expensive diamond-world record set by Sotheby
[Oct 8]HONG KONG,China--One of the rarest gems in the world, a flawless
blue diamond, has sold for US$7.98 million (3.91 million pounds)
at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong, making it the most expensive
gemstone in the world, per carat, sold at auction.
After intense bidding, the 6.04 carat, internally flawless
blue diamond fetched $HK61.9 million (3.91 million pounds), or US$1.32
million per carat. PHOTO: AFP
The price smashed a 20-year-old record held by the
"Hancock Red" -- a red diamond, which fetched US$926,000 per carat
at the time, Sotheby's said.
Reuters reported the buyer was Moussaieff Jewellers
in London, which has a reputation for acquiring extremely rare and
costly gemstones. The seller was a private Asian collector.
The previous record was held by a 0.9 carat red
diamond, known as the Hancock Red, sold in New York in 1987 for
$912,832 per carat, or a total of $867,580.
While not a large stone, the Sotheby's diamond
has an esteemed cut and "fancy vivid blue" hue, factors which contributed
to its blockbuster price -- roughly 10 times the per-carat price
of regular white diamonds.
Blue diamonds have long captivated the rich and
powerful -- shimmering with a certain dark mystique. The famous
"Hope Diamond", a 45.52 carat grey-blue beauty, was passed down
through the ages by King Louis XIV of France, Marie Antoinette and
American heiress Evalyn Walsh McClean among others. It now rests
in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. The Sultan of Brunei
reportedly bought another massive "blue" which surfaced briefly
in the 1980s.
The blue hue is a result of trace amounts of boron in the stone's
Other coloured diamonds with pink and red hues can
be mined in multiple locations across the globe including Brazil,
India and Australia, but "blues" are mostly found at just one site
on earth -- the Premier Mine in South Africa.