Auction house Sotheby’s is well-known for auctioning off some of the rarest and most valuable items, be it a vintage car model, an antique art piece or jewellery that is almost priceless. Sotheby’s has also auctioned off some of the rarest gemstones unearthed or discovered around the world. Their latest auction is one such rarity: The De Beers Cullinan Blue.
An extraordinary 15.10-carat blue diamond, the De Beers Cullinan Blue was discovered at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa in 2021. Over the past year, the diamond had been worked on by De Beers partner Diacore, a company that specialises in cutting and polishing gemstones and diamonds.
Diacore polished the diamond transforming it into the now magnificent De Beers Cullinan Blue. After Diacore, the diamond was sent to the Gemological Institute of America, who studied the diamond and concluded that it was the largest internally flawless step-cut vivid blue diamond its lab had ever graded.
Wenhao Yu, Chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia, added: “The De Beers Cullinan Blue stands as a proud masterpiece that has been gifted from nature with the hues of the sky and sea, perfected through a step-cut that is bold, distinctive and masterful. Among the rarest of stones in what is arguably the most desirable of colours – powerful and vivid, but at the same time calm and majestic – it must surely rank among the greatest wonders of the natural world. It is literally irresistible.”
Blue diamonds are considered a miraculous occurrence in nature. These are created in the rare occurrence where trace amounts of the element boron are trapped within the diamond crystal lattice, resulting in the vibrant blue colour. While several blue diamonds have gone on auction before, none of them have surpassed 10 carats, making the De Beers Cullinan Blue the most valuable blue diamond ever.
Cullinan has yielded some of the world’s most famous diamonds, including the 530-carat Great Star of Africa, which is the largest faceted colourless diamond in the world, or the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, a 10.10 carat oval-shaped Fancy Vivid blue that sold for US$31.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2016.
Sotheby’s has a track record for selling off multi-million dollar blue diamonds. In November 2014, the house auctioned off a 9.75-carat diamond called The Zoe Diamond for USD 32,645,000. The latest blue diamond auction was The Farnese Blue which was a 6.16-carat dark grey-blue diamond. It was auctioned off for USD 6,713,837 May 2018.
The diamond being such a rarity garnered global interest and so the De Beers Group announced that the diamond would follow a global exhibit which started with New York, moving on to displays in London, Dubai, Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen and Taipei.
The vivid blue diamond will be a part of Sotheby’s Hong Kong Luxury Week sales and will be offered in a single lot auction in April 2022 for a starting bid of USD 48 Million.