'Oppenheimer Blue' diamond sells for £35m setting new record

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The diamond got its name from the late Sir Philip Oppenheimer, who long oversaw De Beers mining and had given the stone to his wife. 

Hailed as the architect of the modern-day diamond industry, Sir Philip (1916-1995) could have had any diamond he wanted, but he chose this enormous rectangular gem, because of its “perfect hue, impeccable proportions and fabulous rectangular shape”, according to Christie’s chairman Francois Curiel.

The Oppenheimer family wrested control of De Beers in 1927. It is now part owned by South Africa-based miner Anglo American.

Roughly one per cent of blue diamonds fall into the ‘Fancy Vivid’ category, according to Christie’s.

“This blue diamond’s colour and clarity combined with its traditional cutting style and provenance is truly exceptional,” said Tom Moses, executive vice president at the Gemological Institute of America.

May 18, 2016 |

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