The De Beers’ Cullinan blue diamond has been auctioned for HK$450.9 million (R911 million) at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
The 15.1 carat, fancy vivid blue diamond was sold Wednesday evening to an unnamed buyer. The step-cut gem, recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa, is the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at an auction. Bidders had pushed the price to HK$390 million, while auction premiums added the rest.
Records have been broken repeatedly in recent years for fancy coloured diamonds, which are rarer than colourless ones. Coloured diamonds come in many hues, but pink and blue are the most coveted. Blue diamonds are among the rarest and are found at levels four times deeper than most diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America.
In 2016, Christie’s in Geneva sold the Oppenheimer Blue for CHF56.8 million ($59 million). Sotheby’s sold a blue diamond for more than $4 million a carat in Geneva in 2015.