Bidding Up a Blue Streak

Any time a blue diamond comes up for sale, it’s a big deal. Experts place their scarcity as only slightly less rare than red diamonds.  Blue hued crystals are indeed a natural phenomenon to covet.

How Rare are They?

Sotheby’s places blue diamond’s rarity into perspective. A December 7, 2018, article titled The Rarest of the Rare; Multimillion-Dollar Blue Diamonds, explains, “For every 10,000 gem-quality diamonds found, only one possesses brilliant and coveted color. Captivating and enigmatic, blue diamonds are considered the rarest of them all.” 

Additionally, the Natural Color Diamond Association indicates that only one natural blue diamond can be found on the market for every 100 Picasso paintings up at auction.

Very few blue diamonds are discovered annually, still we are witnessing an uptick in blue diamonds coming onto the market as their prices soar. Year after year their demand increases in tandem with stellar price hikes.

Wealth Management

Fancy color diamonds have performed exceptionally well as a portable asset for its owner, and one that can be enjoyed in a practical way by being worn.

While the general public is just beginning to discover color diamonds, there are plenty of historical references to help develop a thirst for these miracles of nature.

LEIBISH 1.50 Carat, Fancy Blue Diamond

LEIBISH 3.69 Carat, Fancy Blue Diamond

The Legendary Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond is the most widely recognized blue diamond with a long and complicated history, replete with predictions of curses on its owners. But famed jeweler Harry Winston put the brakes on any further negative perception of the stone when he purchased it and immediately donated the 45.52 carat blue rock to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

The Hope Diamond

Why So Blue?

Circumstances are distinct with each fancy color diamond’s development. For natural blue crystals, it’s pretty straightforward. While diamonds are composed of a single element—carbon, its contact with trace amounts of other elements during formation result in a color crystal. With blue diamonds, the presence of boron molecules trapped inside the crystal lattice transforms it into a blue stone.

As fascinating as the background stories are, actually seeing a blue diamond is what excites collectors. Like all naturally formed substances, each blue diamond has its own distinct tint and inclusions—which aids in the stone’s unique identification.

LEIBISH 1.29 Carat, Fancy Intense Blue Diamond, IF Clarity

Star of the Auction

Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction held on November 9, 2022, offered exceptional jewels from various epochs and by big name jewel houses. Fancy light pink diamonds, yellow diamonds, and brown diamonds too were offered for sale. But a standout piece, Lot 333 was aptly named Superb fancy Blue diamond ring on its listing.

Lot 333: Superb Fancy Blue Diamond Ring

The 2.75 carat marquise shaped fancy blue stone was accompanied by a GIA report assigning a VS1 clarity. Diagram notes indicated the diamond might grade up to IF (Internally Flawless) after minor repolishing.

With a pre-auction estimate of 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 CHF, bidders knew this was the prize to win. In fact, it sold for $2,288,500, a powerful indicator of what knowledgeable buyers feel about this rare diamond, and the fact that if you want it, you must bid to win.

LEIBISH: 5 Carat, Fancy Intense Blue Diamond

More Blues on the Horizon
Scarce as they are, we will see more blue diamonds come to market soon. Forbes published a report on October 13, 2022, about the upcoming Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction which is coming up later this year. Named The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, these 8 rare fancy color blue diamonds are expected to earn more than $70M—with its high estimate closer to $84.8M. For fancy color diamond afficionados, this is the sale to watch.

The report concluded with a fascinating detail on these diamonds. “Recovered from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, the De Beers Exceptional Blues are a true testament of our world’s most extraordinary treasures and what is yet to be discovered,” remarked Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby’s Jewels, Americas.

This news makes blue diamonds not only “the ones to watch”—but the rare encounters for savvy collectors to grab. ▼

Popular Articles View more articles
Article Image

Paddles up! Collectors showed their enthusiasm for colored stones that went under the gavel in 2023. From auction results we learn what buyers favored this past

Article Image

The cheers and applause that accompany diamond auction houses have been evident over the past four years, asewll as the recored rising diamond prices.

Article Image

VVS diamonds rank high in rarity and desirability amongst knowledgeable collectors In order to create a standardized language for communicating the quality components