Bonhams Sells Rare Blue Diamond For World Record $9.6 Million

Image via Bonhams

The Hope Diamond is envied by jewelry enthusiasts worldwide for its size, history and brilliant blue hue. The diamond found in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum is more than 45 carats and was once owned by King Louis XIV of France. When originally mined in India, it is thought to have once been as many as 112 carats when crudely cut. According to auctioneer Bonhams, blue diamonds—created when boron atoms mix with the carbon that comprises the diamond’s structure—make up less than 1 percent of all diamonds mined worldwide, and those exceeding five carats are extremely rare and highly sought-after in the market.

That theory rang especially true last month when a 5.3 caret blue diamond sold for an astounding $9.6 million—about $1.8 million per carat—at Bonhams. The cushion-shaped “fancy deep-blue” diamond is set in a “Trombino” ring made by Italian jeweler Bulgari—a company known for bejeweling Hollywood elite—sometime around 1965. “Fancy deep-blue,” describing the intensity of the color, is one of the rarest among diamonds.

The winning bid of $1.8 million per carat set a new world record, according to Bonhams, beating the previous blue diamond record of $1.68 million per carat. Of about 25 telephone bidders and a packed saleroom, London’s Graff Diamonds, an international dealer, came out the winner April 24.