Weighing 15.38 carats, the “Unique Pink image www.wordwidediamonds.info

Weighing 15.38 carats, the “Unique Pink” is a Type IIa brilliant cut diamond with unparallelled saturation. Until this April, when Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold the CTF Pink Star, the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction for a record-setting price, the Unique Pink held the world auction record for any fancy vivid pink diamond. It also contributed to the May 2016 Geneva sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale becoming the new world record for any jewellery auction.

De Beers Millennium Jewel 4. Sold for HK$248,280,000 ($32,013,223).

De Beers Millennium 10.10 carat blue diamond image www.worldwid3ediamonds.info

To celebrate the Millennium in 2000, De Beers, together with The Steinmetz Group, showcased an exceptional collection of eleven important blue diamonds, the De Beers Millennium Jewels, in a specially designed exhibit at London’s Millennium Dome. Offered for sale from an Asian private collection, this rare and internally flawless 10.10-carat blue diamond is the largest oval-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction and was the most expensive diamond ever sold in Hong Kong before the CTF Pink Star in April 2017.

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The Graff Pink. Sold for CHF45,442,500 ($46,158,674).

The Graff Pink diamond 24.78 carats image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Type IIa pink diamonds are very rare in nature, but this fancy intense pink round-cornered rectangular step-cut diamond weighing 24.78 carats, set between shield-shaped diamond shoulders, is a perfect, pure pink colour, which has been graded “fancy intense pink” by the GIA with no secondary colour modifier. Adding to this diamond’s exquisite nature is its classic emerald cut – a style most associated with white diamonds – that is immensely sought-after in rare colours. According to the consignor, the stone had not appeared on the open market since it was first purchased some 65 years ago from Harry Winston himself. In 2010, Laurence Graff bought the diamond and renamed it The Graff Pink.

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Magnificent oval diamond 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, type IIA. Sold for HK$238,680,000 ($30,782,560).

Magnificent oval diamond 118.28 carat, D colour, flawless, type IIA image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Unearthed in 2011 from the deep mines in Southern Africa, the 299-carat rough of this oval diamond is one of the largest and most beautiful diamond roughs found in recent years. Carefully and meticulously worked over months, the unrefined stone was transformed into a mesmerising 118.28-carat unmounted, brilliant-cut diamond. When sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013, it became the world record for any white diamond at auction, as well as the biggest diamond ever sold at auction.

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The Lady Dalal. Sold for CHF11,282,500 ($12,361,558).

The Lady Dalal 110.03 carat yellow diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Polished diamonds over 100 carats of any colour, weak or strong, are rare, which makes this 110.03-carat yellow diamond all the more impressive. The Sun-Drop, the largest known fancy vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond, was unveiled to the world at London’s Natural History Museum where it was exhibited in the famous Vault Gallery in 2011. After being sold at Sotheby’s Geneva the same year, it was renamed The Lady Dalal.

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The Blue Moon of Josephine. Sold for CHF48,634,000 ($48,468,158).

The Blue Moon of Josephine 12.03 carats vivid blue diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Smashing all records, the Blue Moon Diamond, renamed The Blue Moon of Josephine, sold in November 2015 at Sotheby’s Geneva for over $4 million per carat – the world auction price-per-carat record for a diamond or gemstone. “After seeing the stone’s colour and understanding its significance, it was fitting to name it the Blue Moon Diamond,” noted Suzette Gomes, CEO of Cora International. “Not only its shape is reminiscent of a full moon,” she said of the cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue 12.03-carat diamond, “but the metaphor for the expression is exactly what one could say about the occurrence and existence of such a gemstone.”

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A spectacular emerald-cut diamond. Sold for $22,090,000.

emerald-cut diamond 110.20 carat white diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Only six perfect diamonds weighing over 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years. Sotheby’s sold five of those spectacular stones at sales in Geneva, Hong Kong, and New York, where in April 2015, this jaw-dropping 100.20-carat, type IIa diamond was offered. The classic, emerald-cut diamond’s D colour and internally flawless clarity are exceptionally rare at this scale.

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Superb and highly important fancy vivid purple-pink diamond and diamond ring, mounted by Sotheby’s Diamonds. Sold for HK$137,880,000 ($17,778,247).

fancy vivid purple-pink diamond and diamond ring 8.41 carats pear shaped image www.worldwidediamonds.info

This ring centres an 8.41-carat, pear-shaped, type IIa pink diamond, shown here, which is prized not only for its sweet, intensely saturated hue, but also for its internally flawless clarity. With a stylised mount pavé-set throughout with circular-cut diamonds, this jewel sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2014.

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The Beau Sancy. Sold for CHF9,042,500 ($9,678,188).

The Beau Sancy 34.98 carat double rose cut diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Before this 34.98-carat modified pear double rose-cut diamond sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2012, its first royal owner was Marie de Medici, the wealthiest heiress in Europe, who in 1600 married Henri IV, considered the greatest king ever to rule France. Descending from the Medici through her father, Francesco, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who gave her this gem, she was not only rich but very grand. Cut and polished towards the end of the 16th century, the Beau Sancy also exhibits the first attempts to liberate the “fire” inherent in the stone – a property of diamond so admired today

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The Zoe Diamond. Sold for $32,645,000.

zoe diamond magnificent and rare 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond pendant image www.worldwidediamonds.info

In the November 2014 sale of the Collection of Mrs Paul Mellon, collectors eagerly vied for jewellery and objects of vertu that evoked her celebrated style. After 20 minutes of competitive bidding, Mrs Mellon’s magnificent and rare 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond pendant sold for more than double its high estimate, driving the 98%-sold auction total to $218 million. It was renamed The Zoe Diamond.

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Magnificent diamond. Sold for CHF12,597,000 ($14,201,354).

70.33-carat cushion brilliant white diamond image www.wordwidediamonds.info

Introduced at the beginning of the 20th century, the modern cushion-cut derives from ancient cushion-cut diamonds, sometimes referred to as “old mine” cuts. This magnificent 70.33-carat cushion brilliant diamond has not only received the highest colour and clarity grade from the GIA for white diamonds – D colour and flawless clarity – but it also is a type IIa diamond.

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The Graff Vivid Yellow. Sold for CHF14,501,000 ($16,347,847).

The Graff Vivid Yellow 100.09 carat diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Of exceptional beauty and extraordinary fire, this brilliant gem is one of the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world. It is listed in Ian Balfour’s book Famous Diamonds as one of the few rare yellow diamonds greater than 100 carats. The 100.09-carat brilliant fancy vivid yellow diamond, which can also be detached and worn as a pendant, was sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2014.

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‘The Historic Pink’ magnificent fancy vivid pink diamond ring. Sold for CHF14,810,000 ($15,903,422).

'The Historic Pink' magnificent fancy vivid pink diamond ring. 8.72 carats image www.worldwidediamonds.info

This exceptional vivid pink Type IIa diamond, formerly in the collection of American heiress Huguette Clark, was mounted as a ring by Dreicer. Set with a cushion brilliant-cut fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats, this ring sold most recently in 2014 at Sotheby’s Geneva.

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Exceptional pear-shaped diamond. Sold for $14,165,000.

Exceptional pear-shaped white diamond 74.79 carats image www.worldwidediamonds.info

At 74.79 carats, this unmounted type IIa diamond has it all: D colour, VVS1 clarity, and it is potentially internally flawless.

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Henry Sapiecha

Merlin Mines has just unearthed Australia’s fifth largest diamond

merlin-has-just-unearthed-australias-fifth-largest-diamond-image-www-worldwidediamonds-info

Merlin Diamonds (ASX:MED) has unearthed Australia’s fifth largest diamond from its namesake mine in Australia’s Northern Territory, currently in the ramp up phase.

The company said the 35.26 carat brown diamond was among a number of rough gems found at its Merlin mine, including a 14.6 carat brown rock as well as a number of smaller white diamonds.

Shares in the company jumped 7% to $0.015 after the announcement.

Last month, the company found a very rare blue coloured diamond, believed to be the first blue gem produced at Merlin.

merlin-blue-diamond-rough-image-www-worldwidediamonds-info

The blue diamond found last month. (Image courtesy of Merlin Diamonds)

Blue diamonds are even more unusual than pink ones, normally found at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia.

In June last year, a massive intense blue diamond, known as The Cullinan Dream, fetched $25.4 million at a Christie’s auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

Australia’s largest diamond, a 104.73 carat stone, was discovered at Merlin, which was run by Rio Tinto and Ashton Mining between 1999-2003, before being acquired in 2014 by Merlin Diamonds, formerly North Australian Diamonds.

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Henry Sapiecha

Massive Cullinan Dream blue diamond fetches over $25m at auction

Price fetched makes it the most expensive fancy intense blue diamond ever sold at auction.

massive-cullinan-dream-blue-diamond-fetches-over-25m-at-auctionimage www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Cullinan Dream in the rough.

A 24.18-carat intense blue diamond known as The Cullinan Dream has just sold for $25.4 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York, breaking all records and becoming the most expensive gem of its kind ever sold at auction.

The diamond, cut from a 122.52-carat rock found at Petra Diamond’s (LON:PDL) Cullinan mine in South Africa in 2014, is the largest of four blue diamonds made from the original.

The Cullinan Dream, a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond, has been classified by the Gemological Institute of America as Type IIb. Those kinds of gems are very rare and account for less than one-half of 1% of all diamonds found in nature.

cullinam-dream-diamond-ring image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Cullinan Dream is now a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 24.18 carats.

Type IIb gems contain a small amount of the element boron trapped in the crystal carbon structure during their formation that can give rise to a blue or grey coloration, Petra Diamonds said in a statement.

The mine is best known for the discovery of the Cullinan diamond, at 3,106 carats the largest rough diamond ever found. The gem was cut into two highly significant diamonds, which can be found in the British Crown Jewels.

Cullinan-Dream is now a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 24.18 carats.image www.worldwidediamonds.info

It is flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond and set in a platinum ring, inscribed “Cullinan Dream”.

Since acquiring a majority stake in the mine in 2008, Petra Diamonds has found some high-profile blue diamonds, including “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold in November for $48.5 million and “The Star of Josephine” — a 7.03 carat polished stone that sold in 2009 for $9.49 million, representing what at the time was a world record price per carat of $1.35 million.

www.www-gems.com

www.gem-creations.com

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Henry Sapiecha

India says the famous blue Kohinoor diamond belongs to England

india-says-kohinoor-diamond-belongs-to-britain-image www.worldwidediamonds.info

India’s government has told the country’s top court it won’t try to reclaim the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, which is now part of the British crown jewels.

Kohinoor, one of the world’s largest diamonds, has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between New Delhi and London, with India arguing for decades that it should get it back.

Kohinoor has been part of the British crown jewels for more than 150 years.But the government headed by Narendra Modi told the Supreme Court on Monday that Kohinoor was neither “forcibly taken nor stolen” by the British during colonial times, BBC reports.

The court said it’d take its time to make a decision as the verdict could “stand in the way” of future attempts to bring back items that once belonged to India.

Kohinoor has been part of the British crown jewels for more than 150 years and today forms part of a crown that was worn by the late mother of Queen Elizabeth, currently on display in the Tower of London,.

For many Indians, returning the diamond would be symbolic of India’s subjugation and a compensation for the excesses of the British during their colonial rule.

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Henry Sapiecha

Shirley Temple’s fancy vivid blue 9.54 ct diamond ring fails to sell at auction

shirley-temples-fancy-blue-diamond-ring-fails-to-sell image www.worldwidediamonds.info

A rare 9.54-carat blue diamond ring that belonged to former child star Shirley Temple has failed to buy a buyer at a touted Sotheby’s auction in New York.

The ring, flush in its original Art Deco setting, was originally expected to bring between $25 million and $35 million.

In the last two months, Sotheby’s heavily promoted the ring, exhibiting it at its bureaus in Hong Kong and Los Angeles and taking it on a major media tour.

shirley-temple-blue-diamond image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The Fancy Deep Blue diamond ring was expected to fetch up to $35 million. (Image courtesy of Sotheby’s)

The Hollywood actress’ father gave her the jewel in 1940, around the time of her 12th birthday and when the girl’s film “The Blue Bird” premiered. Temple’s father paid $7,210 for the ring, the auction house said last month.

Despite its history and rarity — the rock is, after all, fancy deep blue — the ring remains in Sotheby’s hands.

Depending on the lot’s consigner’s preferences, the ring could be recalled, considered for a private sale orchestrated by the auction house, or saved for a future public sale.

Last year, Sotheby’s set a fresh world auction record for any diamond or gemstone ― as well as a record price-per-carat for any diamond or gemstone ― when a 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond sold for $48.5 million.

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Henry Sapiecha

De Beers blue diamond smashes sales records in Asia, fetches almost $32M at auction

de-beers-blue-diamond-millenium4 smashes-auction-records-in-asia-fetches-almost-32-million-image www.worldwidediamonds (1)

The “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4” may not have the catchiest name in the history of famous diamonds, but the very rare 10.10-carat blue gem has just broke all auction records in Asia, as it fetched almost $32 million.

The rock, the largest oval fancy vivid blue diamond to ever appear at auction, was auctioned off by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong as part of a high profile gem sale.

de-beers-blue-diamond-millenium4 smashes-auction-records-in-asia-fetches-almost-32-million-image www.worldwidediamonds (2)

The internally flawless diamond was part of the Millennium Jewels collection, unveiled by De Beers in 2000 to commemorate the turn of the century, and displayed at London’s Millennium Dome.

At the time, the blue gem was the target of an attempted multi-million pound robbery in November 2000, which was foiled by the Metropolitan Police.

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The auction house will sell another coveted blue diamond, set in a ring once owned by former child star Shirley Temple, on April 19, in the U.S.

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Henry Sapiecha

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

‘Blue Moon’ diamond sells for world record $67.8 million

The Blue Moon Diamond in Geneva last week. Photo: AP

The rare Blue Moon diamond. The 12.03 carat blue diamond is the largest cushion shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever appear at auction image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Geneva:  The rare and flawless “Blue Moon” diamond” has sold for 48.6 million Swiss francs ($67.8 million) – to a Hong Kong buyer, setting a world record for a gemstone at auction, Sotheby’s said.

The cushion-shaped diamond, mounted on a ring, has the top grading of fancy vivid blue and weighs 12.03 carats. It had a pre-sale estimate of $US35 million to $US55 million ($49 million to $77 million)

The Blue Moon Diamond in Geneva image www.worldwidediamonds.info

The rare Blue Moon diamond. The 12.03 carat blue diamond is the largest cushion shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ever appear at auction. Photo: AP

“It is a new record price for any gemstone and per carat,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, told a packed showroom in Geneva that erupted into applause.

The Hong Kong buyer promptly renamed it “The Blue Moon of Josephine”, Mr Bennett told reporters, noting that it had also set a world record for any jewel at more than $US4 million per carat.

At rival Christie’s on Tuesday, a large diamond of a rare pink hue fetched 28.725 million Swiss francs ($40.1 million).

Christie’s said that the stone, named “The Sweet Josephine” by the Hong Kong-based Chinese client who bought it, set a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction.  The same buyer was believed to have bought both star lots at the semi-annual sales in the Swiss city.

“For me the Blue Moon was always the blue diamond of my career,” Mr Bennett said. “I’ve never seen a more beautiful stone – its shape, colour and purity. It’s a magical stone.”

The previous record was held by the Graff Pink of 24.78 carats, sold by Sotheby’s for $US46.2 million in November 2010.

The blue diamond stone was found in South Africa’s famed Cullinan mine in January 2014. The seller was New York-based jeweller Cora International, according to Sotheby’s.

The distinctive blue colour in diamonds is attributed to trace amounts of the element boron in the crystal structure.

Royal jewels, coloured gemstones, and designer pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Harry Winston were among 410 lots that found new owners, bringing in $US139 million.

A fancy vivid purple-pink, pear-shaped diamond ring sold for 13.9 million Swiss francs($19.4 million), the second-highest lot of the night.

A 8.48 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring that belonged to the late Maria-Jose, the last Queen of Italy, was stranded at 5.2 million Swiss francs ($7.23 million), drawing gasps as it failed to meet its reserve price set by the seller.

A Cartier diamond and pearl tiara that survived Germany’s sinking of the Lusitania cruise liner 100 years ago, along with its Canadian owner Marguerite Lady Allan, whose two daughters perished, went for $US800,000 in heated bidding, doubling the low end of its estimate.

A 15.20 carat fancy orange-pink diamond pendant owned by former James Bond actor Sean Connery fetched more than 4 million Swiss francs ($5.58 million), tripling its estimate.

“Overall, it was an extraordinary evening,” Mr Bennett said.

Reuters

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Henry Sapiecha

Lucapa finds massive rare diamond

lucapa- huge -rough -white -diamond- image www.worldwidediamonds.info

Lucapa Diamond Company Limited has announced that it has recovered its largest diamond yet since alluvial mining commenced at the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola in January 2015.

On the Yehuda rough diamond colorimeter, the 90.32 carat gem is D colour and a Type 2A gem, one of the rarest categories of diamond in the world.

Lucapa also discovered a 63.05 carat Type 2A diamond in April 2015 and two Type 2A diamonds, weighing in at 131.4 and 95.45 carats, in January 2014. To date, the Lulo alluvial diamonds have averaged sale prices of $1,668 per carat, valuing Lucapa’s new find at over $150,000.

As well as the 90.32 carat gem, Lucapa and its partners have found a total of 31 special diamonds and 33 preliminary bulk sampling results from Mining Block 8 since mining commenced in August 2015.

Lucapa and its partners are conducting systematic pitting programs which aim to expand the Mining Block 8 alluvial diamond field.

Last month, Lucara Diamond recovered a 336 carat Type 2A diamond from its Karowe Mine in Botswana, following the find of another Type 2A 341.9 carat diamond in April 2015.

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Henry Sapiecha