Blue Moon Diamond Sells for Millions

January 9, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cut above the rest / kʌt əˈbʌv ðə rɛst/ (idiom) – to be better than other things or people
Example: My new smartphone is a cut above the rest because of its features.

2. extravagant / ɪkˈstræv ə gənt /  (adj.) – spending more money than what is needed
Example: You shouldn’t be extravagant when you have very little money.

3. trace / treɪs / (n.) – a very small amount of an element, compound, or substance
Example: There were traces of iron in the container.

4. flawless / ˈflɔ lɪs / (adj.) – having no defects or errors
Example: She made a flawless sculpture.

5. specialist / ˈspɛʃ ə lɪst / (n.) – a person who has high skill or knowledge in a particular field
Example:  He is a specialist in ancient history.


Read the text below.
The Blue Moon Diamond proved itself to be a cut above the rest in its recent record-breaking sale.

The Blue Moon Diamond was sold at a Sotheby's auction in November 2015 for £32 million (roughly US$48 million). The buyer, Hong Kong's sixth richest man and extravagant real estate investor Joseph Lau, renamed it "The Blue Moon of Josephine", after his seven-year-old daughter. The diamond not only set the world record for the gemstone with the most expensive price per carat at US$4 million, but also for the most expensive gemstone to be auctioned ever.

The Blue Moon Diamond is one of the largest known vivid blue diamonds in the world. It owes its blue color to traces of the element boron in its structure. Like all blue diamonds, it was formed when boron was added to carbon during the gem's creation. Unlike any other blue diamond, it is cushion-shaped, internally flawless, and weighs 12.03 carats. To be internally flawless means the diamond only has small scratches on its surface but is perfect underneath when magnified ten times.

Much time and effort was spent in turning the diamond into what it is today. It began as a 29.62-carat rough diamond found in the Cullinan mine in South Africa in January 2014. US jewelry company Cora International then paid $26 million for the rough diamond. The company's specialists took five months to assess it, and another three months to change it into its current look using state-of-the-art technology.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do you think rich people spend so much money on diamonds?
·         Do you think diamonds and other gemstones should have very high value? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What are some extravagant things rich people do in your country?
·         What would you do with your money if you had millions of dollars?

January 9, 2016