Largest ever blue diamond to be auctioned – Oppenheimer Blue
Not to be outdone by Sotheby’s two amazing blue diamonds being auctioned in April, Christie’s has just announced that it will be auctioning off the largest ever blue diamond to ever go up for auction at its Geneva auction house in May.
It was surprising news that Sotheby’s was able to obtain two such high quality diamonds for its April auctions while Christie’s April headliner was a large ruby. Skeptics have now been assuaged that Christie’s had an even bigger plan in the works that is likely to make serious waves in the auction world.
The Oppenheimer Blue
Christie’s will be auctioning the Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62 carat emerald cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond that was once owned by Sir Phillip Oppenheimer, of the famous family that runs Anglo American plc and has controlled De Beers since 1926.
According to Christie’s, as Oppenheimer had access to the most incredible diamonds in the entire world, the fact that he chose this diamond to personally own attests to its beauty, desirability and rarity.
Blue diamonds are just like regular, colorless diamonds with which the world is mostly familiar. A diamond is formed when carbon atoms form a repeating geometric structure and subsequently the carbon molecules crystallize.
Shades of Blue
Blue does not appear in all blue diamonds in the same way, as the boron is not incorporated to the same extent every time it appears. Thus, some diamonds exhibit the blue more strongly, such as in Fancy Vivid Blue and Fancy Intense Blue diamonds, and some wore weakly, such as Fancy Light Blue and Fancy Blue. The Oppenheimer Blue’s amazing shade is a testament to the beauty of the natural process that results in diamonds of color.
Christie’s Oppenheimer Blue is just one of a number of historic blue diamonds which they have sold, including a blue diamond ring owned by Marie Antoinette in 1983, the Tereshchenko diamond in 1984, the Wittelsbach Blue in 2008 and the Begum Blue in 1995. However, the Oppenheimer Blue stands out in this case because it is a pure Fancy Vivid Blue with no overtones, and the highest intensity possible.
The diamond is expected to break the blue diamond records that have been set in recent months. Beginning with the Zoe diamond in 2014, blue diamonds have become in such high demand that the amount of money that buyers are willing to pay for them has increased in kind. When the 9.75 carat Fancy Vivid Blue pear shaped ‘Zoe’ diamond was sold, it became the highest price per carat for a diamond ever sold at auction and the highest price for a blue diamond ever sold. These records were subsequently beaten in November of 2015 when the ‘Blue Moon of Josephine’ diamond went under the hammer. It sold for $48.5 million, and the 12.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue ‘Blue Moon of Josephine’ became the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction and the highest price per carat ever paid for a diamond at auction.
Given the state of the diamond auction market, and how blue diamonds are in such high demand but with so little supply, it is not unlikely for the records of the Blue Moon of Josephine to be beaten. If this is the case, the Oppenheimer Blue would have to sell for greater than $48.5 million, or greater than $4.04 million per carat. Keep in mind that it is also a 14.62 carat diamond, making it bigger than the Blue Moon’s 12.03 carats. We can’t wait to see how high the Oppenheimer Blue will set the bar!
What do you think? Will the Oppenheimer Blue break the record set by the Blue Moon of Josephine? Tell us in the comments!
Images courtesy of Christie's.