15-Carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Sells for $57.5M

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Original article found here in National Jeweler Magazine

The third most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, the “De Beers Blue” just missed breaking the blue diamond record.

Hong Kong—The “De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond” is off the market.
 
In a single-lot sale at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 27, the 15.10-carat step-cut fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $57.5 million, soaring past its pre-sale estimate of $48 million. 
 
With an exact sale price of $57,471,960, it just missed stealing the auction record for a blue diamond from the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold for $57,541,779 in 2016.
 
It is now the third most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, behind “The Pink Star,” sold for $71.2 million in 2017, also at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, and The Oppenheimer Blue.
 
The De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond, or “De Beers Blue” for short, was discovered at the famed Cullinan Mine in South Africa in 2021.
 
Petra Diamonds recovered the 39.34-carat rough diamond then sold it to De Beers Group and manufacturer Diacore International for $40.2 million. 
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver said in a press release, “A tremendous result, this diamond ranks as one of the best De Beers has ever seen, and we are incredibly proud to join forces with Sotheby’s to share this defining moment in history.”  
Sotheby’s said the De Beers Blue is the largest vivid blue diamond to ever appear at auction. GIA also commented on its rarity, noting it is the largest internally flawless step-cut vivid blue diamond it’s ever graded. 
 
“The De Beers Blue captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on it,” said Sotheby’s Asia Chairman Patti Wong.
"With its powerful vivid color, and breathtakingly beautiful cut, it is truly a once-in-a-generation stone, and quite simply the greatest blue diamond of its size I have ever seen during my 31-year-career at Sotheby’s. [The auction] result is a clear confirmation of the growing appreciation, and awareness of the great scarcity of blue diamonds around the world.”
 
The stone reached its hammer price after eight minutes of back-and-forth bidding among four parties.
 
An anonymous phone bidder placed the winning bid. 
 
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