Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Arpege Diamonds Presents Famous Blue Diamonds: The Oppenheimer Blue

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 5/18/16 8:00 AM

Arpege Diamonds continues its search for some of the world’s most famous diamonds in history. Its latest installment of the Famous Diamond Series is the legendary Oppenheimer Blue.


Image SourceCNBC

Blue Diamonds

In recent years, a few rare blue diamonds have set records in the fancy colored diamond market. No two diamonds will ever be alike; the color, cut, carat weight, and clarity of each determines their respective value. Only a handful of blue diamonds are found in mines worldwide, making up less than .0001% of all diamond production. These gems are mainly discovered in the Cullinan mine, known as The Premier Mine in South Africa and in India, where The Hope diamond was discovered. 

Oppenheimer Blue

The latest captivating blue diamond to come to the market is the Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue diamond. The rectangular cut diamond is rated the highest and clearest saturation color blue possible by the Gemological Institute of America. It has been nicknamed the “gem of gems” amongst investors and collectors seeking to get their hands on this rarity of nature.


As with many other famous diamonds, ownership plays a key role in the value of these gemstones. No different is the history of the Oppenheimer Blue, which was once owned by one of the most powerful families of all time. The Oppenheimer empire began with Ernest Oppenheimer, who left Germany at an early age to work as a diamond broker in London. He was later sent to Kimberly in South Africa as a buyer who saw great potential at the world’s largest diamond deposits.

 Years later, with the help of John Pierport Morgan, he founded the Anglo American Corporation of South Africa Ltd., which enabled the control of the De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines. In the early 1900s these mines controlled the supply of the diamond market worldwide, resulting in diamond prices to rise steeply. After the business was passed along to family members, eventually the family’s share of De Beers was sold.

 At one point, the family had unlimited access to some of the world’s largest diamond deposits such as the Premier Mine, where the Oppenheimer Blue is believed to have originated. The rare blue diamond was named after its previous owner, Sir Phillip Oppenheimer who owned the diamond up to the 1990’s when it was then sold to a jeweler at an undisclosed amount.

 Christie’s Geneva's Magnificent Jewels

Christie’s offers nearly 350 auctions annually, of which many include a wide range of unique and beautiful fancy colored diamonds. The Oppenheimer Blue will be this year’s centerpiece, showcased at Christie’s Magnificent Jewel sale in May of 2016. The diamond’s color, clarity, and size along with its historic background contribute to the pre-auction estimate of $38-$45 million once it goes under the hammer.



When the Oppenheimer Blue went to auction earlier this month, expectations were high and many thought that this diamond could set a record for colored diamonds. These expectations were met when the gavel fell with the diamond selling for a whopping $57 million. 

For more of Arpège Diamonds' Famous Diamond Series see the links below:

Naturally Colored Diamonds

Topics: History


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