How much is a story worth?
The Oppenheimer Blue diamond recently sold at auction for a record $57.6 million. Yes, the stone is huge at 14.62 carats, but it’s not considered perfect — just “nearly flawless.” So, why the record price? Because the diamond comes with a cool back story, or “provenance.”
The Oppenheimer Blue takes its name from Sir Philip Oppenheimer, long-time senior executive of the DeBeers diamond company. For fifty years, Oppenheimer had access to the best diamonds in the world, and when he decided to give his wife a diamond, he chose the Oppenheimer Blue.
The record-setting diamond is currently set in a ring with two smaller diamonds. The unidentified winner prevailed after 25 minutes of bidding. The Oppenheimer didn’t just set a new record; it shattered the old by nearly $10 million.
I think there’s a lesson here for those looking to buy an engagement ring. Skip the old (and silly) rule about spending two months salary on a diamond. Look instead for a ring that has special meaning to you as a couple – diamond, or not. It may never sell for $57 million, but you’ll always cherish the provenance. And you can’t put a price on that.
A Christie’s employee holds Oppenheimer Blue diamond of 14.62 carats, which is estimated to be sold between 38,000,000 to 45,000,000 US Dollar, during a preview at the auction house Christie’s, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, May 12, 2016. The auction will take place on May 18, 2016 in Geneva. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)