Following a week that saw the Oppenheimer Blue break all auction records for a polished diamond, and in which the sale of his own Unique Pink Diamond broke the record for a pink stone, industry analyst and veteran diamond trader Ehud Arye Laniado examines the 'how' and 'why' of the recent spate of diamonds achieving record prices.
A new world record for any jewelry auction was set on Tuesday when Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva generated sales of $175.1 million, led by the 'Unique Pink', a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 15.38 carats that sold for $31,561,200, or $2,052,094 per carat, the auction house reported. Sotheby’s said it was the largest such diamond ever to come to auction and set a record for its type. Meanwhile, the overall sum realized comfortably beat the previous record of $160.9 million set by Sotheby’s in the equivalent sale last year in May 2015.
At 1,109 carats, the Lesedi La Rona diamond that Canadian miner Lucara Diamond unearthed at its Karowe Mine in Botswana in November 2015 ranks second among the largest rough diamonds ever discovered, and as a Type IIa stone, it is also of the highest gem quality.
Earlier this week, Lucara Diamond Corporation unveiled the most expensive rough diamond ever sold, writes Avi Krawitz. "A short press statement - initially sent without pictures - reported the 812.77-carat stone named ‘The Constellation’ sold for $63.1 million breaking “all records” for a rough diamond. Ordinarily, Lucara would be making a bigger fuss about this eye-popping sale. But the company, along with the diamond and investment communities, knows this was a mere curtain raiser.
Lucara Diamond Corp. has reported strong first quarter 2016 revenues of $50.6 million or $649 per carat and cash of $144.3 million. The company’s revenue for the period represents a 41% increase year-on-year compared to the $29.6 million in the first quarter of 2015, gained from an average of $278 per carat.
The Jubilee Ruby, a 15.99-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Verdura, was bought at a Christie's auction in New York for $14,165,000, towards the high end of its pre-sale estimate of $12 million to $15 million. The price made it the highest-selling gemstone sold in the United States, Christie's reported.
A 9.54-carat rare blue diamond ring once belonging to the late Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood's most famous child actors, failed to sell at a Sotheby's auction in New York on Tuesday. Bidding opened at $19 million and closed at $22 million, which was below the ring's reserve price where it had been estimated to sell for between $25 million and $35 million. The fancy deep blue diamond ring was purchased by Temple's father for $7,210 in 1940 around the time of the actress' 12th birthday. Temple died at age 85 in 2014.
The largest pink diamond ever offered at auction is expected to fetch more than US$ 38 million when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Gems auction in Geneva on May 17.
A 10.10 carat blue diamond, named "De Beers Millennium Jewel 4", went under the hammer today at Sotheby's in Hong Kong, selling for $31.8 million.
A rare blue diamond ring belonging to the late Shirley Temple, Hollywood’s most famous child actress in the 1930s and 40s is going up for auction starting at $25 million, auctioneer Sotheby’s said Thursday. The 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond ring was purchased by Temple’s father for $7,210 in 1940 around the time of the actress’ 12th birthday. A private buyer bought the ring from her estate and is now putting it up for auction.
A 10.10 carat vivid blue diamond is expected to set the record for the most expensive piece of jewelry sold at auction in Asia despite an ongoing growth slowdown in China's economy, Sotheby's said Friday, writes Daily Mail. The "De Beers Millennium Jewel 4" is expected to fetch between $30 million and $35 million at the April 5 sale in Hong Kong.
E-mails "are streaming in" from collectors wanting to buy the 1,111-carat diamond, the second-largest gem quality diamond ever found, according to Lucara CEO William Lamb. There have been offers as high as $30 million for the diamond which is to be sold at auction in the first half of this year. "We will take the stone on a roadshow, Lamb said on Canada's CBC TV station.
Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on Wednesday generated total sales of $52.2 million, with the highest selling item being a platinum, sapphire and diamond ring which was bought for $5.1 million, way beyond its pre-sale estimate of $3.5 million to $4.5 million. The ring is set with a cushion-cut sugarloaf cabochon sapphire weighing 25.87 carats at its center, with two bullet-cut diamonds weighing approximately 0.40 carats on each side. Meanwhile, a Van Cleef & Arpels created diamond necklace worn by the late Queen Nazli of Egypt sold for nearly $4.3 million.
Record-breaking sales of colored diamonds at auctions earlier this month and the discovery of a 1,111-carat stone in Botswana which grabbed worldwide attention contrast sharply with sharp declines in share prices of publicly traded firms dealing with everyday diamonds, the Financial Times reports.
The auction house reports a rare 25-carat barrel-shaped pink diamond has been found among the jewelry collection of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. The government asked the auctioneer to appraise her collection of rare stones ahead of a possible sale. The collection comprised of three sets of jewelry confiscated almost three decades ago after the fall of Imelda's husband, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos is being appraised by Christie's and Sotheby's.
A platinum and diamond necklace created for Queen Nazli of Egypt with a pre-sale estimate of $3.6 million to $4.6 million will go under the block at Sotheby's in New York next month. Set with 217 carats of diamonds, it was made by Van Cleef & Arpels after Queen Nazli of Egypt commissioned it for the wedding ceremony of her daughter Princess Fawzia in 1939, Sotheby’s said. In excess of 500 lots will be up for sale on December 9, with the necklace being one of several jewelry items with a pre-sale estimate of more than $1 million.
The "Blue Moon" diamond has been sold for a record $48.26 million (48.6 CHF) in Geneva, according to auction house Sotheby's. The sale price is a record for any gemstone and also per carat, a spokesman said. Sotheby's describes it as a 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue internally flawless diamond.
In a week of record sales figures at international auctions, the original James Bond – actor Sean Connery – saw a diamond pendant sell for around twice its upper pre-sale estimate at $4 million at Sotheby’s Geneva sale. The auction house said it was a record bid for a fancy orange-pink diamond which weighs 15.20 carats and achieved a per carat price of more than $266,000. Before the sale, the item was forecast to sell for $1.2 million to $2.2 million.
There may have been a huge amount of media coverage of the sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Geneva this week which is great for a subdued diamond trade, but do the record-breaking auctions really mean that much, asks analyst Avi Krawitz.
Buying the Blue Moon is like buying the best painting from one of the grand masters. Thanks to its rarity and purity, this is one of the best investment opportunities available in today’s global diamond market. The opportunity to purchase a 12 carat fancy Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless only comes around once in a blue moon. Investors should grab the opportunity while they can. Even if the Blue Moon fetches more than the Sotheby’s high estimate of $55m, in 20 years time that price will look like a fantastic bargain.
'Once in a blue moon' is a way of saying something happens only very rarely. So when a South African mine announced it had found a large rough blue diamond, there was really no other name for the polished stone. “Only 0.01% of the entire production of the [Cullinan mine] is any shade of blue and this stone is vivid blue so it really is off the scale,” says David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, adding that only a handful of blue diamonds of this size and quality exist.
The Cowdray Pearl Necklace composed of 42 natural grey pearls was the outstanding sale at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong, selling for $5.27 million. The necklace set a world record price for natural gray pearls. The last time it was auctioned, in London three years ago, it was sold for $3.35 million.
Another highlight of the sale was the 'Jewel of Kashmir,' a 27.68-carat sapphire and diamond ring which was sold for $6.7 million or $242,145 per carat, and creating a new world record.
Sotheby’s auction of diamonds in New York last week generated sales of $18.4 million. Among the leading items was an F-color emerald-cut diamond weighing 30.15 carats that was set in a ring was bought for $2.6 million. Meanwhile, a cushion-cut sapphire weighing 43.25 carats framed by round and marquise-shaped diamonds and weighing around 2.90 carats sold for $802,000, and a platinum bracelet by Harry Winston from around 1960, with diamonds weighing a total of 101.00 carats engraved in cluster-style, was sold for $424,000.
Sotheby’s will offer the Blue Moon Diamond, among the largest known fancy vivid blue diamonds, for sale at its auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva on November 11. The Blue Moon Diamond was cut from a 29.62-carat rough blue diamond found at Petra Diamonds' Cullinan mine in South Africa in January 2014.
A platinum and diamond ring set with a D color, internally flawless, type IIa cushion-cut diamond weighing 10.19 carats with a pre-sale estimate of $1.3 million-$1.6 million will be among the highlights of Sotheby’s Fall season opener in New York. The Important Jewels auction on September 24 and September 25 will also feature a pair of platinum, emerald and diamond pendant-earclips by Harry Winston set with Colombian emeralds weighing 12.16 and 10.18 carats, with a pre-sale estimate of $650,000-$750,000.
Sotheby’s Australia’s August sale of Important Jewels will see a wide range of vintage to contemporary jewelry come under the hammer, including pieces designer and iconic items from Buccellati, Cartier, Paspaley and Tiffany & Co. The auction will take place in Sydney on August 31.
Top-level diamonds, along with colored gemstones, jadeite and jewelry will go under the block at Sotheby’s Hong Kong’s Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite auction on October 7. Given the decline in Chinese economic growth, members of the diamond and colored gemstones industry will be watching sales results keenly. Over the past five years, Hong Kong has become an increasingly important venue for international auctions due to the growing financial clout of Chinese collectors and investors.
Global auction house Sotheby’s is boosting its digital strategy with a new online salesroom and bidding platform features, including private messaging, along with enhanced video streaming following the success of its online sales platform. The site has been optimized to support hundreds of thousands of concurrent video attendees without loss of timing or delay after the auctioneer saw a substantial increase in online participation in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2014.
Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, which was held in Geneva on May 12, realized a record-breaking $160.9 million. It was the highest ever recorded total for any jewelry auction, with 94 percent of lots sold. “The Historic Pink Diamond,” a 8.72-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, which has been linked to Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon I, sold for $15.9 million ($1.823 million per carat). Highlights included a new world auction record for a ruby: the “Sunrise Ruby,” a rare 25.59-carat Burmese stone, sold for $30.3 million ($1.184 million per carat).
The global auction house swung to a first-quarter profit on lower expenses despite a small drop in revenue. Although prices and demand for art and collectibles, including diamonds, gemstones and jewelry, have posted record highs recently, Sotheby’s bottom line has struggled to keep pace in its ongoing historic competition with rival Christie’s International.
The May 12 sale will feature The Historic Pink diamond, with possible ties to Napoleon, four Cartier pieces, and five diamond-set tiaras.
This sale of Magnificent Jewels achieved $65.1 million, marking a new record total for a jewelry auction at Sotheby’s New York. The auction was led by an extraordinary 100.20-carat ‘Perfect Diamond’ in a classic Emerald-cut, which sold for $22.1 million – the highest price ever achieved for a colorless diamond auctioned in New York. Ten jewels sold for over $1 million, four to online bidders.
The emerald-cut D color stone was the standout item at a magnificent jewels sale in New York on Tuesday. The diamond was acquired by an anonymous buyer via a telephone bid. The sale price was in the middle of its pre-sale estimate of $19 million to $25 million.
After its tour through Dubai, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and Doha, a 100.20-carat D color internally flawless Type IIa stone goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York today, April 21. Its pre-sale estimate is $19 – $25 million.
The non-modified cushion-cut fancy vivid pink diamond is believed to have been owned by Napoleon's niece, Princess Mathilde, and has a pre-sale estimate of $14 million–$18 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale due to take place on May 12.