Today, Sotheby’s auction house officially sold the incredible De Beers Blue Diamond, a fancy vivid blue diamond that is the largest of its kind to ever appear at auction, for a whopping $57 million, more than 20% more than its estimated value.
Weighing in at 15.10 carats, the De Beers Blue Diamond was estimated to sell at $48 million and was recently cut from an exceptional rough stone discovered in April 2021. Cut with step facets, it is the largest internally flawless step-cut vivid blue diamond that GIA has ever graded.
Only five 10 carat blue diamonds have ever come to auction before, and none have ever been as big as this one. It has been graded Fancy Vivid Blue by GIA–the highest possible color grading possible, given to less than 1% of all blue diamonds submitted.
It also boasts exceptional clarity and polish, having been given an ‘Internally Flawless’ grading and categorized as a Type IIb by GIA, a rare category that represents less than 0.5 % of all diamonds.
Making this blue diamond even rarer is its step-cut facets, a style mostly found in white diamonds. According to the GIA Monograph, “achieving a Fancy Vivid color grade in a step cut or emerald cut adds to the rarity since most other fancy shapes intensify the body color more efficiently in the face-up position than step cuts.” Meaning, most colored diamonds are cut with radiant facets, to make their color even more vivid. To achieve a Fancy Vivid grade with a step-cut or emerald cut, the inherent body-color has to be stronger than virtually every other fancy shape.”
Blue diamonds are some of the rarest colored diamonds in the world, with their hue coming from the presence of trace amounts of the rare element boron within the diamond crystal lattice. Additionally, there are very few blue diamond sources in the world, most of which are recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.
“Brought to dazzling life by the hand of one of the world’s most skillful cutters, it is the ultimate masterpiece,” said Patti Wong, Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia. “Hundreds of millions of years in the making, this extraordinary blue diamond is surely one of nature’s finest creations.” We couldn’t agree more.
“This diamond ranks as one of the best De Beers has ever seen,” commented Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group. “It is extremely rare and unique, and as the “Home of Diamonds,” De Beers is pleased to join together with Sotheby’s to bring this diamond to the world.”