Rare vivid blue diamond goes on auction in Geneva

Mon May 16, 2016 1:28pm EDT
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GENEVA - The ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ is one of the rarest diamonds available on the market and the largest ever blue diamond to ever be offered on a public sale that will go under the hammer in Christie's semi-annual auction in Geneva in one-week time. 

Estimated between $38-45 million, the rectangular-cut diamond weighs 14.62 carats, and has been graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as "fancy vivid blue", meaning its blue color ranges from medium to dark in tone, and from strong to very strong in saturation, without the presence of any other tint, like gray for instance which is commonly observed in blue diamonds.

"This diamond is all the more rare than in nature only 0.5% of all diamonds extracted do present a blue color. And just one percent of this 0.5% will produce diamonds qualified as "fancy vivid blue", that is bright blue." Christie's specialist Jean-Marc Lunel explained. 

Along with this rare blue diamond, a pair of fancy vivid orange-yellow 12.20 and 11.96 carat earrings, estimated between $9,759,910 and $12,842,000 will go under the hammer among 280 lots.

(Corrects fourth paragraph to say the second set of earrings is 11.96 carats, not 1.96 carats)