Last week, during 3 days, Christie’s Auction House has experienced some record-setting sales of jewels, watches and wine in what may go down as one of the most successful auctions of the season.
On Wednesday 18th May 2016 at the ‘Magnificent Jewels Auction’ in Geneva the “Oppenheimer Blue Diamond,” a 14.62 carats Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond, was sold for $57.5 million (£40 million) becoming the most expensive diamond ever auctioned.
“The stone now belongs to a private collector, after a 25-minute battle between bidders on three continents,” the auction house said after the sale.
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond has been set in a ring and flanked by two smaller trapezoid-shaped diamonds achieving quite a simple look for such a precious gem (please see picture).
The Oppenheimer Blue has beaten the previous record held by the 12.03 carats “Blue Moon Diamond” sold by Sotheby’s last November 2015 for $48.5 million (£32 million) to Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau.
Did you know that the eccentric billionaire bought the Blue Moon Diamond for his seven year old daughter and renamed the stone “The Blue Moon of Josephine?” I am sure that you are planning to do exactly the same for your daughter’s next birthday!
Whilst Lau's currently on a diamond spending spree, he's got a while before he catches up with The Queen. In fact, the British Royal Family has the largest, most covetable collection of diamonds in the world. Personally, I do not think that he will never be able to match the wealth and prestigious collection of our beloved Queen.
The Oppenheimer Blue has a provenance that is like royalty of the diamond kingdom. It was once the property of the most influential and powerful diamond families the world has ever known, the Oppenheimer's.
The stone got its name from the late Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who long oversaw De Beers mining and had given the stone to his wife. This was the first time the stone has ever been up at auction.
In diamond-business "provenance" matters. Raymond Sancroft-Baker, Christie's Director of European Jewellery, said: “Oppenheimer had the pick of all diamonds over a 50-year period, and this is what he picked out for his wife."
Blue diamonds are arguably the rarest and most sought-after colour. No two gemstones are alike, especially when it comes to Fancy Color Diamonds. I believe that the powerful colour of the sea and the sky meet in these exceptional gems.
The vast majority of blue diamonds owe their color to the presence of boron. The strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a natural color diamond. The value of a natural color diamond increases with the intensity of the most prominent color within the diamond.
Only 10% of all blue diamonds discovered are larger than a carat, making the Oppenheimer Blue a highly prised freak of nature. Furthermore, it is classed as a 'Fancy Vivid' diamond - the term for a gem that has the strongest, most vivid colour of its type.
Of all the diamonds in the world, around 0.1% are blue - and of this meagre amount, only about 1% of these are classified as vivid blue. All of which helps explain why the Oppenheimer Blue is so valuable.
When I saw it for the first time, I immediately thought that - the colour together with the wonderfully elegant emerald cut shape - would have been a great blue diamond to invest in. The simplicity of the emerald cut highlights the fact that the stone did not need the help of additional faceting to enhance its colour, which only adds to its rarity.
I personally think that the colour is so deep and vivid that you could almost dive into it!
The latest auctions' sales show that despite the volatile financial markets and slower art market, rare diamonds have retained their shine among the rich.
The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond weights 14.62 carats and it has been nicknamed ‘the gem of gems.’ To put this into perspective, your average engagement ring in the UK is around 0.50 carat ( ½ a carat).
Let's get inspired and enchanted by this amazing and beautiful work of art, in this case, Nature's work of art ... Diamonds!
NB: All images are borrowed from different media and internet sites.