The world’s largest blue diamond sold for $57.5 million at an auction. The 15.10-carat step-cut gem, named “The De Beers Cullinan Blue” diamond, was found in a mine in South Africa in 2021. Judges from the Gemological Institute of America gave the diamond the top-color grading of “fancy vivid blue,” which has been given to less than 1% of diamonds reviewed by the group.
The diamond was put up for auction at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, where it was expected to sell for $48 million. It is the first diamond larger than 15 carats to be sold at auction.
Sotheby’s said that four people bid against each other to own the historic gem. The winning bid was made over the phone by a private collector representing Wenhao Yu, Chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia.
The diamond narrowly missed setting the record for the most expensive gemstone sold at auction. That title is still owned by the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” diamond that $57,541,779 in 2016.