The month of May has finally arrived, and with it come the much anticipated Geneva auctions on May 13 and May 14. Some absolutely magnificent color diamonds are set to hit the auction block at Sotheby’s & Christie’s, with a lot of curious financiers and investors waiting to see which diamonds will set records for world history, seeing as how the past year proliferated with incredible diamond records . May 13 and 14 will see auctions in Geneva, followed by another Christie's auction in Hong Kong on May 27. We are going to be present in Geneva to share in the passion of the investors who are making their bids, and who attempt to acquire these magnificent diamonds.
Geneva is Right Around the Corner
With Geneva sharing the pie between the 2 auction houses, there is a nice selection of pieces to choose from between the two. We expect bids to come in very strong and on the high end of the auction house estimates, given the availability of pieces and recent underbidding at the auctions that have been leading up to these. As no particular headlines were made in diamond prices in a while, it is to be expected that investors have been waiting for the opportunity to bid on the infamous Geneva pieces now. It has already been about six months since the last time diamond records were broken, also in Geneva. I am landing in Geneva on the 13th and going straight to the auction house to be part of the action!
Sotheby’s Lucky Number 13
The auction house is set to showcase some fantastic items on the 13th, some of which are expected to shatter records. The market is most enthusiastic about the “The Graff Vivid Yellow”, a whopping 100.09 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow cushion cut diamond. Originally unearthed in South Africa in 2006, and it was originally named the "Dream Diamond” and weighed 190 carats in the rough. It was cut over a nine month period by master cutter Nino Bianco in NY to its present size and shine. Almost 8 years after revealing itself to the world, this exquisite diamond that was described as a vibrant "daffodil yellow" color, is being estimated at a value between $15.2 Million and $25.3 Million. There are numerous speculations that this diamond will end up breaking new records, especially since the famed Cora Sun Drop was sold for $114,000 per carat, totaling an astounding $10.9 Million. At the lowest end price estimates, the Graff Vivid Yellow would sell at a 33% premium to the Sun Drop! On the highest end estimates, it would reach a staggering 120% premium over the price of the Sun Drop, and would definitely be a jaw breaking world record!
The next beauty on the auction block is a magnificent 12.07 carat Fancy Pink diamond ring, estimated to reach between $4 Million - $7 Million. (The question here, of course, is how the auction house can allows itself to have such a big margin of error in their estimate!) The third item by price estimation goes to a pair of blue diamonds, named the “Toi & Moi” ("You" and "Me"). Both are pear shaped and exhibit unbelievable blue color, the first a 3.08 carat Fancy Vivid Blue, and the second a 2.83 carat Fancy Intense Blue. It can only be destiny that paired these two exquisite diamonds together to create the perfect match. Estimated to sell at a price between $4 million and $7 million, it seems that the auction house is being rather cautious by giving such a wide range…a range difference that even stock analysts would never estimate for any given company! The fourth and last major piece in their Fancy Color diamond repertoire is Lot number 470A. It is a 2.06 carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond, and is estimated to sell at a price between $1.47 million and $2.03 million.
Christie’s on 14/4/14…Anything Special on that Date?
Somebody is going to be feeling quite lucky on this date, as the star of the auction happens to be the biggest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond to ever be sold at auction, called "The Blue". At 13.22 carats, graded Flawless and of the rare type IIb, it is considered the largest fancy vivid blue diamond in the world, and speculators around the world are calling it “All In”. Like in poker, either its estimate is the real thing, or a complete bluff! Estimated to reach a price between $21 million and $25 million, I would call the estimate a bluff, but in my opinion, it will end up exceeding the predicted estimate. For more details, you can refer to my previous article on April 23, 2014.
The next Fancy Color diamond being auctioned on that date is a superb mosaic like necklace proudly featuring a 76.51 carat Light Pink VVS1 Type IIa diamond. Estimated to reach a price between $7 million and $10 million, this item surely will be well appreciated by a very lucky lady.
A more “affordable” but still nothing less than perfect ring is the multicolor three-stone diamond ring. Containing 3 incredible vivid diamonds, one a 2.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue VVS2 diamond, the second a 1.51 carat Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink SI1 diamond, and finally a 1.47 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VVS1 diamond. This piece is estimated to reach a price between $900,000 and $1.1 million, a more modest price than its auction counterparts. The last item honorable mention for this auction is the spectacular one of a kind Ocean Dream diamond. This is one of the 7 Wonder Diamonds of the World, shown at the Smithsonian back in 2003 as part of the 'Splendor of Diamonds' exhibition. The 5.5 carat Fancy Vivid Green-Blue SI1 diamond is the biggest in its category in the world. It is currently set in a gorgeous ring, accentuated by beautiful pink diamonds. It is currently owned by Cora Diamonds of New York, who also happen to be the buyer of the Petra blue rough diamond back in January that garnered $25.6 million. The ocean dream is estimated to bring its current owner between $7.5 million and $9.5 million. But will it be this low? That remains to be seen by the bidders!
A Love Affair Between Christie’s and Hong Kong
Currently the hub in the Far East for all shipping of goods, Hong Kong is also the luxury capital of the East, and where Diamonds and Diamond jewelry are exempt from any duties or taxes. Christie’s will be finishing the month there with a superb auction on May 27th, dubbed Magnificent Jewels. Six lots come to mind, which also happen to be the last ones, as they have obviously saved the best lots for last. Below, I have presented them in the same order that they will be presented to the public:
Lot #2114, is a 2.04 carat Fancy Intense Blue SI1 diamond coupled with a 12.05 D color Internally Flawless Briolette diamond on a necklace, estimated to reach a price between $1.6 million and $2.3 million. Lot #2115 is a 5.64 carat Fancy Violet-Grey VVS1 diamond, a color that is rarely seen, and is estimated to reach a price between $350k to $480k. We don’t normally see these types of colors in auctions, which will give it a special status. The diamond is set in an unusual setting including pearls, and was designed by James de Givenchy who founded Taffin in Manhattan back in 1996. Lot #2116 is a 10.02 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow marquise shaped VS2 diamond, and estimated to sell between $800k and $1.2 million.
Lot #2117 is a rather large 12.93 carat Fancy Orangy Pink VS2 diamond, by Harry Winston. The diamond is set in a floral motif with marquise shaped colorless diamonds set all around. This ring is estimated to sell between $1.6 million and $2.5 million.
Lot #2118 is a rare Fancy Intense Green. The size has an importance at 6.13 carats, and we can only imagine who the buyer is going to be. The stone is surrounded by the warmth of pink diamonds to accentuate the center diamond's fantastic Green color. According to the GIA, this diamond is extremely special due to the fact that the color is “unmodified”, and also medium in tone, which is an extremely rare quality. The auction house is estimating this stone to sell between $2.5 million and $3.8 million. We concur and expect this one to definitely turn some important heads.
The last lot being auctioned in HK is Lot #2119, a very special pink stone. Christie’s has been very successful in selling many important similar diamonds in HK over the years, including the Famous 5.00 carat Fancy Vivid Pink that broke a world record back in 2009, which it still holds. In 2010, the famous 'Perfect Pink', a 14.23 carats Fancy Intense Pink, broke records at a Christie's auction, and in 2012 the 12.04 carat 'The Martian Pink', a Brilliant pink diamond ring was sold by Christie's as well. The current Lot is a 9.38 carat Fancy Intense Pink pear shaped diamond. It is estimated to sell between $5.8 million and $8.3 million. For it to break a record, it must sell for around double the highest predicted estimate.
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The month of May will be a turning point this year for Fancy Color diamonds. Lots of exciting diamonds are to be auctioned off, and hopefully there will be buyers present who are looking for this kind of merchandise. With auction results of late being rather tame and a little disappointing, we can only hope that investors have been waiting for the Geneva auctions to roll around in order to start their heavy spending. Regardless, we will be there first hand to share in the passion and emotions that will proliferate at this month's events!
See you there!