A diamond is a girl's best friend. Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau recently purchased the world's most expensive 12.03-carat blue diamond for a staggering $48.4 million at a Sotheby's Geneva auction and named it the 'Blue Moon of Josephine'. Also in Geneva, Lau won the bidding for a 16.08-carat pink diamond at a Christie's auction for a whopping $28.5 million. He named this one 'Sweet Josephine'.
The auction houses did not disclose the name of the 'anonymous bidder' but the diamonds' new names revealed the true identity of the big spender. Real estate billionaire Lau has a history of naming gems after his daughters. The two diamonds are for his seven-year-old daughter Josephine.
The Blue Diamond is Sotheby's jewelry auction showpiece gem which is set in a ring. The jewel's original name is a play on a popular adage 'once in a blue moon'. Lau's purchase topped the previous sale of the Graff Pink diamond five years ago at $46.2 million. Lau's winning bid set the per carat cost of the Blue Diamond at $4 million.
"Tonight we set a new world record, a new auction record for any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, with the sale of the Blue Moon diamond. I have never seen a more beautiful stone. The shape, the color, the purity - it's a magical stone," said auctioneer David Bennett in Geneva.
In 2009, Lau paid $9.48 million for 7.03-carat blue diamond and dubbed it as the 'Star of Josephine'. In November, he bought a 9.75-carat diamond worth $32.6 million for his older daughter, the 13-year-old Zoe and named this gem, 'The Zoe Diamond'. Lucky Zoe also received a 10.10-carat brooch made of rubies and diamonds worth $8.43 million. Lau named the brooch, 'The Zoe Red'.
Lau's buying spree isn't just centered on jewelry. He is also an inexhaustible wine and art collector whose collection includes a $17.4-million worth Mao Zedong portrait by Andy Warhol. In real estate, he built the tallest retail complex in Hong Kong and dubbed it, The ONE. Rumors swirled that the complex was named after one of his ex-girlfriends.