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The 12-carat, Internally Flawless, Fancy, Vivid Blue Moon Diamond. Copyright: Cora International. Photo by Tino Hammid.

The Blue Moon diamond weighing 12.03 carats and described by experts as internally flawless could sell for a record $55 million (47 million euros) when it goes up for auction in November, Sotheby’s said Thursday.

The Blue Moon diamond, discovered in South Africa in January last year, will be exhibited in Hong Kong, London and New York before its likely purchase at auction in Geneva on November 11.

“The Blue Moon diamond is a simply sensational stone of perfect colour and purity,” David Bennett, who heads Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said in a statement.

He added that the immense hype which followed the stone’s discovery “has now been proven to have been totally justified.”

The Gemological Institute of America previously declared the Blue Moon to be “internally flawless”.  The Blue Moon Diamond has been categorized as an extremely significant find – andone of the newest and rarest stones currently worldwide – due to its unique color, clarity, and size. Cut from a 29.6-carat rough, the internally flawless gem is fashioned in a cushion-cut shape at a noteworthy 12 carats. Diamonds with a strong saturated color represent only a tiny percentage of all natural diamonds – and only a minute percentage of all natural color diamonds are blue, making the Blue Moon Diamond exceptional. The stone was found in the Cullinan mine, northeast of Pretoria, South Africa, which is known for discovering some of the most recognized blue and other color diamonds in the world.

Categorised as a fancy vivid blue diamond, the Blue Moon is the largest cushion-shaped stone in that category to ever appear at auction. Sotheby’s put its estimated sale price between $35-$55 million which, at the higher end, would mark a record for any diamond sale. In November 2010, a 24.78 carats pink diamond — known as the Graff Pink — sold in Geneva for just over $46 million. The record sale for a blue diamond so far came in November last year, when a 9.75 carats fetched $32.6 million at an auction in New York.

 

The Blue Moon Diamond during scientific testing at the Smithsonian Institution. The equipment behind the diamond is a phosphorescence spectrometer. Copyright: NHM. Photo by Eloïse Gaillou.

 

 

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