Auctions

‘Oppenheimer Blue’ Sells for Record-Setting $57.5M

AuctionsMay 19, 2016

‘Oppenheimer Blue’ Sells for Record-Setting $57.5M

Sold Wednesday at Christie’s, the 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue diamond surpassed the Blue Moon to become the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.

With the hammer coming down at nearly $58 million, the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue surpassed the Blue Moon diamond to set a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction.

Geneva--The largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever seen at auction, the Oppenheimer Blue, now also is a record-setter.

The rectangular-cut, 14.62-carat stone sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva Wednesday, setting a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction. It surpassed the Blue Moon, the 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond that sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November.

The person who purchased the Oppenheimer Blue did so over the phone and their name was not released.

The stone’s listing price (what it sold for excluding fees) of approximately $51.2 million topped its highest pre-sale estimate, $45 million.

Bidding for the stone, which this reporter followed online Wednesday, started at $30 million Swiss francs (approximately $30.4 million) and crept up slowly, jumping up by the millions, then at times $500,000 and then even some $200,000 increments before the final hammer came down in Geneva.

With a clarity of VVS1, the Oppenheimer Blue is set in its original “Eight Blades” platinum mounting from Verdura.

This big blue diamond once was owned by someone who knew a lot about them.

Sir Philip Oppenheimer controlled the Diamond Syndicate in London and began working in the family business at De Beers London in 1934, where he sorted and valued diamonds.

Later, as head of the London-based Central Selling Organisation for more than 45 years and chairman of the Diamond Trading Company branch, he oversaw a diamond sales business set up by De Beers to control the global diamond supply.

The Oppenheimer Blue was highlight of the Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva Wednesday, which totaled $169.5 million.

In addition to the sale of the blue stone, the auction also featured the Superb Jewels from the collection of H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen, which sold 100 percent by lot for a total of $22.5 million.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

Recorded WebinarsMay 14, 2021
Watch: Dissecting the Vintage Watch Craze

Watchfinder & Co. US Country Manager Edouard Caumon talks the timepieces retaining value and current marketplace trends.

TrendsMay 14, 2021
Piece of the Week: Deirdre Featherstone’s Amber Drop Earrings

They’re perfect for welcoming “Springtime in New York.”

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

SourcingMay 13, 2021
Fura Gems Launches Membership-Based Marketing Program

The Fura Marketing Council will offer advertising materials, sales training, product promotion initiatives, business consulting, and more.

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
MajorsMay 13, 2021
Sotheby’s Opens ‘The Emporium’ Retail Store in New York

The company celebrated its debut by collaborating with beauty entrepreneur Gucci Westman for a special edit of luxury items.

TechnologyMay 13, 2021
Tacori Bridal Collection Heads to Brilliant Earth

The customization-friendly retailer will carry more than 20 of Tacori’s most popular bridal designs.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

CrimeMay 12, 2021
Customs Seizes $866K in Counterfeit Jewelry

It’s the latest of several recent seizures by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati.

×