Business & Economy

Sotheby’s to auction blue diamond valued at $48 mn

New York, Feb 16 (EFE).- Sotheby’s on Wednesday presented one of the world’s most valuable blue diamonds ever to be put up for auction, priced at $48 million and which will go to the highest bidder at an event in Hong Kong in April.

The “De Beers Cullinan Blue” – weighing 15.10 carats – was recently cut and polished to prepare it for auction after having been discovered in the Cullinan mine in South Africa in April 2021, and the auction house says that the precious stone is internally flawless without any of the so-called “inclusions” that subtract from a gemstone’s value.

According to Sotheby’s, the deep blue stone has been evaluated by the Gemological Institute of America. It was cut from a larger raw diamond weighing almost 40 carats.

Only five other blue diamonds of more than 10 carats have ever been auctioned and none of them exceeded the 15 carats of this specimen.

So, the auction house will sell the stone at a unique and exclusive event and expectations are that the ultimate sales price will rival important works of art such as a recent Botticelli – “The Man of Sorrows” – a work depicting Christ crowned with thorns that sold for $45.4 million last January in New York.

“Blue diamonds of any kind are rare on the market, but this is the rarest of the rare; nothing of remotely similar caliber has appeared at auction in recent years,” said Patti Wong, the head of Sotheby’s Asia, adding that the stone is among the best creations of nature.

Sotheby’s also emphasized that in May 2016 another blue diamond – the “Oppenheimer Blue” weighing 14.62 carats – sold at auction for $57.5 million, the record price for a gemstone of this kind, but the current thinking is that the “De Beers Cullinan Blue” could easily surpass the $48 million where experts have pegged its value.

This stone has been classified by the GIA as a “vivid blue” diamond, the highest color grade that this kind of gem can receive and at which only 1 percent of such stones are graded.

Blue diamonds get their hue from minute amounts of boron within the diamond crystal lattice.

EFE hc/fjo/cg/bp

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