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The Record Setting Sale of the Oppenheimer Blue

Last year, Sotheby’s auctioned the 12.03 carat “Blue Moon” diamond for a record setting $48.5 million. That record has already been smashed by the 14.62 carat “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond, which sold at auction for $57.5 million last May.
The emerald cut blue diamond gets its name from its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, the former head of De Beers’ Central Selling Organisation. When accounting for the diamond’s enormous price tag, François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Asia Pacific and China, probably put it best, saying “Philip Oppenheimer could have had any diamond in the world, and this is the one he chose. [. . .] It is the gem of gems.” According to Curiel, the Oppenheimer Blue’s sale price makes it the most expensive jewel, diamond, blue diamond, and colored diamond ever sold at auction.

If you want to split hairs though, the Blue Moon had a higher per carat sale price: $4.02 million vs. $3.9 million. Additionally, the Blue Moon has a clarity grade of IF (internally flawless) while the Oppenheimer Blue has a grade of VVS1 (Very, Very Slightly Included).

How long will this record hold? Only time will tell.


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