A Chinese billionaire decided the perfect gift for his 7-year-old daughter would be $77 million worth of rare colored diamonds — so he bought them for her.
Joseph Lau was the top bidder for the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” diamond that sold Wednesday night for a record-setting 48.6 million Swiss francs ($48.5 million), said a spokeswoman for Lau, who declined to give her name.
Lau was also the buyer of a 16.08-carat vivid pink diamond that sold for 28.7 million Swiss francs ($28.5 million) the night before, she said.
Sotheby’s, which held both auctions, said the buyer promptly renamed the pricier gem “The Blue Moon of Josephine” and the pink diamond “Sweet Josephine.”
“Yes, the two diamonds are bought by Joseph Lau,” said the spokeswoman, who added that they were named after Lau’s 7-year-old daughter.
The blue diamond, set in a ring, was said to be among the largest known fancy vivid blue diamonds and was the showpiece gem at the Sotheby’s jewelry auction.
The Blue Moon — named in reference to its rarity, playing off the expression “once in a blue moon” — topped the previous record of $46.2 million set five years ago by the Graff Pink, Sotheby’s said. The diamond also set a new record of more than $4 million per carat, capping the daylong high-end jewelry sale that reaped roughly $140 million.
Lau, a property developer with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $9.9 billion, has a habit of snapping up expensive gems for his children.
At a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 2009, he bought another blue diamond, paying a then-record $9.5 million for the 7.03-carat “Star of Josephine.”
Last November, he also bought two gems for another daughter, 13-year-old Zoe, his spokeswoman said. One was a 9.75-carat blue diamond that he named “Zoe Diamond” after buying it for about $33 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. He also spent 65 million Hong Kong dollars ($8.4 million) for a 10.1-carat ruby-and-diamond brooch at a Christie’s Hong Kong auction. He named that one “Zoe Red.”
Dang. We couldn’t even get our parents to get us McDonald’s on the way home half the time.