The Effect Of Auction On Diamond Prices

In the high days of glamour at the auctions in Geneva and Hong Kong, the auction houses were superstars. Here they created  prices for exceptional fancy color diamonds that have never been seen before. The Euphoria was driving the market higher and higher

The auction room is not for the faint hearted, especially when the object under the gavel is a fancy color diamond. The stakes are high, bidders are frantic, egos are on the line, and the bounty can be very rare indeed.

The adrenalin is running high 100 people in a heated room gives an incubation to fight, win and grab an important diamond ahead of the competition. There is nothing quite like the applause, thrill and cheers when a truly phenomenal item is sold at auction for a record price. The excitement that accompanies these events has been evident in the past for fancy color diamonds as records have been set and broken on an almost annual basis.

Lets not carried away with history, as today's auction are a far cry from the days when: The 14.62 carat Oppenheimer Blue, the largest Fancy Vivid Blue ever sold, fetched around US $58 million at Christie’s Auction in 2016.

The 14.62 Carat Oppenheimer Blue DiamondPictured above: The 14.62 Carat Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

It was a one of a kind gem. No similar quality goods are appearing today at the auctions as the owner don't want burn their top Items in auctions in fear that they won't reach the limit

The 24.78 carat Graff Pink diamond, "one of the greatest diamonds ever discovered"  was sold at auction for US $46 million, 10 years ago, Graff repolished it to a Fancy vivid pink.

The 24.78 Carat Graff Pink diamond

Pictured above: The 24.78 Carat Graff Pink diamond

 

A 5 carat Fancy vivid Pink diamond sold for US $10.83 million at a December 2009 Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. Lawrence Graff bought the stone, a stone to die for.

Pictured above:The 5 carat Fancy vivid Pink Diamond bought by Graff

 

I cannot fathom diamonds of such magnitude being sold today in a live auction with hundred bidders present in the auction hall.

In May 2013 a 74.53 carat Fancy Yellow was sold at auction for US $40,061 dollars per carat, so how can  a 100 carat Intense Yellow sell today for US $35,000? People don’t look at the details as they may get to the wrong conclusion  that the price is reflected by the auctions if the market price for top stones. That is not correct

Since 2018 the market and trends turned around. Auction houses look in all directions and try to create revenue. This is what brings prices down.

You may ask how it happened? Auction houses are listing mostly mediocre goods, these goods are not attractive to top collectors, but they still sell at least some of the items. When I look at the prices of the last auction in Geneva, I cannot detect a single top quality stone, most of the goods are an attempt to create low numbers for medium quality goods.

The auction houses assume that the market is in a low value mood and collectors are looking for cheap stones only. The perception is partially correct, good market auctions drive the prices up but in sluggish markets auctions increase the weakness of the market.

104.04 carat Fancy Intense Yellow PS IF an odd shape stone with 75 % dept sold for  US $35,820 per carat. A stone of that shape and make would never reach the auction block 10 years ago, but today the auction aimed to customers who wanted to own a 100 carat intense yellow diamond  at a discount price, you get what you paid for.

Pictured above: 104.04 carat Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond sold at Christie’s, Geneva in 2020

Leibish is a virtual brand selling the finest fancy color diamonds and gemstones mostly online.

Looking at the most popular items we sold recently online, I think the market is on its way up and the prices due to the limited supply (most of the factories in Surat are closed due to COVID-19).

The average ticket in our online sales is up, notwithstanding COVID-19. Both women and men still love color diamonds and gemstones and shopping is much easier and safer when you do everything online and spend most of your working day facing a computer or cell phone. One of the great advantages of online purchase to auctions is that the buyer gets a no satisfied money back guarantee, we even give you a free return shipment.

 

 

 

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