Model with DeBeers Blue
Photo credit: Sotheby's

15 ct Vivid Blue Diamond Sells for $57.5 Million

An eight minute bidding war resulted in one of the highest prices ever paid for a diamond on Wednesday, when the 15.10 carat “DeBeers’ Blue” diamond sold in Hong Kong. Four participants kept raising the stakes until the gavel finally fell at $57.5 million, smashing the auction house’s pre-sale estimate of $48 million.

‘A Landmark Event’

An anonymous bidder ultimately won the diamond for $57,471,960. That’s 99.9% of the highest price ever paid for a blue diamond, the 14.62 carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” sold in 2016 for around $70K more, which Sotheby’s proclaims a “near-tie.”

Blue diamonds of this importance are exceptionally rare, with only five examples over 10 carats ever having come to auction, none of which have exceeded 15 carats, making the appearance of this flawless gem a landmark event in itself. – Sotheby’s

DeBeers Blue
Photo credit: Sotheby’s

‘A Work Of Art’

Blue is among the rarest color seen in natural diamonds. The world’s most famous blue is the 42.52 carat Hope Diamond, which happens to be the most visited item at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. In addition to its topmost fancy vivid blue designation, the 15.10 carat DeBeers’ Cullinan Blue has internally flawless clarity. This makes it “naturally perfect” in the eyes of many professionals and enthusiasts.

Sometimes we do compare these pieces to rare works of art, like a Botticelli or a Picasso. But think about the number of Picassos that may change hands in a given season, as opposed to something like this that comes along once in a decade, or once a lifetime. – Frank Everett, Sotheby’s New York

Frank Everett with DeBeers Blue
Photo credit: Sotheby’s

WATCH: Sotheby’s Video

‘Once In A Generation’

The De Beers Blue captivated me from the moment I laid eyes on it. With its powerful vivid color, and breathtakingly beautiful cut, it is truly a once-in-a-generation stone, and quite simply the greatest blue diamond of its size I have ever seen during my 31-year-career at Sotheby’s. – Patti Wong, Sotheby’s Asia

Holding DeBeers Blue
Photo credit: Sotheby’s

More GemBlog Coverage

Read about the Hope Diamond’s auspicious past in our prior post, 3 famous gemstone curses. Fate or fantasy?

See the Oppenheimer Blue, and six more historic blue diamonds in our prior post, Everybody loves the BLUES.

Learn more about the 15.10 carat Vivid Blue in prior coverage, Vivid Blue ‘Work of Art’ Valued at $48 Million.

15.10 carat Cullinan Blue Diamond
Photo credit: Sotheby’s

Angi Butler

Angi's first career was in diamond, gemstone and fashion jewelry sales. Now a corporate executive, she shares her advice and opinions on these pages.

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