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New diamond world record set in Geneva auction

The Oppenheimer Blue has set a new $58.2m diamond world record



The Oppenheimer Blue, a spectacular 14.6 carat blue diamond, has set a new world record for a jewel at auction.

The stone realised $58.2m at Christie's Geneva on May 18, edging out the previous record of $48.6m, set by the Blue Moon of Josephine last year.

Oppenheimer blue christies
The Oppenheimer Blue is now the world's most valuable diamond

It had originally been valued at $46m, resulting in an increase on estimate of 26.5%.

It took 25 minutes of phone bidding to secure the diamond for an anonymous buyer.

The stone has long been one of the most coveted in the industry, having been personally selected by De Beers chairman Phillip Oppenheimer.

Blue diamonds are extraordinarily rare and have advanced dramatically in value in recent years.

Tom Moses, executive vice president at the Gemological Institute of America, explained to Bloomberg before the sale: "Achieving the strongest colors in traditional shapes, such as the 15-carat Oppenheimer Vivid Blue can only be achieved with a highly saturated intrinsic color of the rough diamond.

"This blue diamond's color and clarity, combined with its traditional cutting style and provenance, is truly exceptional."

The result follows the record-breaking sale of the Unique Pink, which became the most valuable pink diamond ever sold on May 17.  

However, the Oppenheimer Blue may not hold the record for long. The Lesedi La Rona, the world's largest rough diamond, is expected to make £48m ($70m) at Sotheby's in late June.

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Images: Christie's

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Last updated: 19 May 2016