When talking diamond size, specifically in regards to fancy color diamonds, there is the 'largest stone' category, and then there is the 'largest stone ever to be auctioned' category. Sometimes, they are one and the same, while other times, what may be the largest stone of that specific type on the planet can also be different from the largest diamond of the same color, put up for auction. For instance, at 13.22 carats, the “Winston Blue,” previously dubbed “The Blue,” is the world's largest flawless blue diamond. However, the largest blue diamond ever to be auctioned is the Blue Moon diamond, a12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond. In the oval fancy vivid blue diamond category, the largest diamond and the largest diamond to be put up for auction are indeed one and the same. This exceptionally rare gem will be auctioned on April 5 in Hong Kong, at the Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite spring sale.
The most well-known public auction houses, both Christie's and Sotheby's, have consistently brought the most amazing diamonds and jewelry to the public eye. Always, finishing off the year with a bang, Sotheby's Geneva will be presenting a natural blue diamond that might just be the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction on Nov 11, 2015.
The Blue Moon diamond, a 12.03 carat, fancy vivid blue, with an IF clarity will be the highlight of the evening. Not only is this an absolute treasure, but it is also considered the largest cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond to ever be offered at auction. The stone, which is estimated to sell at roughly $55 million, was classified by GIA as a ‘bright fantasy blue,’ which is the highest rating among blue diamonds.
For years, because the world of color diamonds remains so private, many individuals have been tracking the auction results trying to identify a price trend within the market. Looking at the history of the prices paid for natural blue diamonds, it is almost unbelievable to see just how high prices have reached.
In May, 2014, the 13.22 carat Winston Blue broke the world record for a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond when it sold for nearly $23.8 million ($1.8 million per carat) at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale.
In Nov, 2014, later on that year, the record was broken once again when the Zoe Diamond sold for $32.6 million. The 9.75 carat fancy vivid blue currently holds the record for the most expensive blue diamond ever sold at auction.
Up until that point, the Wittelsbach Graff Diamond, held the record for the most expensive blue diamond sold at auction with a whopping $24.3 million. The stone was sold by Christie's back in December 2008 to Laurence Graff, otherwise known as the 'king of bling.'
The diamond was originally sourced from the Cullinan mine in South Africa and announced for the first time to the world last year as a 29.93 carat stone. There was a lot of excitement then, as the rough looked so promising. Only, no one would have imagined the outcome of an internally flawless vivid blue at such an impressive weight.
Whether the Blue Moon diamond will be the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction is not yet know, but it will surely be among the top ten. However, why is it that when we see flawless diamonds over 100 carats sold at auction, it is diamonds like this, at only 12 carats, that take home the gold? Well, the answer, as difficult as it might be to comprehend, is as simple as the color of the stone.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's international jewelry division, calls the diamond "magical and sensational" a stone of absolute perfect color and purity. He continues to say that "Blue for me, is the most mysterious and magical of all diamond colors. This one will now take its place among the most famous gems in the world."
Natural fancy color diamonds hold the potential to appreciate so much because of the basic rules of supply and demand. However, even more than what is currently available in the market, these investments are sometimes driven by the sensation of passion because people connect so strongly to colors.
As time goes on, we consistently see the prices for color diamonds on the rise. The question isn't when you will get yourself into the race, but rather when you will make the decision to finally let your heart drive you towards the passion investment of your dreams.
The 12.03 carat natural fancy vivid blue diamond with an IF clarity
At 10.1 carats, the oval internally flawless vivid blue diamond is the largest of its kind and the largest to be sold at auction. The jewel is part of the De Beers Millennial Collection that was created in 2000, which includes twelve diamonds. There is one colorless and eleven blue diamonds in the collection. All of the blue diamonds originate from the Cullinan Mine in South Africa. Only one out of all of those diamonds was ever offered to the public until now. This was the 5.16-carat internally flawless pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond, which Sotheby's Hong Kong sold in 2010. It was dubbed the “De Beers Millennial Jewel 11.”
De Beers Millennial Jewels
This incredible record-breaking diamond is just one of twelve remarkable stones that were collected over decades in order to celebrate the new millennium. The unique collection was the initiative of De Beers and the Steinmetz Group. The largest stone in the group is the 203.04-carat colorless diamond named the “Millennium Star.” All but two of the blue diamonds are classified by the GIA as fancy vivid blue diamonds, the highest color grade for blue diamonds.
Fancy color diamonds are extremely rare and only account for 1 out of every 10,000 diamonds mined. However, blue diamonds are amongst the rarest of all color diamonds. In fact, they are so rare that only 0.1% of the diamonds mined at the Cullinan Mine are blue diamonds. That means that the annual discovery of one blue diamond is still considered a rare occurrence.
The rarity of this stone coupled with the beauty of the natural blue coloring, which is caused by the presence of boron in the diamond, results in an impossibly high demand and staggering prices. Those lucky enough to get their hands on one generally end up with a very small and somewhat included stone. This just goes to show how unbelievably scarce and unique this oval blue diamond is and why it is believed to fetch between $30 million and $35 million.
Blue diamonds are amongst the few specimens in the world worth keeping tabs on. This is because the numbers of blue diamonds, as well as many diamonds in general, are dwindling, so every significant find holds immense importance and has the potential of making history with its sale as well as with its auction process.