In a private event in New York City, Sotheby’s Auction House has once again transcended expectations with the unveiling of an exquisite treasure that has left onlookers awestruck. The curtains were drawn back to reveal the resplendent beauty of ‘The Infinite Blue.’ It is an 11.28-carat radiant-cut Fancy Vivid Blue natural diamond that takes its place among the rarest and most valuable gems ever presented. The diamond is so special, in fact, that it will be offered in a stand-alone, single-lot live auction on 5 October 2023 and is estimated to sell for approximately US$ 26,000,000—37,000,000.
With an azure hue reminiscent of the boundless ocean, this magnificent gem holds within it the essence of rarity and intrigue that only a few can fathom. Blue diamonds are nature’s enigmatic masterpieces, a testament to the remarkable forces that shape our world. Their formation occurs deeper than most other diamonds at around 400 miles below the Earth’s surface, and their color comes from the trace element boron. These treasures, discovered so rarely, are a manifestation of the universe’s artistry.
The Infinite Blue’s carat weight of 11.28 has been cut intentionally to include the number 8, a symbol of prosperity deeply revered in Asia, where the diamond will be auctioned. The figure-eight, with its harmonious loops interconnecting seamlessly, also embodies the universal symbol of infinity – a gesture that elevates the Infinite Blue into a symbol higher than any mere object.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has graded The Infinite Blue the prestigious grade of Fancy Vivid Blue – the zenith of color grading for blue diamonds. A distinction reserved for a mere 1% of blue diamonds submitted for evaluation, this accolade further underscores the diamond’s unparalleled brilliance. To add to its mystique, the Infinite Blue belongs to the exclusive Type IIb category, a rarity that encompasses less than 0.5% of all diamonds.
This incredible diamond is from the Letlapa Tala Collection of rough diamonds (which translates to “blue rock” in Northern Sotho, the predominant language spoken in the Cullinan area of South Africa where they were discovered). Ranging from 25.75 carats to 9.61 carats in size, the rough blue diamonds in the Letlapa Tala Collection were unveiled by Petra Diamonds almost three years ago, shocking the world. The Infinite Blue is the cut and polished masterpiece that came from the largest of the rough. The famous Cullinan mine in South Africa has been one of Earth’s only sources of these blue wonders, but even there, such finds are as rare as they are magnificent. It shares lineage with illustrious predecessors like the Great Star of Africa, a 530-carat masterpiece that is the largest faceted colorless diamond in the world, and the captivating Blue Moon of Josephine, a 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond that captured hearts and records alike when it sold for US $48.5 million in 2015. More recently, The De Beers Blue, a 15.10 step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, the largest of its kind ever to appear at auction – sold for US$57.5 million in 2022.
Beyond its extraordinary color and size, the Infinite Blue’s cut sets it apart from most other natural blue diamonds. A cut-cornered rectangular mixed cut, marrying classic emerald cut outlines with the dazzling brilliance of kite-shaped facets, has been expertly executed to accentuate the diamond’s innate radiance. It is also expertly set in a gorgeous mounting, surrounded by a halo of natural pink diamonds, and further accented with a trapezoid cut diamond on each side.
To sum it up nicely, the GIA Monograph included with its grading certificate states: “To say the Infinite Blue is special cannot be overstated. The odds of finding a blue diamond is of the topmost rarity. This glorious and notable diamond is an example of what can occur when nature leads the way, and humankind embraces the earth’s treasures—producing a radiant gem of spirited light performance. The Infinite Blue will continue to stun gem connoisseurs and diamond lovers alike. In the world of gems, blue diamonds steal the show.”
In the world of auctions, records, and milestones are etched in stone, and the Infinite Blue is poised to leave an indelible mark. With only three Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds exceeding 10 carats from the Cullinan mine ever having graced auction halls, the Infinite Blue takes its place among the most illustrious of its kind, promising to be an exhilarating journey of bidders vying for a piece of history.