Christie’s will offer the largest fancy vivid-blue diamond ever to be put up for auction, marking the latest in a string of large colored diamonds coming up for sale.
The 14.62-carat ‘Oppenheimer Blue’ (pictured) will lead Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on May 18, with an estimated value of $38 million to $45 million, according to a Christie’s statement March 31. The precious stone is named after its previous owner Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who was the chairman of the Diamond Trading Company from 1975 until his death in 1995.
If the diamond price hits its upper estimate, the sale would come close to a world record of $48.5 million set by the 12.03-carat Blue Moon in Geneva at a Sotheby’s auction in November. Christie’s last auction of jewels in the Swiss city also saw the sale of a large, colored diamond of 16.08 carats fetch $28.6 million (CHF 28.7 million).
A study by the Gemological Institute of America found that of 462 blue diamonds, only 1 percent were fancy vivid, Christie’s said.
The news comes after Sotheby’s said it would auction a 9.54-carat blue diamond from the collection of late entertainer and diplomat Shirley Temple for an estimated $25 million to $35 million at its Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on April 19. The auctioneer has also put a $30 million to $35 million estimate on the 10.10-carat ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4,’ which will be up for auction at the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale in Hong Kong on April 5..