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One buyer, 2 diamonds, $76.9 million
11 November 2015
You may not have heard of Josephine Lau, but the 7-year-old Chinese girl has just had two record-breaking diamonds named after her. On two consecutive days of Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions, her father, Chinese property tycoon Joseph Lau, purchased two of the world’s finest diamonds ever to have been auctioned.
On Tuesday 10th November, at Christie’s Geneva auction, Lau purchased a remarkeable 16.08ct vivid pink diamond for $28.5 million. The cushion shaped diamond, set in a ring with a double row of small round white diamonds, was expected to sell for between $23 - $28 million.
Graded by the GIA as a fancy vivid pink colour, Lau immediately renamed the diamond “Sweet Josephine” after his 7-year-old daughter. Christie’s spokesperson Alexandra Kinderman said the price was a record for a vivid pink diamond at an auction.
The following night, on Wednesday 11th November, rival auction house Sotheby’s auctioned the outstanding 12.03ct Blue Moon diamond, also in Geneva. Mined at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa, and purchased by Cora International, this flawless, fancy vivid blue diamond was expected to sell for between $35 - $55 million.
Lau wasted no time in adding to his diamond collection of Tuesday night when his bid of $48.4 million was the winning offer. Again, he immediately named the diamond after his daughter, calling it “The Blue Moon of Josephine”. According to David Bennet, Head of Sotheby’s International Jewellery division, the auction of the Blue Moon diamond broke several industry records, making the gemstone "the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction".
Over the two auctions, in a space of 24 hours, Lau spent a total of $76.9 million. That’s got to be a record investment by one individual.
Image credits: Left, Christies; Right, Sothebys.