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Rare Blue Diamond Sets World Record for Jewel Sold at Auction

A model holds a 12.03-carat, cushion-shaped blue diamond mounted on a ring at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva, Nov. 4, 2015.

A rare blue diamond of more than 12 carats smashed the world record for a jewel sold at auction Wednesday, selling at $48.5 million.

The audience at Sotheby's auction house in Geneva broke into applause when the hammer came down on the final price.

The buyer was from Hong Kong. He named the diamond "The Blue Moon of Josephine."

The stone was found in South Africa's famed Cullinan mine and took nearly two years from its discovery for experts and masters to study, cut, polish and bring it for auction.