The “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond has sold for more than $57 million (56.8 million Swiss francs) including fees, crushing the previous record for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction.
The 14.62-carats gem, auctioned at Christie’s in Geneva Wednesday, was originally expected to fetch up to $46 million. The stone now belongs to a private collector after a 25-minute battle between bidders on three continents, the auction house said after the sale.
The gem, the largest-ever blue diamond that has been auctioned, is named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer, whose family controlled De Beers for 80 years before selling out.
The rectangular-cut diamond has been set in a ring and flanked by two smaller trapezoid-shaped diamonds.
Only 10% of all blue diamonds discovered are larger than a carat, making the Oppenheimer Blue a highly prized freak of nature. It also has the highest color rating of “vivid.”
The 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” diamond, sold by Sotheby’s in November for $48.5 million, previously held the title of the priciest diamond sold at auction. The gem is now known as “The Blue Moon of Josephine.”