Despite it being a tough year in the diamond industry, color diamond sales continue to soar at auction! It is never wise to generalize, as the recent auction sales of color diamonds have just proven.
The colorless diamond market may not be thriving right now as it has in the past, but color diamonds on the other hand are seeing record-breaking prices left and right. From the 16.08-carat vivid pink diamond that sold at auction for $28.5 million on November 10, 2015 in Geneva to the extremely rare blue diamond that sold a day later in the same location for $48.5 million, color diamonds are still on the rise.
16.08-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond Ring Sells for $28.5 Million
On November 10, 2015 the largest vivid pink diamond ever to be offered at auction managed to bring in nearly $30 million. Estimated to sell for a maximum price of $28 million, the stone was purchased for slightly more than that astonishing sum by a private Asian buyer who named it ‘Sweet Josephine.’
The cushion shaped pink stone managed to break the record of highest price ever paid for a vivid pink diamond at auction. Set in a platinum setting and surrounded by two rows of pave colorless diamonds and a row of pink diamonds underneath, the pure colored vivid pink diamond is one of only three polished diamonds in the past 250 years to weigh in at over ten carats sold at auction. The band is also studded with small circular cut colorless diamonds. In addition to its unique size, color intensity level, and purity, the stone belongs to the type IIa diamond class. This category accounts for less than 2% of all diamonds and contains very slight traces, if any at all, of nitrogen, which is generally present in most diamonds. Needles to say this diamond raked in the highest sum out of all the lots of the sale, which totaled $109.5 million.
New Record Made with Sale of Blue Moon Diamond for $48.5 Million
As anticipated, the 12.03-carat Blue Moon Diamond, named for its extreme rarity (hence the name,) sold for an astronomical price thereby achieving the prestigious title of most expensive gemstone ever to be sold at auction. The last diamond to hold this title was the Graff Pink, a rare pink diamond that sold at Sotheby’s Geneva five years ago for $46,158, 674.
The blue stone was discovered in the Cullinan mine in South Africa last year and was cut from a 29.6-carat stone. The very same mine is famous for other notable diamonds, such as the 530-carat Star of Africa blue diamond, which belongs to the British Crown Jewels. Estimated to sell for anywhere between $35 million and $55 million, the stunning blue diamond closed in at $48.5 million, thus surpassing the iconic Graff Pink.
Due to slower economic mobility in China as well as other locations around the globe, the diamond industry has been experiencing less fluidity in its markets through 2015. However color diamonds are another story as their rarity and impending extinction makes them constantly relevant. Large and unusual stones such as these pink and blue diamonds are especially in demand, as we will most likely never see stones of their caliber at auction again. Their value is irreplaceable and those who have either bid on them or purchased them know this all too well.
It was a Hong Kong businessman, Joseph Lau, who purchased this stone and renamed it the ‘Blue Moon of Josephine,’ after his seven year old daughter. He made the purchase only one day after spending a whopping $28.5 million on the 16.08 carat pink diamond, also named after his daughter ‘Sweet Josephine.’
The market for colored diamonds has grown increasingly robust over the years. The sale of these two stones is sure to garner a whole lot more of attention in the run-up to this week’s jewel sales in Geneva and natural fancy color diamond purchases all over the world.