Art And Culture

Rare 12-Carat Blue Diamond May Fetch $55m

Rare 12-Carat Blue Diamond May Fetch $55mRare 12-Carat Blue Diamond May Fetch $55m

Weighing 12.03 carats, a blue diamond termed internally flawless by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), discovered in South Africa in January, could sell for a record $55 million at Sotheby’s this fall.

Dubbed the Blue Moon diamond, the stone will tour Hong Kong, London and New York before hitting the auction block in Geneva on November 11.

“The diamond is a simply sensational stone of perfect color and purity,” David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewelry division, said in a statement.

Blue Moon is the largest cushion-shaped stone graded as a fancy vivid blue diamond to ever appear at auction. The GIA Monograph notes the singularity of the gem’s spectacular blue, which “could be indescribable to even the most experienced diamantaire or color theorist; some, however, liken it to the ocean.”

If the higher end of the $35-$55 million estimate is achieved, the Blue Moon would be a diamond record-setter. But it would need to outperform the Graff Pink sold in November 2010. That 24.78 carats pink diamond brought just over $46 million.

In November 2014, a 9.75 carat blue diamond fetched $32.6 million at auction, setting the current record for the category.

Diamond specialists Cora International bought the uncut Blue Moon last year for a reported $26 million. “The fact that you could buy it rough, plan it and cut it is special,” said Suzette Gomes, CEO of Cora International to Forbes. “This is a billion years old and it’s going to be here long after we’re gone. That’s the beauty of diamonds.”

Blue diamonds are among the rarest gems in the world. But all blues are not created equal and even in this rarified category a few stand out.

The Blue Moon diamond will make its first and likely only public appearance at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles county in an exhibition from September 13 to January 6.

What separates this diamond from so many of its peers is its color saturation and shade, its clarity and its size, reports

The diamond was produced from a 29.62-carat rough diamond unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa. The fact that the origin of the diamond is known makes this special as well, Gomes said.

“A lot of time with diamonds you don’t know what the origin is,” she said. “Someone has a one-carat vivid blue that their grandmother had and nobody knows where it came from.”