The Only Way is Up

The recent shakeout in financial and commodity markets seems to have had no adverse effects on the fancy color diamond market.

With stockmarkets across the world reeling, having fallen since mid-July approximately 15% across the board (and many individual stocks performing much worse); and with commodity prices falling approximately 30% across the board, fancy color diamond prices seem to be one of the few safe investment havens.

Recent diamond auctions at Sotheby’s, Christies, Bonham’s and others are further proof of the resilience of fancy color diamond prices, with record auction prices achieved for perennial top performing colors – pink, orange, green, blue, and yellow.

Following are just a few examples of recent auction results:

On October 18, 2011, at Christie’s New York auction, this gorgeous pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond, weighing in approximately 32.77 carats, was sold for $201,000 per carat. The total of $6.6m (£4.1m) was paid by an anonymous bidder for this stone that the GIA ranked as one of the rarest gemstones in its class.

 Another very rare stone sold on October 18, 2011 at Christie’s was the 3.21 carats, Vivid Blue Modified Pear-Shaped diamond. The ring was flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, mounted in platinum and was sold for a total of USD $2,714,500. 

One more defiantly worth mentioning from the October 18, 2011 auction at Christie’s, was this 2.28ct, marquise-cut Fancy Intense Blue Diamond. Its upper pre-sale estimate was USD $800,000 and it sold for a total USD $914,500! 

At the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale held on October 5, 2011, a natural Fancy Vivid Blue and Pink diamond ring was sold to an undisclosed buyer for USD 10.1 million, or USD 1.68 million per carat. The ring featured a 6.01 carat oval vivid blue diamond center flanked by two pink diamonds, 90 carats in total weight. This was a world record price per carat for any Fancy Vivid Blue diamond..

At the same auction, another world record was set with the sale of a 4.19 carat, cushion, Fancy Vivid Orange diamond to an Asian private for USD 2.96 million, or USD 705,000 per carat. This was a world record price per carat for any Fancy Vivid Orange diamond.

Over the Atlantic, at the Bonham’s London auction, another pre-auction estimate was obliterated. The Bulgari Blue, a 3.78 carat Fancy Vivid Blue pear-shaped diamond with an upper pre-sale estimate of GBP 800,000, was sold for GBP 1,889,250 (USD 2.97M). 

At the Sotheby’s New York Important Jewels auction held on September 20, 2011, a platinum pear-shaped Fancy Intense Blue diamond, with a colorless diamond pendant necklace from a private collection, was sold for USD 782,500 or USD 302,123 per carat. It exceeding its upper estimate of USD 700,000 but for such a beautiful rare stone, it was a steal! 

On June 3, 2011 at the Christie’s jewelry auction in Hong Kong, a very unique Oval-shaped pair of earrings were sold for over USD $1.38 million. One earring was a 2.22 carat Blue Diamond earring set within a diamond frame and matched with a pear-shaped Golconda white diamond at its top. The other earring was actually a complete opposite of the first. It is a slightly larger white diamond weighing 2.06 carats that hangs from the circular frame at the bottom, while a smaller blue diamond is placed on the top on the other end of the ear piece. The diamonds, which include small pink stones, are mounted on an 18-karat white gold spine. 

At the Christies Hong Kong auction on June 3, 2011, a stunning pair 17.77 carat and 17.80 carat, modified cut-cornered, square-cut Fancy Yellow VS1 and VS2 diamond earrings sold for a stunning $722,500. Both earrings were suspended from a circular-cut diamond French wire, mounted in platinum and gold. 

At Sotheby’s New York sale of Magnificent Jewels on April 20, 2011, this 25.01 carat, rectangular-shaped, Fancy Brownish Greenish Yellow diamond, SI1 clarity grade, flanked by two shield-shaped colorless stones - weighing a total of 2.40 carats sold for a USD $410,500. That is over USD $60,000 more than its upper estimated price. 

On April 14, 2011, this extremely rare 3.18 carat, Marquise-Shaped, Fancy Vivid Blue, Internally Flawless diamond, set within a contemporary openwork flower design diamond mounting sold for USD $3,274,500 at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels auction. 

On April 12, 2011, a 3.25 carat, square emerald-cut, Fancy Vivid Blue, internally flawless diamond sold for USD $1.1 million per carat. It was set on a platinum ring, flanked on either side by half-moon diamonds. This natural pure blue diamond ring was sold at Christie’s auction to Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading for approximately USD $3.6 million total. 


3.25 Carat, Fancy Vivid Blue, Square Emerald-Cut, IF

3.25 Carat, Fancy Vivid Blue, Square Emerald-Cut, IF

The strength in fancy color diamond prices exhibited by the auction results from this past year clearly demonstrates the steady financial appreciation we have seen over the past few decades.

The more recent auction results serve to illustrate that even following the recent financial turmoil which started to unravel in late-July, the upward trend in fancy color diamonds prices seems to be completely intact. It is in times of adversity that the true character of an investment can be assessed.

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