Rare Colour Diamonds Steal Limelight but Highlight White Diamond Opportunities

Rare Colour Diamonds Steal Limelight but Highlight White Diamond Opportunities

GENEVA, May 19, 2017 – Rare colour diamonds again broke records at this month’s Geneva magnificent jewellery auctions, while white diamonds seemed less in vogue, signalling a buying opportunity.

A magnificent pair of blue and pink diamond earrings – the Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink – achieved a world record for a pair of earrings sold at auction of U.S.$57.4 million at the Sotheby’s sale in the Mandarin Oriental hotel on May 16.

The two stones were sold as separate lots, but both went for extraordinary prices — to the same anonymous buyer, underlining the current fascination for blue and pink diamonds while keeping the two stones together as a pair of earrings.

“If paying U.S.$57.4 million for a pair of earrings isn’t a sign of confidence in rare coloured diamonds as a viable investment asset, I don’t know what is,” said Tobias Kormind, 77Diamonds.com managing director.

Apollo and Artemis new crop market update

The Sotheby’s sale this week also garnered a record price per carat for a fancy intense purplish pink diamond of U.S.$1.881 million per carat. The 7.04 carat diamond by Piaget sold for U.S.$13.2 million.

The world record price of U.S.$71 million achieved by the 59.60-carat Pink Star diamond at the Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong last month, was a bargain for the buyer, Chinese jeweller Chow Tai Fook.

The oval Pink Star smashed the record price for any diamond sold at auction following a brief bidding battle on April 4.

Related Blogs: ‘Pink Star’ Diamond Hits Record Breaking Auction Price

The justification for such a price is rarity and beauty.

At both the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions this week, rare blue and pink diamond jewellery repeatedly sold at prices well above pre-sale estimates, highlighting the current fashion for rare colour diamonds.

One of the extraordinary moments at the Christie’s auction in its traditional sumptuous setting at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, was the sale of a ring set with a fancy intense blue cushion-shaped diamond of some 7.97 carats, for 11 million Swiss francs (CHF), far above its pre-sale estimate of 2.5-3 million CHF.

White diamonds didn’t capture quite as much attention as the colour stones, and now look like bargain opportunities.

On May 17, the auctioneer at Christie’s brought the hammer down on La Legende, a 92.15-carat heart-shaped white diamond and pearl sautoir necklace, the evening’s top lot, for 13 million Swiss francs (CHF), just below the pre-sale estimate of 14-20 million CHF.

“There is vast interest in rare colour diamonds, but now could be a good buying opportunity for extremely rare white diamonds,” said “Diamonds” author Marijan Dundek.

Kormind said of La Legende, “I envisage the lucky recipient could be Middle Eastern royalty as much as an Asian debutante.”

Related Blogs: Why the Synthetic Diamond Market Hinges on Clever Promotion

At the Christie’s sale, La Vie Boheme, a predominantly white pair of diamond chandelier earrings, sold for 1.8 million CHF, just below the pre-sale estimate of 2-3 million CHF.

Extraordinary white diamonds still achieve remarkable prices, but they do not outperform in the same way as the magnificent blue and pink gems.

Underscoring the fascination for colour, this week’s Geneva sales also underlined a strong appetite for superb ruby jewellery, particularly non-heated pigeon blood Burma gemstones.

One standout result at the Christie’s sale was an exceptional ruby and diamond ring, set with an oval-cut 15.03-carat no-heat pigeon blood Burma ruby, that sold for 11.2 million CHF, comfortably within its 10-15 million CHF pre-sale estimate.

IJL is #withyou providing market insights from around the world. Discover more updates from our Precious Metals and Gemstones Editor David Brough on the Insider Blog. 

David Brough is IJL’s Precious Metals and Gems Editor. David is Co-Founder and Editor of digital magazine Jewellery Outlook and writes monthly precious metals and gemstones Market News for Retail Jeweller magazine. He was a Reuters correspondent and editor for more than 30 years, including 16 years as a foreign correspondent, and covered commodity markets extensively. David won the United Nations A.H. Boerma Award in 2002-3 for his reporting on hunger issues. He graduated from St. Andrews University in Scotland with a MA (Hons) in Economics and French, and has a Certificate in Financial Markets from the Securities Institute of Australia. He speaks fluent French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.


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