The world’s largest blue diamond ever to come to auction has sold for $57.5 million.
Named The De Beers Cullinan Blue, the massive 15.10-carat step-cut gem sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong after an eight-minute bidding war.
The rare diamond was found in South Africa’s Cullinan mine in 2021, and it has attained the highest rankings that colored diamonds are judged by.
According to a statement from Sotheby’s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) categorized the jewel as “fancy vivid blue”. This top color grading is been awarded to less than than 1% of blue diamonds ever.
Describing the diamond as “exceptionally rare,” Sotheby’s said that only five gems over 10 carats have ever appeared at auction. None have ever been over 15 carats,
making the appearance of this flawless gem a landmark event in itself.”
With a final price of $57,471,960, The De Beers Cullinan Blue just narrowly missed setting the record for the most expensive blue diamond ever to sell at auction. That title is still held by the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which sold in 2016 for $57,541,779, a difference of less than $70,000.
Diamond prices have been boosted by sanctions on Russia, a major diamond producer, as well as the return of fancy in person events, like auctions, as pandemic restrictions unwind.
(Photos, Sotheby’s; via CNN)