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Blue Moon Diamond Breaks World Record With $48.5 Million Sale

Image: Blue Moon Diamond Breaks World Record With $48.5 Million Sale
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By    |   Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 01:23 PM

The Blue Moon diamond, a 12.03-carat gem graded Fancy Vivid Blue, sold at auction Wednesday night for a record-setting $48.5 million to a Hong Kong billionaire who has previously been convicted of corruption.

According to The Associated Press, a spokesperson for Joseph Lau confirmed that he purchased the Blue Moon diamond as well as a 16.08-carat vivid pink diamond for $28.5 million.

Lau renamed the gems "The Blue Moon of Josephine" and "Sweet Josephine" in honor of his 7-year-old daughter.

Auction house Sotheby's said the blue diamond was named for its rarity, a reference to the expression "once in a blue moon." It beat the previous record sales price of any gem worldwide that was set by the Graff Pink diamond, which sold five years ago for $46.2 million.

"Tonight we set a new world record, a new auction record for any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, with the sale of the Blue Moon diamond," said auctioneer David Bennett in Geneva.

Before it was given a cushion-cut, Blue Moon weighed 29.62 carats. After spending six months being cut, it measures 0.61 inches by 0.53 inches.

It was unearthed in January 2014 by Petra Diamonds at South Africa's Cullinan Mine.

CBS News reported that Lau is a property developer with a fortune estimated at $9.9 billion. At a previous auction in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2009, he purchased a 7.03-carat blue diamond for $9.5 million, naming it "The Star of Josephine."

Lau's 13-year-old daughter, Zoe, has a 9.75-carat blue diamond named after her which was purchased for $33 million. "Zoe Red," a 10.1-carat ruby and diamond brooch, was purchased for $8.4 million.

Last year, Lau was convicted of bribery and money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Macau. Lau did not attend the trial and has avoided imprisonment by avoiding travel to the specially administered Chinese region.

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The Blue Moon diamond, a 12.03-carat gem graded Fancy Vivid Blue, sold at auction Wednesday night for a record-setting $48.5 million to a Hong Kong billionaire who has previously been convicted of corruption.
blue moon, diamond, sold, auction
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2015-23-12
Thursday, 12 Nov 2015 01:23 PM
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