Hong Kong buyer acquires Blue Moon for $48.4 million, world record price for gemstone at auction
GENEVA, November 12, 2015 – The Blue Moon, an extremely rare and flawless 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, was sold at Sotheby’s Geneva to a Hong Kong buyer for a world record price for a gemstone at auction of $48.4 million.
In an exhilarating two-way bidding war at the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva on November 11, the audience gasped as the bids moved ever higher into world record territory, and a loud round of applause in the packed hall followed when the hammer came down on the sale to the Hong Kong buyer.
The previous record belonged to the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold for $46.20 million in November 2010.
The Blue Moon, later renamed the “Blue Moon of Josephine” by the Hong Kong buyer, set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat.
The previous day, a Chinese client based in Hong Kong bought an extraordinary 16.08-carat Vivid Fancy pink diamond at a Christie’s auction in Geneva for $28.55 million, above the estimate. This was a world record for any pink diamond ever offered at auction.
Diamond dealers had said that they believed that the cushion-shaped Blue Moon would likely be sold at its estimated price of $35-55 million, or higher, because it is seldom that diamonds of such rarity and high quality come to the market.
Previously, the highest price paid for any blue diamond sold at auction was $32.6 million for the Zoe Diamond in November 2014.
As a store of value, the world’s most magnificent and collectable diamonds and gemstones have proven to be bulletproof investments in recent years, achieving world record prices per carat at auction.
After the sale, Ehud Laniado, chairman of New York-based jeweller Cora International LLC, the seller of the stone, said: “The Blue Moon diamond is a true gift of nature. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has graded 400 blue diamonds and only four have been graded vivid blue.
“So even amongst this extremely rare class of blue diamonds, to find one Vivid Blue diamond which is over 12 carats and internally flawless, really only happens once in a blue moon.”