The 2016 JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards: The Winners
You’ve got to hand it to JCK’s readers: They know a good ring when they see it.
For the third straight year, that style has nabbed top honors in our retailer-voted Jewelers’ Choice Awards. In 2014, it was a sweet morganite cocktail ring by Yael Designs. In 2015, a luminous Lightning Ridge opal ring from Omi Privé. And this year, the grand-prize winner is Rahaminov Diamonds’ dazzling Rosé ring.
Varied as they are, each of those rings has had one thing in common: an indisputably stunning center stone. “The diamond dictates the design,” says Rahaminov owner-designer Tamara Rahaminov Goldfiner. In this case, it’s a 2.32 ct. natural fancy pink VVS1 GIA oval diamond, which went on the wheel “several times,” she explains, “to maximize its beauty, shape, color, and clarity.” Trust us when we tell you the gem generated enough sparkle to stop traffic. (Don’t worry, Tamara—we didn’t actually take it outside into traffic.)
Of course, there’s plenty of sparkle coming from all of our honorees—47 winners in 20 categories (including one timely addition for 2016: Lab-Grown Diamond and/or Gemstone Jewelry). Which should be more than enough to throw yourself one blinding ring party.
54 posts categorized "Colored Diamonds"
De Beers Millennium Jewel Sells for $32 MillionThe 10.1 ct. internally flawless fancy vivid blue was nearly stolen in a famed failed heist
The oval-shape 10.1 ct. internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond’s price came out to $3.1 million per ct. The final price, while still substantial, was toward the lower end of its $30 million–$35 million estimate.
It is just one of a number of blue diamonds to hit the auction block recently:
- In November 2015, the 12.03 ct. internally flawless fancy vivid Blue Moon sold for $48.5 million, a world record for any diamond.
- The Shirley Temple Blue, a 9.54 ct. fancy deep blue worn by the actress, will be auctioned at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale on April 19 in New York.
- On May 18, Christie’s will auction the 14.62 ct. fancy vivid Oppenheimer Blue. Its estimate is $38 million– $45 million.
The De Beers Millennum Jewel 4 is known for nearly being snatched while on display in London’s Millennium Dome in a famed failed heist. On Nov. 7, 2000, a gang of theives drove a bulldozer past a security guard, donned gas masks, and set off smoke bombs, intending to bash through the display cases with hammers, snatch the jewels, and escape on speedboats waiting on the nearby Thames River. It would have been the largest jewel heist in history.
According to histories of the event, the gang was already under surveillance by police because of two attempted heists. Thanks to a tip, police noted gang members repeatedly visiting the Dome during high tide on the Thames. From that point forward, police flooded the Dome with policemen on days of high tide. The day of the robbery, the Dome replaced the jewels with fakes and police were waiting. The men ended up trapped in the Dome vault and were easily overpowered without any shots being fired.
The diamond was also renamed 'Blue Moon Of Josephine'. This comes just a day after the tycoon, affectionately known as Big Liu, spent a whopping $40.4 million (Nearly Rs 268 crores) over a 16.08 carat pink diamond for his daughter that he also renamed 'Sweet Josephine'.
Six years back, he bought then 1-year-old Josephine her first major diamond; a 7.03-carat blue diamond for US$9.48 million (Nearly Rs 63 crores). This diamond was renamed by him as the 'Star of Josephine'.
While you marvel at the luck that follows the young josephine, let us tell you that she is not the only lucky daughter of Joseph. Her elder half-sister, 14-year-old Zoe also got two amazing gifts last year. She was gifted with a 9.75-carat 'Zoe Diamond'(US$32.6 million), and a 'Zoe Red' ruby (S$11.9 million).
Big Liu surely knows his way into his daughters' hearts and he knows the one universal truth that"Diamonds are a girl's best friend".
The 12.03-carat diamond, named the “Blue Moon” because of its rarity, will lead Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale scheduled to take place Nov. 11 in Geneva.
The cushion-shaped, brilliant-cut stone boasts an exceptional clarity, declared internally flawless by the Gemological Institute of America.
It comes to market with an estimate of between $35 million and $55 million. If it sells at the high end of that range, the stone could become the most expensive diamond in auction history.
The current record is held by the Graff Pink, a 24.78-carat fancy intense that went for $46.2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010. (Sotheby’s actually topped the Graff Pink sale in November 2013 when it sold the 59.6-carat “Pink Star” for $83.2 million, but the record didn’t hold as the buyer couldn’t pay for it, requiring Sotheby’s to acquire the stone itself.)
Scientists from the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Institution were able to study the Blue Moon diamond, noting that the color of the blue diamond is “true and saturated” throughout, with no other colors present.
The polished stone was cut from a 29.62-carat piece of rough unearthed at Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa in January. A month later, Cora International NY purchased it for $25.6 million, or $862,780 per carat.
Sotheby’s also currently holds the world auction record for a blue diamond. This was set by the Zoe diamond, a 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond that sold for $32.6 million in November 2014 during its sale of the late “Bunny” Mellon’s jewelry.
“Weighing in at 12.03 carats, the Blue Moon diamond is a simply sensational stone of perfect color and purity, combined with a superb cushion shape,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division. “Blue, for me, is the most mysterious and magical of all the colors of diamond, and the Blue Moon will now take its place among the most famous gems in the world.”
Rio Tinto once again has four fancy reds in its annual tender of special stones from the Argyle in Western Australia, the mine that produces the vast majority of the world’s pink and red diamonds.
Including the four fancy reds, there are total of 65 diamonds in this year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, up from 55 last year.
There also are five “hero” stones this year, top-quality diamonds to which Rio Tinto assigns a name.
This year, Rio Tinto’s partnership with The Australian Ballet inspired the names assigned to the hero stones.
-- Argyle Prima, a 1.20-carat pear-shaped fancy red
Viewings of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender in Hong Kong are by invitation only. Following the viewings there, Rio Tinto will bring the diamonds to New York and then back to Australia.
Tender bids are scheduled to close Oct. 21.
The auction market got a shot of adrenaline last night, as the Sotheby’s Geneva sale set a world record for any jewelry auction—and capped that with six more world records, almost all for colored stones.
The auction fetched $160.9 million, or 149.9 CHF (Swiss francs). That tops the previous record holder, the Christie’s November auction in Geneva, which fetched 147.2 million CHF. (Sotheby’s briefly claimed the title for its $199 million November 2013 sale, but that didn’t stand after an $83.1 million pink diamond sale was canceled.)
The sale gives a nice boost to the Sotheby’s jewelry sales, which were down two percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to its 10-Q.
The 25.59 ct. Burmese Sunrise Ruby sold for $30.3 million ($1.1 million a carat), doubling the low end of its $12 million to $18 million estimate. The stone set records for a ruby, both in total price and per-carat price; for any non-diamond jewel; and any stone by Cartier. The buyer was not named.
The blood-red stone was a favorite of Sotheby’s worldwide jewelry chairman David Bennett, who said last month: “I have remained in awe of the Sunrise Ruby since the first moment I set eyes on it. In over 40 years, I cannot recall ever having seen another Burmese ruby of this exceptional size possessing such outstanding color.”
The Sunrise sale significantly tops the ruby record set just six months ago by the 8.62 ct. Graff Ruby, which sold for $8.6 million at Christie’s Geneva in November 2014.
The Historic Pink Diamond, an 8.72 ct. fancy vivid pink, achieved $15.9 million, which fell within its $14 million to $18 million estimate, and also went to an unnamed buyer. The diamond is believed by the Gemological Institute of America to have been part of the outstanding collection of Princess Mathilde of Bonaparte, Napoleon I’s niece. It only recently resurfaced, having been kept in a bank vault since the 1940s.
The other records were set for sapphires and pearls:
- A pair of very fine Burmese sapphire and diamond ear clips with a combined weight of 32.67 cts. sold for $3.2 million, setting a world record price for a pair of Burmese sapphire earrings.
- A Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch weighing 30.23 cts. sold for $6.1 million, setting a record for a Kashmir sapphire (the previous record was set in November).
- A rare natural pearl and diamond necklace sold for $7 million, setting a record for a two-row natural pearl necklace.
The popularity and price of fancy colored diamonds have been on the rise globally, driven by Asian investors.
From 2006 to 2014, fancy colored diamonds (pink, yellow, and blue diamonds) experienced an average total appreciation of 154.7%, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), a non-profit colored diamond index that was established last year. In the same time period, the colorless, white diamond increased by 62.4%, according to the Diamond Prices Index.
China and Hong Kong now represent approximately 40% of sales of the fancy colored diamond market, according to FCRF. “Most increases in fancy colored diamond prices, particularly for pink diamonds, is driven by Asian customers,” says Tracey Greenstein, director of research at FCRF.
The high demand and extreme rarity of the colored diamond are what keep pushing up its price: It’s formed when a non-carbon element—such as nitrogen and hydrogen— is accidentally trapped during the crystallization process of the diamond. The foreign element is what renders the diamond colorful.
Outside of Asia, colored diamonds are often considered assets with highly attractive investment potential whereas colorless diamonds are more suitable for gifting. But in Asia, they are seen as both.
Edward Alvarado, director of colored diamond dealer, Diamintel notes that he often sees Chinese couples coming to his office looking for a colored diamond ring “for her” but walk out with “her ring and his ring.”
“A lot of men liked colored diamonds in China,” says Alvarado. “With white diamonds they might think it looks girly or flashy but with colored diamonds, they can choose some of the more masculine colors.”
As a Venezuelan company that supplies clients globally, Diamintel now sees 80% of their revenue coming from Greater China. Three years ago, Europe and the United States took up 50% of their total revenue.
Major auction houses have been bringing some of the most valuable natural color diamonds to market through the Hong Kong sales, whereas Geneva and New York were the two main focal points before, according to the Natural Color Diamond Association (NCDIA).
Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold an 8.41-carat purple-pink diamond for a record $17.77 million U.S. dollars in last year’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale. Just two months ago, a 13.88-carat yellow diamond ring and a pair of 6.30 and 6.15-carat diamond earrings sold for $466,667 and $312,821 U.S. dollar, respectively, in Hong Kong.
And the colored diamond phenomenon is not exclusive to Asia’s super rich. Many of the private buyers at the Hong Kong wholesale jewelry trade shows are part of the growing middle class nowadays.
“We live in a time of a democratisation of the diamond market,” says Diamintel’s Alvarado. “The market is getting a lot more educated and global- and it’s not just the traditional elites that are collecting but the savvy Asian investors as well.”
A new index by The Fancy Color Research Foundation (The FCRF) shows that fancy color diamonds have delivered strong and consistent price increases, outperforming key global asset indices since 2005.
Fancy color diamonds, predominantly yellow, pink and blue diamonds, have always been highly prized and rare assets. They are found randomly and unpredictably in diamond mines throughout the world and are enjoyed by sophisticated jewelry buyers and gem collectors alike. Consistent recent growth in values has reflected the changing dynamics of global wealth notably the fast paced growth of emerging markets and the appeal of fancy color diamonds as an investment product.
The Fancy Color Diamond Index (The Index) has been developed by The FCRF from proprietary access to tens of thousands of fancy color diamond transactions since 2005 and will be updated on a quarterly basis. The Index provides greater knowledge and understanding of fancy color diamond pricing trends to jewelry retail, wholesale and mining industries.
Fancy color diamonds, across pinks, yellows and blues, have increased in value by 167 percent on average since January 2005, outperforming other leading assets in a similar period, for example, the Dow Jones industrial average has increased 58 percent, Standard & Poor’s 500 has increased 63 percent and London house prices have increased 82.1 percent.
Looking in more detail the Index shows that pink diamonds have shown the greatest growth in value, up by 360 percent in the last nine years, with blues showing less dramatic but equally consistent growth of a 161 percent by value. Crucially, both pink and blue diamonds were unaffected by the global financial crisis with blues keeping their value and pinks still increasing through 2008 to 2010.
The publication of the Index marks the launch of The FCRF, which is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote fair-trade, ethics and transparency in the fancy color diamond retail, wholesale and mining industry.
The FCRF activity will encompass:
• Developing innovative research and digital tools that will support the fancy color diamond retail selling process for consumers, retailers and collectors;
• Promoting fair trade in fancy color diamonds throughout the value chain underpinned by reliable data analysis to create a uniform knowledge base across all industry layers;
• Authoring publications to clarify the complex methodology for evaluating fancy color diamonds;
• Correcting common misconceptions about evaluating fancy color diamonds.
The FCRF expects that together these activities will enhance consumer demand and retail understanding of fancy color diamonds.
The FCRF was initiated by Eden Rachminov, author of "The Fancy Color Diamond Book" and winner of the NCDIA education award. Ambitions and activities of The FCRF will be guided and evaluated by an experienced board of advisors that work throughout the diamond pipeline.
Rachminov, a member of the board of advisors for The FCRF, commented, “The launch of The Fancy Color Research Foundation is in response to the growth in fancy color diamonds transactions and the resulting need for greater education, understanding and clarity in the industry.
“The process and skills for evaluating fancy color diamonds are unique to this exceptional product. As a result there is a need to clarify misconceptions and to highlight the differences to evaluating colorless diamonds.
“In addition to publishing the Index, The FCRF is developing and publishing a series of practical tools, targeted at retailers. We are confident that The Fancy Color Research Foundation will be a significant influence on increasing demand within the fancy color diamond industry.”
Membership of the FCRF is open to retailers, auction houses, wholesale traders/manufacturers, financial institutions, insurance appraisers and mining companies. Organizations interested in membership of The FCRF should visit fcresearch.org to register details.
About the Fancy Color Diamond Index:
The Index is a first of its kind tracker of changes in the market prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds, the three most commonly traded fancy color diamond categories (a market price is a wholesale transaction taking place in one or more of the global diamond trading centers).
The Index is a composite representation of changes in price points gathered since 2005, based on a statistically significant sample size. It offers insight into variations in the appreciation of diamonds of different colors and sizes.
The Fancy Color Research Foundation oversees proprietary prevalence and pricing data aggregation and production of the index. A third party New York-based audit firm reviews the development of The Index from the various data points gathered.
The Index can be used to understand and track the historical price behavior of different rare fancy color diamonds.
By Logan Sachon, Social Media Journalist
Will rare pink diamond auction sparkle for investors?
Pink diamond tender comes as wealthy Asian buyers spur rise in the precious stonesRio Tinto, the world's second-largest mining company, has launched its latest rare pink diamond auction in Australia as prices for the most sought after of precious gems stones are expected to surge. The 2014 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection which is going under the hammer comprises 55 diamonds, including 51 pink and purplish red diamonds and four Fancy Red diamonds.Only 13 Fancy Red diamonds have been included in the annual tender in the last 30 years.Diamonds are becoming an increasingly rare item as fewer mines remain in operation and new discoveries dwindle. According to Petra Diamonds there are only around 30 operational diamond mines still working around the world. De Beers estimates there is only a 1pc chance of finding a profitable diamond mine.Rio Tinto controls the market for pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Around 65pc of the world's diamond supplies come from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director said: "Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world's entire source of rare pink and red diamonds."The pinnacle of the production from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine, the annual pink tender diamonds are now celebrated internationally as amongst the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. We have seen and continue to see sustained demand and price growth for Argyle pink diamonds." Investors have until October 8 to submit bids for the diamonds, which will be showcased in New York, Sydney, Perth and Hong Kong.According to Rio Tinto, the market for pink diamonds is quite separate to white diamonds, and due to their rarity, pink diamonds typically command prices far in excess of white diamonds. The world's biggest certified diamond is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found at the mine near Pretoria in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. However, most of the new demand for diamonds is now coming from the Asian market.In 2000, the whole of Asia made up 8pc of global diamond jewellery sales, while in 2012 China and Hong Kong alone made up 13pc, with the expectation that this will rise to 18pc by 2017. Bain's 2013 diamond report found that the stones have strong spiritual resonance in China, where diamonds are associated with eternity and high status. And the country's affluent middle class is predicted to grow by 60pc, or 200m, to a total of more than 500m over the next six years..