For the first time ever, a diamond of over 15 carats in weight will be auctioned. The stunning blue diamond weighs 15.10 carats. And to add to its rarity, Sotherby’s stated that this massive stone is the “largest internally flawless step-cut vivid blue diamond” the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. The GIA grading of “fancy vivid blue” is also the highest possible color grading. Which they have given to no more than 1% of blue diamonds.
They have yet to determine the exact date of the auction, but it will be taking place sometime during the stone’s Hong Kong Luxury Week in April 2022. Looking at the qualities of this 15.10-carat piece compared to that of previously auctioned diamonds, the auction house expects De Beers’ Cullinan Blue diamond to sell for more than $48 million.
To put its value into perspective, the previous record-holder for the largest blue diamond was the Oppenheimer Blue. With an astounding weight of 14.62 carats. This stone sold on auction for $57.5 million in May 2016. And the largest cut diamond ever to go on auction was the 555.55-carat Enigma, which sold for $4.3 million.
Found in Cullinan, Gauteng
This magnificent stone was found in April 2021 at the Premier mines in Cullinan, Gauteng. The same mine where Sir Thomas Cullinan found the massive 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond in 1905. Which is to date the largest, gem-quality, rough diamond ever recorded found. The mine has since been named the Cullinan mine as well. Hence this new blue diamond’s name, “The De Beers Cullinan Blue”.
Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said in a press statement, “Hundreds of millions of years in the making, this extraordinary blue diamond is surely one of nature’s finest creations. Now brought to dazzling life by the hand of one of the world’s most skillful cutters, it is the ultimate masterpiece, as rare and desirable as the very greatest works of art.”