November 11, 2015 / 9:15 PM / in 2 years

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

GENEVA, Nov 11 (Reuters) - The extremely 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-$55 million.

"It is a new record price for any gemstone and per carat," David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's international jewellery division who conducted the sale in Geneva, told a packed showroom that erupted into applause. ($1 = 1.0043 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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