The Oppenheimer Blue is up for grabs, but do put this wallet back in your pocket where it belongs: the ‘latest’ biggest blue diamond in the world, set to auction in May 2016, has a US$45 million price tag.
Anything Blue review – Who has the biggest blue diamond in the world this year?
Every year, either Christie’s or Sotheby’s breaks a new world record for selling ‘the biggest blue diamond in the world’.
In spite of a global Gem Market on the decline in 2016, it looks like the top market is consistent and the demand for coloured gems is increasing, pushed by the Asian audience.
It’s a market full of surprises: a 9.5 carat blue diamond previously owned by Shirley Temple was expected to reach between US$35 and US$45 million at a Sotheby’s sale in New York on April 19, 2016 (read Associated Press, Page 6). Instead, it didn’t find any buyer!
It bodes well for the biggest diamond in the world, the Oppenheimer Blue, scheduled for auction in Geneva a month later on May 18, 2016 by Christie’s.
Previously owned by Sir Philip Oppenheimer, whose family controlled the De Beers company, the gem was ‘only’ estimated at US$45 million to save some excitement for an even high price.
At 14.62 carat, it is 2 carats larger than the 2015 world record selling price of US$48.5 million – when a Hong Kong billionaire bought a 12 carat fancy blue diamond for his daughter. The previous world record price reached $1,799,953 per carat in May 2014 during the Magnificent Jewels sale organized by Christie’s for The Winston Blue, a 13.22 carat fancy vivid blue diamond that once belonged to Harry Winston.
How far can this go? Well, maybe until we find a gemstone to sell that is bigger than The Hope, the actual biggest blue diamond in the world currently exposed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Also known as The King’s Jewel for it once belonged to Louis the 14th, the famous deep-blue diamond weights north of 45 carats.
How likely is it to happen? Unlikely: not only less than 0.0001% of all the diamonds in the world are blue (that’s 1 out of 10,000), but colour quality matters too.
“Achieving the strongest colors in traditional shapes, such as the 15-carat Oppenheimer Vivid Blue can only be achieved with a highly saturated intrinsic color of the rough diamond,” said Tom Moses, the executive vice president of the Gemological Institute of America, in a statement. “This blue diamond’s color and clarity, combined with its traditional cutting style and provenance, is truly exceptional.”
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