Man Buys World's Priciest Gem for Daughter, 7
$48.5M diamond is Josephine's 2nd present this week
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2015 3:20 AM CST
In this Nov. 4, 2015, file photo, a Sotheby's employee displays the rare "Blue Moon" diamond during a preview at Sotheby's in Geneva.   (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP, file)
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(Newser) – What did your dad buy you when you were seven? A Hong Kong property tycoon just shelled out $48.5 million on a blue diamond as a gift to his daughter. The sale at Sotheby's on Wednesday night goes into the record books as the most ever paid for any jewel at auction, reports AP. Billionaire Joseph Lau immediately renamed the 12.03-carat gem the "Blue Moon of Josephine" in honor of his little girl. And that's not all Josephine is getting: The AFP notes that on Tuesday, Lau paid $28.5 million for a pink diamond at Christie's, with that one being renamed "Sweet Josephine." She can keep it with the other blue diamond Lau bought her for $9.5 million in 2009, which was itself renamed "Star of Josephine."

"Tonight we set a new world record, a new auction record for any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, with the sale of the Blue Moon Diamond," says auctioneer David Bennett, who described it as "a magical stone." Lau made headlines of a different sort last year when he was convicted on corruption charges in Macau, notes UPI. Lucky for him, Hong Kong and Macau have no extradition treaty, so he likely won't have to serve the five-year sentence. His newly purchased stone turned up last year in South African's Cullinan mine as part of a larger diamond and took three months to cut and polish after five months of "intense study." Per Sotheby's, that mine is the "only reliable source in the world for blue diamonds," and is where the Smithsonian Institution's "Blue Heart" was discovered in 1908. (Closer to home, a woman in Arkansas struck it rich at Crater of Diamonds State Park.)
 

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