"Blue Moon Diamond" sells for world record $48.4 million: Sotheby's

Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:58pm EST
 
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By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - The rare and flawless "Blue Moon Diamond" sold for 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.4 million) to a Hong Kong buyer on Wednesday, 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 $35 million to $55 million.

"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", Bennett told reporters, noting that it had also set a world record for any jewel at more than $4 million per carat.

At rival Christie's on Tuesday, a large diamond of a rare pink hue fetched 28.725 million Swiss francs ($28.55 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.

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A model poses with a 12.03 carats cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond mounted on a ring at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Switzerland in this November 4, 2015 file photo.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY