On Wednesday, a Hong Kong billionaire bought the extremely rare and ultra-pricey “Blue Moon” diamond for a whopping $48.4 million at a Geneva auction, making it the world’s most expensive diamond ever purchased.
Turns out, that when you pay that much for something you also get to rename it, so the buyer chose to call his newest rock “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” after his 7-year-old daughter.
The flawless 12.03-carat blue diamond has been described as one of the rarest gems in the world. It was whittled down from a 29.6-carat blue diamond discovered in South Africa last year, placed on a ring and now will be worn on special occasions by a primary school kid.
The record-breaking sale took place at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva. Auctioneer David Bennett said that it sold for more than $4 million per cart, the highest price per carat ever obtained for any kind of stone, the BBC reports.
Initially, the proud new owner was described only as a “Hong Kong buyer,” but it turns out that he wasn’t too difficult to track down. The buyer has been confirmed as Joseph Lau, majority owner of property firm Chinese Estates Holdings and the 114th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, with a net worth of more than $10 billion.
Turns out that buying ultra-expensive jewels for his two daughters, 7-year-old Josephine and 13-year-old Zoe, is kinda Lau’s thing.
Only a day before at a Christie’s auction in Geneva, an “anoymous bidder” snatched up a 16.08-carat pink diamond for $28.5 million, dubbing it “Sweet Josephine.”
According to CNN, in 2009, Lau purchased a 7.03-carat blue diamond for $9.48 million, naming it the “Star of Josephine.” She’s never going to need to wear that cheap piece of garbage ever again.
In case you are worried about him playing favorites, last November, Zoe received a 9.75-carat blue diamond, bought by her father for $32.6 million and creatively named “The Zoe Diamond,” along with a Burmese ruby and diamond brooch weighing 10.10 carats purchased for $8.43 million and named “The Zoe Red.”
We have no idea what Lau has in store for their sweet sixteens.
But it will be extravagant, back in 2006, Lau purchased an iconic Andy Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong for $16.4 million. He also reportedly built Hong Kong’s tallest retail complex and named it “The ONE” after an ex-girlfriend.
Yesterday we reported on Liu Yiqian, a Chinese taxi driver turned billionaire, who purchased a Modigliani nude for $170.4 million at auction. Expect to see more and more of these kind of stories in the future. A recent Forbes survey found that China now has 596 billionaires — 715 if you count Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan — surpassing the United States.
[Images via NetEase]