A 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue diamond set a new jewel auction sale record and now has a new master. The rare jewel just became the most expensive diamond to be sold at an auction to date.
On May 17, the Oppenheimer Blue was sold at a Christie's auction in Switzerland for a jaw-dropping sale price of $57,541,779.
The name and location of the winning bidder were not released; however, a majority of the top bidders were private investors from three continents.
"Set with a fancy vivid blue rectangular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 14.62 carats, flanked on either side by a trapeze-shaped diamond. Also accompanied by the original 'Eight Blades' mounting from Verdura, ring size 6, mounted in platinum," Christie's wrote in the item description.
The Oppenheimer Blue was named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer who hails from the opulent De Beers family. The De Beers operate the De Beers Group of Companies, a diamond mining and trading company.
"Exemplifying the continued global demand for the highest quality stones, the Oppenheimer Blue makes history as the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction," wrote Christie's in a press release.
A previous appraisal set the Oppenheimer Blue with a tag price somewhere between $38 and $45 million but the actual sale price exceeded the expectations by more than $10 million.
The Christie's event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. Apart from setting a new record for the actual sale price for an auctioned jewel, the Oppenheimer Blue also became the biggest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond sold at an auction.
The history-making Oppenheimer Blue sale beat the previous record of $50 million spent by Joseph Lau for the sale of the Blue Moon of Josephine at Sotheby's in November last year.
This June, another diamond will go under the hammer. The 1,100-carat Lesedi la Rona is a massive, rough diamond as big as a baseball and it will be auctioned off at Sotheby's in London on June 29.
This other rare find is expected to fetch more than $70 million in the June auction, beating the recent Oppenheimer Blue sale. The Lesedi la Rona diamond was discovered last year at the Karowe mine in Botswana, South Africa.