The World's Most Expensive Gems Ever Sold at Auction



The Pink Star

The Pink Star Diamond was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017 for a staggering £57.3 million. To date this gemstone is the world’s most expensive gemstone ever. The diamond was discovered in 1999 by De Beers in Africa. In its rough state the stone was 132.5 carats. It was expertly cut to 59.60 carats. The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) have graded the stone as the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever recorded. The Hong Kong buyer was Chow Thai Fook Enterprises – A chain of high end jewellery stores.


Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

Oppenheimer Blue Diamond was sold for £40 million in 2016. This is the second most expensive stone ever sold at auction and like the Pink Star is a coloured diamond, this time it is blue. The diamond was originally owned by Sir Phillip Oppenheir, a member of the powerful diamond family.

The Pink Legacy


The Pink Legacy is an 18.69 carat emerald cut pink diamond sold in 2018 at Christie’s auction house in Geneva for £38.5 million. The diamond was sold to American brand Harry Winston and was renamed ‘The Winston Pink’. The diamond was previously owned by the Oppenheimer diamond family and it is said to be one of the most chemically pure diamonds ever, with little to no nitrogen in it.

The Moon of Josephine

The Blue Moon of Josephine is a 12.03 carat blue diamond sold in 2015 at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva for £31.7 million. The diamond was purchased by billionaire Joseph Lau for his daughter, alongside a £19 million pink diamond for her the day before at a Christie’s auction. The diamond was found in South Africa in 2014 and is the largest cushion cut blue stone classified as fancy vivid ever to appear at auction.



The Graff Pink Diamond

The Graff Vivid Pink Diamond is a 24.78 carat emerald cut pink diamond which sold for a whopping £29 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2010. The jeweller Laurence Graff purchased the stone and consequently named it after himself ‘The Graff Pink’. Graff declared that he was ‘delighted to have the stone and that it was the most fabulous diamond he had ever seen.’


The Sunrise Ruby

The Sunrise Ruby Ring sold in 2015 at Sotheby’s in Geneva for £19.6 million. This is the most expensive ruby ever and also classifies as the most expensive coloured gemstone aside from diamonds. The stone was mined in Myanmar. Global chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division announced that ‘during his 40 years in the industry he has never seen a ruby of this calibre’. The buyers identity was kept secret.


The Jewel of Kashmir

The Jewel of Kashmir is a 10.88 carat Kashmir Sapphire and diamond ring which was sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $6.7 million. The sapphire has a cornflower blue colour and is cushion cut. It is exceptionally rare.


The Hope Spinel


The Hope Spinel at 50.13 carats broke records when it sold at the Bonhams London fine jewellery sale in 2015 for $1.4 million. The stone was previously owned by London banker Henry Phillip Hope, who’s collection of precious gemstones included the famous Hope Diamond ( A 45.53 carat blue diamond).
Spinal although less commonly known is an exceptionally rare gemstone which is highly sought after by collectors and gem connoisseurs.
Spinels have often been mistaken for other gemstones such as rubies and sapphires. The Black Prince Ruby from the British Imperial State Crown is in fact a spinel. It is important to distinguish between synthetic spinel and natural as they have a different chemical composition and marked difference in price.

Spinel comes in a range of colours ranging from red to orange to lilac to blue. Red and pink spinel are the most highly sought after spinel gems. The supply of spinel is so limited that it is not generally supplied in the jewellery trade.