A Hong Kong billionaire paid a total of $77 million for two massive diamonds which he promptly renamed and gave to his 7-year-old-daughter.
Real estate mogul Joseph Lau, who has a net worth of $9.8 billion, paid the record sum of $48.5 million for the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on Wednesday night, according to the Associated Press.
The 64-year-old billionaire’s winning bid is the “highest price per carat” ever paid for any kind of gem, according to auctioneer David Bennet, and makes it the most expensive diamond in the world. Lau then renamed the diamond “The Blue Moon of Josephine” after his daughter.
The night before, Lau purchased a rare vivid pink diamond at Christie’s auction in Geneva for $28.5 million. After the purchase, Lau renamed the 16.08-carat diamond “Sweet Josephine.”
The Blue Moon diamond, which is set in a ring, is one of the largest fancy vivid blue diamonds in the world and was given its name because such a diamond only comes around “once in a blue moon.” Altogether, Lau paid a total of $77 million for the two diamonds.
This is not the first time Lau has purchased expensive diamonds for his daughters. In 2009, he paid a then-record $9.5 million for a 7.03-carat blue diamond he later named “Star of Josephine.”
In November of last year, he purchased two diamonds for his 13-year-old daughter Zoe. He paid $33 million for a 9.75-carat blue diamond that he named “Zoe Diamond” and 65 million Hong Kong dollars ($8.4 million) for a 10.1-carat ruby and diamond brooch he named “Zoe Red.”
Last year, Lau was indicted by a Macau court on charges of bribery and money laundering. Lau, who was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, avoided jail time by skipping court altogether. He currently remains free because Hong Kong does not have an extradition treaty with Macau.