Multi-million dollar diamond re-named after 7-year-old

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A multi-million-dollar rare blue diamond was re-named after Hong Kong real-estate tycoon Joseph Lau Luen-hung’s 7-year-old daughter, a media report said Thursday.

The rare and flawless 12.03-carat Blue Moon Diamond was purchased by Lau at the record-breaking price of 48.6 million Swiss francs (48.4 million US dollars) at the Sotheby’s auction on Wednesday, and re-named the Blue Moon of Josephine, the South China Morning Post reported.

Lau just a day earlier had bought a 16.08-carat pink diamond for 28.7 million Swiss francs at Christie’s and re-named it Sweet Josephine.

Lau’s assistant Gwen Yoong confirmed that four precious stones had been purchased by the real-estate mogul.

“The Sweet Josephine, Blue Moon of Josephine, the Zoe diamond and the Zoe red, we’re all purchased by Mr Lau,” Yoong told dpa.

The Zoe red is a Burmese ruby and diamond brooch Lau bought for 8.43 million US dollars.

Asked if Lau intended on making any other bids she said: “If it’s rare and it’s pretty enough, he’ll show interest and buy it.”

His is not the only significant purchase made by a Chinese businessman at auction this week. The chairman of the Shanghai-based investment company, Sunline Group, Liu Yiqian, bought a Amedeo Modigliani painting for a record-breaking 170.4 million US dollars.

The Blue Moon of Josephine was found in South Africa’s Cullinan mine in January 2014. It was put to auction by New York-based jeweller Cora International, according to Sotheby’s.

The diamond gets its colour from small amounts of the element boron embedded in the crystal structure.

Josephine is the daughter of Lau and his former aide Chan Hoi-wan.

Lau is the chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings. With estimated assets of 9.8 billion US dollars as of November, Forbes lists him has the sixth richest man in Hong Kong and 114th globally.

He is also a convicted fraudster, found guilty in March 2014 for his part in a bribes-for-land racket involving Macau’s most corrupt public official.

Lau received a 5-year jail term, but has not served time in prison because Hong Kong does not have an extradition treaty with Macau.

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