An internally flawless, vivid blue diamond of 10.10-carat has smashed the auction records after setting a new Asia auction price record. On Tuesday the blue colored “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4” sold for $31.8 million (HKD 248.3 million) at Sotheby’s. This diamond price is the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction in Asia, therefore setting a record.
An anonymous telephone bidder in the last minutes of the auction purchased the highly rare oval cut blue diamond. According to David Bennett (Sotheby’s worldwide chairman of the international jewelry division) very few gemstones have ever been sold for more than that price, and it’s setting the record in Asia for a gemstone in auction. In addition, he added that the economic downturn in China has not yet had immediate impact on the Asian jewelry market.
The blue diamond is one of the 12 in the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection that was mined in South Africa. This jewel 4 from the collection is the only oval shaped stone among the other 12 rare diamonds – eleven blue and one colorless. In total, the auctioneer’s Sotheby’s sold $73.3 million worth of jewels. Where of course this blue diamond had a great part in but the 22.40-carat, D color, internally flawless diamond ring of $3.7 million and four other items of more than $2 million also played a role.
While it smashed record prices in Asia (previous auction record for a jewel in Asia $30.6 million for an oval-shaped diamond of 118.28 carat, D-color and flawless), it is not the world auction record price, which was set by a 12.03 cushion shaped internally flawless vivid blue diamond that fetched $48.5 million USD.
While this sale was amazing the industry is already looking forward to the two upcoming sales of:
• The 14.62 carat ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ diamond in Geneva on May 18. Which is estimated to be sold at $38 million to $45 million by Christie’s
• The 9.54-carat fancy deep blue diamond with VVS2 clarity which once belonged to entertainer and diplomat Shirley Temple. Which is estimated to be sold at $25 million to $35 million at the Sotheby’s auction in New York on April 19
Amazing, how this slightly larger than an almond oval blue diamond can be made so perfect by nature.