If you’re in the mood to be angry, this story will likely do it.
An exceptionally beautiful and rare diamond, dubbed the Blue Moon Diamond, has been scooped up by a Hong Kong billionaire at a Geneva auction. And after shelling out $48.4 million for the jewel, he gave it to his seven-year-old daughter, CNN reported.
That’s not all: the day before, he spent another $28.5 million on a pink diamond at another auction. But believe it or not, that’s still not all. Back in 2009, when this little girl was barely out of diapers, she was gifted a $9.48 million blue diamond.
All of these jewels have been named after the child: “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” “Sweet Josephine,” and “The Star of Josephine,” respectively.
This one kid now owns $86 million worth of precious jewels, and her sister Zoe, 13, has been given half that value in jewels, as well: A Burmese ruby and diamond brooch called “The Zoe Red” and a blue diamond called “The Zoe Diamond.”
This unimaginably wealthy buyer is their 64-year-old old father, property tycoon, billionaire, and convicted criminal Joseph Lau who, at an estimated net worth of $9.8 billion, is the 114th richest man in the world.
But if he keeps spending that kind of dough on his kids, he may start dropping a few spots.
News of the extravagant purchased emerged Wednesday after the Sotheby’s auction of the Blue Moon Diamond in Geneva. After an eight-minute, telephone bidding war, the Guardian noted, Lau’s buying price designated this rare jewel the world’s most expensive diamond. It also fetched the highest price per carat, at 12.03 carats.
Josephine is Lau’s daughter with his girlfriend, a former aide named Chan Hoi-wan. He has two kids with another woman, Yvonne Lui, but a tally of their precious jewel collection wasn’t detailed.
So who on Earth is Joseph Lau? He is a real estate investor who owns Chinese Estates Holdings and has a penchant for grand gestures (obviously), loves to buy gems for his daughters, and collects art and wine. Among his pieces is a $17.4 million Andy Warhol portrait of Mao Zedong. He also built Hong Kong’s tallest retail complex, which he named “The ONE” after an ex.
Lau is also notable for being convicted by a court in Macau for bribery and money laundering and sentenced to five years in prison, the Associated Press added. He apparently bribed a former minister in the city while attempting to buy a piece of property, but likely won’t serve his sentence because cities in China don’t have extradition agreements.
As for little Josephine, we can only hope that she grows to appreciate the rare diamond that daddy bought her.
The Blue Moon Diamond was found in the South African mine called Cullinan last year and became the largest cushion-shaped blue gem to ever appear at auction in the category called “fancy vivid.” Experts spent months studying the 29.6-carat blue gem before the Blue Moon was eventually was cut from it; a master cutter spent three months crafting, cutting, and polishing it and the Blue Moon Diamond was then set in a ring.
The mine in which it was found also gave the world the Star of Africa, a 530-carat diamond that’s now part of the British crown jewels. The Smithsonian’s “Blue Heart” was also found there in 1908.
“Tonight we set a new world record, a new auction record for any diamond, any jewel, any gemstone, with the sale of the Blue Moon diamond,” said auctioneer David Bennett.”I have never seen a more beautiful stone. The shape, the color, the purity — it’s a magical stone.”
Let’s just hope the 7-year-old doesn’t lose it.
[Photo By Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated Press]