WEB DESK: Hong Kong’s property tycoon bought his 17-year-old daughter a rare diamond for £32 million, breaking the world record for the most expensive diamond bought.
Joseph Lau bought the rare 16.08-carat pink diamond called the Blue Moon and renamed it ‘Josephine’ after his daughter.
The precious 16.08 carat was auctioned in Geneva on Wednesday.The 64-year-old Joseph Lau built up his personal fortune of £6.4 billion as a corporate raider in the 1990s.
According to The Telegraph, Lau also has a colourful private life, and the mother of his daughter Josephine is former aid Chan Hoi-wan, according to local media. He also has two children with long-time partner Yvonne Lui.
He was handed a five-year jail term last year when he was found guilty with a business partner of corruption and money laundering over a land deal in Macao.
The record-breaking sale comes a day after rival auction house Christie’s sold a rare 16.08-carat pink diamond, the largest of its kind to ever appear at auction, for $28.5 million, narrowly beating pre-sale projections.
David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewelry division, said the “Blue Moon” sale broke several records, making the gemstone “the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction”.
The rock, set in a ring, went under the hammer for 43.2 million Swiss francs, with the final sale price amounting to 48.6 million Swiss francs including fees.
It also fetched the highest-ever price per carat, he said, with the buyer shelling out 4.02 million Swiss francs per carat.
The previous world record for a jewel sold at auction was held by the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” diamond, which was sold by Southeby’s for $46.2 million in November 2010.
Two bidders were locked in a telephone bidding war for eight minutes before the hammer went down, with the precious jewel staying within its pre-sale estimate of $35-55 million.
The diamond was discovered in South Africa in January last year and was the largest cushion-shaped blue stone in the fancy vivid category to ever appear at auction.
Source: AFP/The Telegraph