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Ehud Arye Laniado

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Ehud Arye Laniado
Born1953/1954[1]
💀Died (aged 65)
France (aged 65)
Cause of deathHeart attack during surgery
🏳️ NationalityBelgian Israeli
💼 Occupation
Businessman
Known forSold the Blue Moon of Josephine diamond (world's most expensive)
TitleFounder and owner, Omega Diamonds

Ehud Arye Laniado (1953/1954 – 3 March 2019) was a Belgian-Israeli billionaire diamond trader, who sold the Blue Moon of Josephine diamond at Sotheby's for a world record price. His early career was as a masseur at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv but he moved into the diamond industry in Africa in his twenties, migrated to Belgium, and founded Omega Diamonds and went on to own Mercury Diamond, a diamond pricing consultancy.

Early life[edit]

Ehud Laniado was born in 1953 or 1954. Early in his life he worked as a masseur at the Hilton Hotel in Tel Aviv.[1]

Career[edit]

Laniado started working in the diamond industry in Africa in his early twenties, before migrating to Belgium,[2] where he founded the Antwerp-based Omega Diamonds and went on to own Mercury Diamond, a diamond pricing consultancy.[1][2][3]

In 2013, the Belgian authorities pursued Laniado for tax evasion, accusing him of illegally importing diamonds from Congo and Angola.[4] Laniado had sought to avoid trial by offering $181 million, but was being sued by the state for €4.6 billion ($5.27 billion).[5][4] He was due to appear in a Belgian court on 14 March 2019.[1]

In November 2015, he sold the Blue Moon of Josephine diamond at Sotheby's in Geneva for a world record price of $48.4 million (43.2 million Swiss francs plus fees)[6] to the Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau.[7] The diamond had been found in South Africa in January 2014 and was described as the "largest cushion-shaped blue stone in the fancy vivid category" to have been sold in an auction.[6] It was described by Sotheby's David Bennett as "the most expensive diamond, regardless of colour, and the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction", who added that it was also the most expensive per carat at over 4 million Swiss francs per carat.[6]

As chairman of Cora International, he subsequently sold the Unique Pink at Sotheby's in Geneva in May 2016 for $31.5 million. In an interview for Euronews, Laniado confirmed the origin of the stone as Kimberley, South Africa, and attributed its rarity to its strong and even spread of colour and its purity.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Laniado owned a $39 million penthouse in Monaco and a house in Bel Air, Los Angeles.[4] He had a number of plastic surgery procedures[7] and died of a heart attack on 3 March 2019, aged 65, during penis enlargement surgery at a private clinic in Paris, France.[1][4]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Oster, Mary (7 March 2019). "Billionaire Jewish diamond trader dies during penis enlargement operation". Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 15 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Ehud Laniado - Founder of Mercury Diamond". mercurydiamond.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. "Why Share the Mercury Diamond Polished Price List?". mercurydiamond.com. Archived from the original on 22 March 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Pritha Paul (7 March 2019). "Ehud Arye Laniado Facts: Billionaire Diamond Trader Dies During Penis Enhancement Surgery". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  5. Chittum, Ryan (9 February 2015). "Diamond Dealers in Deep Trouble as Bank Documents Shine Light on Secret Ways". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Billionaire buys Blue Moon diamond for 9 year daughter for record $68m". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 12 November 2015. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Daniel Sugarman (8 March 2018). "Belgian-Israeli billionaire Ehud Arye Laniado dies during penis enlargement surgery". The Jewish Chronicle. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2019. In 2015, he sold the world's most expensive diamond, the Blue Moon of Josephine, to a Hong Kong billionaire and convicted felon, Joseph Lau Luen Hung
  8. Ehud Arye Laniado interview with EURONEWS - The Unique Pink. Euronews at YouTube, 4 July 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2019.

External links[edit]


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