A Hong Kong billionaire spent a record $48.4m buying an 12.03-carat diamond dubbed “Blue Moon” for his seven-year-old daughter in an auction in Geneva.
Property tycoon Joseph Lau bought the rock at a Sotheby’s auction on Wednesday and immediately renamed it “Blue Moon of Josephine” after his daughter.
If that wasn’t crazy enough, this is the second ring he’s purchased for his daughter in as many days. He just spent $28.5m buying a rare 16.08-carat pink diamond also– the largest of its kind to ever go under the hammer – from rival auction house Christie’s, which he rebaptised “Sweet Josephine”.
David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said the “Blue Moon” sale broke several records and made the gemstone the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. It also fetched the highest-ever price 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 Sotheby’s for $46.2m in November 2010.
Lau is notorious for spending his billions on jewellery for his daughter. In 2009, he reportedly spent $9.5m on another blue diamond, which he renamed the “Star of Josephine”.
Josephine is his daughter with girlfriend and former aid Chan Hoi-wan. The 64-year-old also has two children with long-time partner Yvonne Lui.
The way Lau has made his money is quite controversial. He is known as a somewhat corrupt businessman. In March 2014, Lau was found guilty of bribing a former minister in the gambling enclave of Macau in an attempt to purchase a prime development site. Lau, who was not in Macau for the sentencing, is unlikely serve time because the two semi-autonomous Chinese cities do not have an extradition agreement.
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