5 Incredible Minerals Sold in an Auction

Feb 6, 2018

One of the best places to find high quality rare minerals is in an auction. Dealers bring their finest specimens forward for collectors to appraise and cast their bid to take home the prize. Now, with the internet connecting communities from around the world, online auctions like mineralauctions.com are making it easier than ever to bid for incredible rare minerals – bringing more diversity and excitement to the mineral world!

Mineral auctions are growing and sometimes we see news breaking sales of one of a kind minerals and purchases. To celebrate the spirit of mineral auctions and the sought-after minerals ever found, here’s a list of 5 incredible minerals sold in an auction:

The Rockefeller Emerald

The Rockefeller name is woven in the fabric of American history with the Standard Oil Co. Inc. of the 1900s and many other entrepreneurial achievements. Adding to the Rockefeller legacy is the most expensive emerald in an auction, at $305,00 per carat: The Rockefeller Emerald.[1]

The 18.04-carat Rockefeller Emerald was purchased by Harry Winston for $5.5 million at the Christie’s Auction house in New York, New York. The Rockefeller Emerald was first acquired by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1930 as a center stone for a brooch. In the 1940s, the emerald was placed into a platinum ring. Images and more details available here.

The Sunrise Ruby

Original work: Société Cartier; Depiction: Justin Tallis

Sunrise Ruby – one of the most valuable gemstones sold at auction – weighs in at 25.59 ct. Cartier Photo.

Rubies are one of the rarest minerals in the world with valuable qualities that are increasingly hard to find in nature. As a red variety of corundum, rubies have an intense red color that come from their chromium impurity, separating them from their sapphire cousins. Large carats of rubies are exceptionally rare, so it should be to no surprise that a 25.59-carat ruby called, “The Sunrise Ruby” sold for a record of $30.33 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva.

Praised as “amongst the rarest of all gemstones” by David Bennet, head of Sotheby’s international jewelry division, The Sunrise Ruby is one of the few rubies in the world to have the rare grading of pigeon’s blood color at its size.[2]

Blue Moon of Josephine

Described as “flawless” by the gemstone world, the 12.03-carat Blue Moon of Josephine was auctioned for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s in Geneva.[3] The diamond was bought by Joseph Lau, a billion from Hong Kong, as a gift for his daughter. The Blue Moon of Josephine is an exceptionally rare blue diamond with a hue described as Fancy Vivid by the GIA. Fancy Vivid describes a gemstone whose medium to dark tones are strongly saturated and have only been found in 1% of all blue diamonds.[4] Photos here.

Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

While the Blue Moon of Josephine broke records for being one of most expensive blue diamonds per-carat ever auctioned, at $4 million per-carat, the record for most expensive blue diamond ever auctioned goes to the Oppenheimer Blue. The 14.6-carat blue diamond was auctioned at Christie’s in Geneva for $57.5 million, making it the largest Vivid Blue diamond sold at an auction.[5]

The Oppenheimer Blue diamond was named after Philip Oppenheimer of the De Beers Diamond Jewelers. Blue diamonds are an exceptionally rare type of diamond with only 10% of all found blue diamonds being larger than a carat.[6] The Oppenheimer Blue is truly a one-of-a-kind gem with qualities that place amongst the rarest of the rare. View the amazing photos here!

Pink Star Diamond

Earlier this year, the attendees of Sotheby’s in Hong Kong witnessed history as the world record for the most expensive gemstone ever sold at auction took place. The 59.6-carat Pink Star Diamond, a diamond recognized as the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), sold for $71.2 million.[7]

According to Sotheby’s, The Pink Star Diamond was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1991 and was 132.5-carats. The rough diamond was then “meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years.” View the results!


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We’ve recently updated our galleries with many impressive specimens from around the world. You can find our latest collections here.

[1] Roberta N. “Harry Winston Pays $5.5 Million For Rockefeller Emerald: Most Expensive Per-Carat Emerald Ever Sold”. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertanaas/2017/06/21/harry-winston-buys-worlds-most-expensive-emerald-at-auction-5-5-million-rockefeller-emerald-christies-auctions-highest-priced-emerald-world-records-for-emeralds-john-d-rockefeller/#39e7b5c464b2

[2] “This ‘pidgeon blood’ ruby sold for a record $30 million’. Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-pigeon-blood-ruby-sells-for-record-30-million-2015-5

[3] “Tycoon buys $48m blue diamond at auction for daughter”. BBC. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34795005

[4] “World Auction Record Price-Per-Carat for a Diamond or Gemstone”. Sotheby’s. http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2014/magnificent-jewels-and-noble-jewels-ge1505/lot.513.html

[5] “The Oppenheimer Blue”. Christie’s. http://www.christies.com/features/The-Oppenheimer-Blue-Diamond-7197-3.aspx

[6] Cecilia J. “’Oppenheimer Blue’ diamond sets new record, fetches $57 million”. Mining. http://www.mining.com/oppenheimer-blue-diamond-sets-new-record-fetches-57-million/

[7] Merrit K. “’Pink Star’ Diamond Sells for $71 Million, Smashing Auction Record”. NPR. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/04/05/522739361/pink-star-diamond-sells-for-71-million-smashing-auction-record