Top Tier Spending Outside the Retail Stores

“The sky ahead is blue! Just look behind the current clouds.”

Pre-auction estimates and actual sales figures have become clear indicators of market interest in fancy color diamonds and colored gemstones now. The precarious global outlook at the moment is having an impact on buyer’s mood to acquire the best-of-the-best in collectible and investment jewels. 

Yellow Power 

Christies leads its news release of the upcoming New York sale slated for November 28, 2023, with a spectacular pair of fancy-vivid orange yellow ear pendants. They predict a price tag of $12-M for the stunners. Other important designer jewels from world-class collections are scheduled to captivate collectors at the anticipated sale. 

This hefty estimate underscores the attention collectors pay to purchase important yellow diamonds lately. Other fancy color diamonds are experiencing robust sales prices too.

Blue Cravings 

Bleu Royale - Fancy Vivd Blue Pear Diamond 17.61ct

High-jewelry lovers took note of the recent sale of the Bleu Royale, an internally flawless fancy vivid diamond that garnered $44-M at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 7, 2023. Numbers broken down, the Bleu Royale earned about $2.5-M per carat, placing the stone in the upper tier of is pre-sale estimate of $35-50-M. 

Two words spelled top dollar for this rare diamond, Internally Flawless. Christie’s billed the 17.61ct blue pear as the “largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond to appear at auction.” 

Simply put, these stones and rarities like them are all one of a kind. Collectors will never come across exactly the same treasure again because nature creates each diamond with distinct and never-to-be copied traits. 

We’re witnessing a great comeback with blue diamonds which are not only grabbing attention but fetching high prices at the latest Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions. 

Shifting Shopper’s Habits

All this is happening while luxury jewelry brands are struggling to attract clients with ticket items over the million dollar mark. But business at the auctions and high-end Internet retailers are grabbing a good share of their sales now. 

Diamonds by the Numbers 

That 17.61 ct fancy vivid blue selling at $44-M made it the most expensive diamond of 2023. It’s about 10 % higher per carat than the Infinite Blue, an 11.28 carat fancy vivid blue which sold in October at Sotheby's Hong Kong, was deemed a ‘relative bargain’ by the trades. 

Putting this into perspective, blue diamonds represent less than 0.1 % of the global rough diamond output. Their extraordinary rarity allows them to command a collector’s price. 

Colorful Gemstones Warrant Attention 

Collectors who love the color blue have other opportunities to satisfy their craving. For example, royal blue sapphires offer a luxurious appeal at an attractive price point. Burmese (Myanmar) sapphires are the top ones to collect, many say.

Our 30.36 carat sugarloaf cabochon Myanmar (no-heat) sapphire displays a rich royal blue color and wows with a glamor similar to its visual-cousin, the vivid blue diamond. This is an impressive royal blue sapphire at an enticing price point. 

Current Mood 

Overall, the jewelry trade remains in a gloomy mood, reports Edahn Golan. The respected diamond analyst reported that the US jewelry market sank by 8.2 % year to year. 

What’s the root? I stated many times that the industry’s unfortunate fawning over the LGD sector will produce a painful post-traumatic effect on the jewelry trade as a whole. 

Now you have it. You sell a lot of fakes, and you undermine the value of real natural diamonds while driving down the total volume at the same time. Pair that to sky-rocketing interest rates, and a crisis in the diamond trade ensues.

Personally, I don’t see the fine jewelry niche sustaining a real lasting crisis, but rather those sales have gone to different outlets, like auction houses and internet brands. 

Tremendous Parallels 

I am looking over the latest fine art and novel jewelry auctions which reveal collector’s healthy appetite across the board for owning important art or fine jewelry. 

So how can the auction houses grab both businesses and jewelers holding the crying baby? 

First, let’s look at art auctions which have a similar (sometimes the same) clientele to those buying high end Jewelry. 

For example, look at the Emily Fisher Landau collection, touted as the most valuable ever for a female collector according to ArtNet News. That important art collector’s ork sold on November 8, 2023, at Sotheby’s Geneva. 

Picasso's cubist-era Femme a la Montre

Highlighted by Picasso's cubist-era Femme a la Montre which sold for $140-M, the auction house bought in a total $406-M all told for her collection. 

There are of course glaringly obvious parallels between these original masterpieces of art and rare diamonds and gemstones. They are both one-and-done, never to come around again. Savvy collectors are cognizant of these once in a lifetime opportunities. 

“We feel really good about where we are [after making] $400-M for 31 objects in a single evening sale,” Sotheby’s David Galperin said in regard to Sotheby’s position heading into its modern, contemporary and the now evening sales next week. 

The air in such auctions is a bit similar to the high-stakes games played at the top casinos--great ambiance punctuated by an electric atmosphere. But if you want to win in the auction world, you have to show your money and be ready to add some more to your original budget. Then the auction house discreetly adds the juice (a buyer’s premium) of 15% over your final hammer price. 

Auction -v- Tender 

Auctions are still better than Tenders. When you don’t see the next bidder on a Tender you’re really sending out a shot in the dark based on your best guess-estimation of your competitor’s top bid. 

Personally, I think buying over the internet is a much better option for collectors, especially when it comes to the big ticket items. There’s a complete money-back guarantee for 30 days. Plus you can negotiate your price and design a custom piece of jewelry using the stone you bought.

What Our Customers Chose

SOLD: 5.01 ct Fancy Vivid Yellow Emerald GIA VVS1- by Leibish 

At LEIBISH, we sold some noteworthy stones to internet customers whom we’ve never actually met face to face. For instance, we got a call from a buyer in Europe for a 5.01 carat vivid yellow emerald cut diamond ring, showing top yellow color, a perfect stone.

In all modesty, it was the best 5 carat vivid yellow that money could buy. As one of our old clients Elliott G. would say, “It’s a stone to die for.” It was a great deal for our client, selling at well over $400K which they fully paid. 

The story didn’t end there. It was picked up from our Tel Aviv office 3 months later, and it was combined with a sunny weekend in Tel Aviv for the happy client. 

Incidentally, it was followed with a pair of matching earrings, and then a vivid yellow diamond pendant. All told, the total surpassed a million dollars.

White Glove Treatment 

We’re acknowledged for our exceptional customer care from each of our clients. Case in point was the 4.08 carat Fancy Pink diamond we sold to an English lady living in Florida. 

SOLD: LEIBISH 4.08 Fancy Pink Diamond Ring

She was super happy with her ring, but suddenly her finger had swollen up which distressed her. To make her smile again, we picked up her ring and fixed it overnight, then delivered it back to her the next morning. She was really satisfied. Here's a peek at some important royal blue sapphires we sold recently as well.

Final Thoughts

Our business is unique in that we offer items collectors develop a taste and appreciation for. In that light, I’d say our industry is motivated and driven by mood, emotion, and trust. 

Some people run around with a red bow tie waving a red flag of warning while predicting gloom. But Papa Leibish has become seen as a sort of legend of optimism. 

“The sky ahead is blue! Just look behind the current clouds.” ▼

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