Sotheby’s: Hong Kong Billionaire Pays Record $48 Million for 12.03-Carat Blue Moon Diamond
HONG KONG (AP) — A Hong Kong billionaire tycoon that has been convicted of corruption paid a total of $77 million for his daughter at auctions in Geneva for two big and rare coloured diamonds, his office said.
Sotheby’s, which held both auctions, said the buyer quickly renamed the pricier stone “The Blue Moon of Josephine” as well as the pink diamond “Sweet Josephine.”
“Yes, both diamonds are purchased by Joseph Lau,” said the spokeswoman, who added they were named after Lau’s 7-year old daughter.
The blue diamond was the showpiece stone at the Sotheby’s jewelry auction and was said to be one of the largest known elaborate bright blue diamonds.
The diamond additionally set a fresh record of over $4 million per carat, limiting the daylong high end jewelry sale that reaped.
Lau, a property developer using a fortune estimated by Forbes at $9.9 billion, has a habit of snapping up high-priced gems for his kids.
Last November, Lau also purchased two gems for another daughter, 13-year old Zoe, his spokeswoman said. One named that one “Zoe Red.”
Lau was convicted by a Macau court of money laundering and bribery and sentenced to over five years in penitentiary. But Lau, who did not attend the trial, has stayed free by preventing journey to the former Portuguese colony, which does not have an extradition treaty with Hong Kong that was nearby. Both cities are particularly managed areas that are Chinese.
“Tonight we establish a brand new world record, a brand new auction record for virtually any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, together with the deal of the Blue Moon diamond,” said auctioneer David Bennett in Geneva. He set the cost as $48,468,158. “Never have I seen a more lovely jewel. The shape, the colour, the purity — it is a charming rock.”
Sotheby’s says specialists took five months for an “extreme study” of the authentic Blue Moon diamond, as well as a master cutter took another three months to craft, cut and polish the jewel. The auction house said in a video the Cullinan mine was the “only trustworthy source on the planet for blue diamonds,” and just a tiny portion of these found in it include even a hint of azure.
Azure diamonds are formed when boron is combined with carbon when the stone is made.