The world’s largest blue diamond has been auctioned for 450,925,000 Hong Kong dollars, or $57.5 million.
The massive 15.10-carat stepped-cut gemstone named “The De Beers Cullinan Blue” has been sold at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong after an eight-minute bidding war between four optimistic buyers, according to Sotheby’s. The winning bid, which exceeded its soaring estimate of $48 million, came from Anonymous buyer over the phone.
According to a statement from Sotheby’s, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) classified the gem as “brilliant bright blue” – the highest grade of color, awarded for no more than 1% of blue diamonds submitted to the organization.
Sotheby’s statement described the diamonds as “extremely rare” and added that only five gemstones over 10 carats appeared at auction. None of them have ever weighed more than 15 carats, “making this gem’s flawless look an historic event in itself.”
With a final price of $57,471,960, The De Beers Cullinan Blue narrowly missed the record for the most expensive blue diamond ever to be auctioned. That title still belongs to the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which sold in 2016 for a final price of $57.541.779, a difference of just under $70,000.
“Truly a once-in-a-generation stone, it is quite simply the greatest blue diamond of its size I have ever seen,” said Patti Wong, Sotheby’s Asia Chairman, in a statement.