‘Blue Moon’ Gem Shatters Record for World’s Priciest Diamond at $48.5M

The "Blue Moon" is 12.03 carats, and now holds the world record of over $4 million per carat. (Photo: Sotheby's)

The 12.03 carat “Blue Moon” now holds the world record of just over $4 million per carat. (Photo: Sotheby’s)

A 12.03 carat cushion-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond dubbed “The Blue Moon” has just crushed the world auction record for any gemstone, selling for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva with the buyer’s premium.

The previous world record was set at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010 when the Graff Pink, a 24.68 carat step cut pink stone, sold for $46.2 million to English jeweler and Graff Diamonds founder Laurence Graff.

“The Blue Moon” sold to a Hong Kong private collector, who has swiftly renamed it “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” according to a Sotheby’s official.

Could the buyer be Stanley Ho, the wealthy Hong Kong-based business man and casino owner, Macau’s so-called “King of Gambling”? Mr. Ho just so happens to have a singer/actress daughter named Josephine, and has publicly bid at Sotheby’s in the past.

The house declined to comment on the buyer’s identity.

UPDATE: The buyer of the “Blue Moon” diamond—who also snapped up the 16.08 carat pink diamond that sold at Christie’s Tuesday evening for $28.5 million—was Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau, according to a report from the AP. Mr. Lau, a property developer, who coincidentally also happens to have a daughter named Josephine, was convicted of corruption by a Macau court last year. He spent a total of $77 million between both diamonds in Geneva this week, and has renamed the pink stone “Sweet Josephine.”

Sotheby's "Blue Moon" diamond sold for $48.5 million in Geneva on November 11, 2015. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Sotheby’s “Blue Moon” diamond sold for $48.5 million in Geneva on November 11, 2015. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

The incredibly rare gem was the cornerstone of the house’s annual Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, estimated between $34-54 million, and managed not only to break one impressive record today, but three: a record price per carat (once again, for any diamond) was set for $4.43 million. “The Blue Moon” is also the first diamond to clock in at a per carat price of over $4 million. And, since the diamond is mounted as a ring, it has also set a new world record for any jewel.

The sale totaled $139 million.

‘Blue Moon’ Gem Shatters Record for World’s Priciest Diamond at $48.5M