The Oppenheimer Blue, the largest and finest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever offered at auction, comes up at Christie’s in Geneva on May 18. Weighing 14.62 carats and named in honor of its previous owner Sir Philip Oppenheimer, it is estimated at US$38-45 million.
Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who began working at the family business at De Beers in 1934, controlled the Diamond Syndicate in London. He was head of the Central Selling Organisation for 45 years and served as chairman of the diamond trading company branch. He oversaw a diamond trade cartel set up by De Beers to keep strict control over diamond supply worldwide.
Today he is remembered as a master negotiator and the foremost architect of stability in the international diamond industry. The extreme scarcity of strongly coloured blue diamonds means that records continue to be broken each year. Last November a 12 carat fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva.
UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR US$57.5 MILLION
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for November 12, 2015)