Christie’s expects to sell a rare fancy-vivid-pink diamond for between $30 million and $50 million, potentially setting a new world auction record price for the color category.
The rectangular-cut, 18.96-carat, type IIa Pink Legacy, belonging to the Oppenheimer Family, will lead the Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva, the auction house said Tuesday. The stone is the largest fancy-vivid-pink diamond Christie’s has ever auctioned, describing the piece as internally “very pure.”
“The discovery of this previously unrecorded and remarkable diamond will cause immense excitement with collectors and connoisseurs of diamonds around the world,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of jewelry at Christie’s. “Its exceptional provenance will no doubt propel it into a class of its own as one of the world’s greatest diamonds.”
The Pink Promise, an oval-shaped, 14.93-carat, vivid-pink diamond, which Christie’s sold at its Hong Kong auction for $32.5 million in 2017, holds the current record.
Christie’s will sell the Pink Legacy at its Magnificent Jewels auction on November 13 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva. The auction house will preview the stone in Hong Kong, London, New York and Geneva between September 28 and November 13.
66 posts categorized "Colored Diamonds"
This spring, the Farnese Blue, a diamond with an incredible historic pedigree, will be offered by Sotheby’s—marking the first time the gem has ever been brought to auction. Originally given to Queen of Spain Elisabeth Farnese by the Philippines to celebrate her marriage to King Philip in 1714, the gem was later owned by a descendant of France’s last queen, Marie Antoinette. Over the next 300 years, it was furtively passed down through four European royal families. The 6.16-carat, pear-shaped dark gray-blue diamond was hidden in a casket as it traveled through Spain, France, Italy, and Austria.
“With its incredible pedigree, the Farnese Blue ranks among the most important historic diamonds in the world,” said Dr. Philipp Herzog von Württemberg, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and managing director of Germany, in a statement from the auction house. “From the first minute I saw the stone, I could not resist its magic, and as such, it is a huge privilege to have been entrusted with this sale.”
Blue has often been identified as the color of kings and in the 17th and 18th centuries, blue diamonds were viewed as the ultimate royal gift. Like the famous Hope and Wittelsbach diamonds, the Farnese Blue was certainly found in the famed Golconda mines of India, which was the sole source of diamonds until the discoveries in Brazil in the 1720s.
“It is difficult to put into words the excitement of holding between thumb and forefinger a gem discovered centuries ago, knowing it originated in the legendary Golconda diamond mines of India,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division and co-chair of Sotheby’s Switzerland. “This stone has witnessed 300 years of European history and in color is reminiscent of historic Golconda blue gems such as the Hope Diamond.”
The legendary diamond will be offered at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on May 15. Its estimated value is between $3.7 million and $5.3 million.
On Saturday, the museum will open a new exhibition called “Green Diamonds: Natural Radiance,” adding eight cases of the green gems to its Gem and Mineral Hall.
The loose and set diamonds come as part of the Gamma Collection, which is on loan from Optimum Diamonds LLC and was assembled over a period of about 15 years. Gamma is comprised of more than 60 of the rarest and most prestigious natural colored diamonds in the world, according to the museum. The 0.58 carat fancy vivid green diamond shown to the right is an example of the beauty to be seen.
The collection showcases a variety of shapes, cuts and shades of the color spectrum.
The highlight of the exhibition is “The Mantis,” the largest vivid yellowish-green diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America at 4.17 carats, as well as “The Shangri-La,” a large vivid green diamond weighing 3.88 carats. Both are mounted in rings.
There also is “The Light of Erasmus,” an extremely rare 1.63-carat vivid greenish-blue diamond.
In addition to seeing the diamonds, the exhibition also will give museum visitors the opportunity to learn about the formation of diamonds and scientific origins of the green color, including the gamma radiation that inspired the name of the collection.
The exhibition also will explore the unsolved mysteries behind “Chameleon” diamonds, which temporarily change color when exposed to light or heat. “Natural Radiance” will feature three of these stones, including a 3.08-carat dark gray greenish-yellow diamond.
The company will also exhibit two very rare diamonds Optimum Diamonds won at the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender: the Argyle Everglow and the Argyle Liberté.
The collection will be on view at the museum from Dec. 9 through April 1, 2018.
Coinciding with the launch of the exhibition, the Los Angeles GIA Alumni Association is hosting its second annual “Night Among Gems” event at the museum on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Attendees will get to see the stones as well as mingle with Associate Curator of Mineral Sciences Aaron Celestian.
Tickets can be purchased online.
Sotheby’s sold $54 million worth of jewelry at its New York auction on Tuesday as several pieces containing rare blue diamonds and gemstones yielded higher-than-expected prices.
An anonymous buyer spent $15.1 million, or $2.7 million per carat, on an emerald-cut, 5.69-carat, fancy vivid blue, VVS1-clarity diamond ring, beating its upper estimate of $15 million, the auctioneer said. Meanwhile, a pear-shaped, 2.05-carat, fancy intense blue, internally flawless diamond ring fetched $2.7 million, or $1.3 million per carat, in a sale to a member of the trade — well above its high estimate of $1.5 million.
Sapphire jewelry also attracted strong prices. A Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet containing 193.73 carats of the blue stones went to a private collector for $3.1 million, having drawn an estimate of up to $1.5 million. A sapphire-and-diamond necklace-bracelet combination by Harry Winston — with seven emerald-cut sapphires weighing a combined 123.13 carats — fetched $1.9 million, beating the expected price of up to $1.5 million.
“The market continues to show its strength in colored stones, with today’s results driven by intense competition for important colored diamonds, sapphires and emeralds in particular,” Sotheby’s jewelry-division chair Gary Schuler said.
A 110.92-carat, L-color, VS1-clarity diamond — the largest round diamond in auction history — appeared on Sotheby’s list of unsold lots. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of New York working hours.
The Donnersmarck Diamonds, a pair of fancy intense yellow diamonds with aristocratic provenance is being offered as part of Sotheby’s Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels November 15 at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva.
The diamonds, formerly in the collection of the von Donnersmarck family, consist of a 102.54-carat cushion-shaped diamond and an 82.47-carat pear-shaped diamond. They are being offered as a single lot with a pre-sale estimate of $9 - $14 million.
Sotheby’s said these diamonds are attached to one of the great love stories of the 19th Century.
“These stunning diamonds carry with them a fascinating story, full of romance and determination over adversity, which could have inspired some of the greatest novels and operas, from Manon Lescaut to La Traviata,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division.
Born Esther Lachman, the Russian native of modest means arrived in Paris at the age of 18 and was introduced to the city’s cultural and artistic circles. She gained the friendship of many artists, including Richard Wagner, Hans von Bülow, Théophile Gautier and Emile de Girardin.
In the late 1840s, she met the Portuguese Marquis Albino Francisco de Araújo de Païva. They were married in 1851 but the marriage lasted only one day.
Now known as La Païva, It was around this time she met her future husband, German nobleman, Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830-1916), one of Europe’s richest men. Their relationship was the talk of Paris high society and in 1871, the two were married.
Among the jewels von Donnersmarck gave to La Païva during the course of their marriage was the two yellow diamonds now known as the Donnersmarck Diamonds.
Following La Païva’s death in 1884, the count, who became prince in 1901, retained ownership of the diamonds. They remained in the Donnersmarck family for more than a century until they appeared at auction at Sotheby’s in 2007 where they sold for approximately $7.9 million. They will appear again in November after having been in a private collection for the past 10 years.
The Donnersmarck Diamonds come to the market at the same time that Sotheby’s is celebrating its 10th anniversary in sales dedicated to “noble jewels,” storied jewels of great provenance.
“Ten years ago, they were the star of the show when we launched our very first sale dedicated to Noble Jewels here in Geneva,” Bennett said. “I am delighted to mark a decade of success by presenting these exceptional diamonds once again. Jewels of royal and aristocratic provenance carry with them a special sense of history and these are no exception.”
In the same sale, Sotheby’s is offering “The Raj Pink,” the world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond, weighing 37.30 carats with an estimate of $20 - $30 million.
Anthony DeMarco is a freelance writer and founder of Jewelry News Network. Please join me on Facebook, Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork.
ALROSA has found a 34.17-carat yellow diamond which is the largest fancy-colored rough diamond extracted by the company this year.
The rough diamond, extracted from the Ebelyakh alluvial deposit, measures 20.17 х 19.65 х 15.1 mm. It is a transparent intense yellow crystal with a small inclusion in the intermediate zone, the miner said.
Before the end of October, it will be delivered to the United Selling Organization ALROSA (USO ALROSA) in Moscow, where the company specialists will give it a more detailed and accurate assessment.
"This year for ALROSA has already hit the record in the number of large fancy-colored stones," said the director of the United Selling Organization ALROSA Evgeny Agureev. "We used to extract fancy-colored rough diamonds over 10 carats once a year on average. This year, we have already recovered several large fancy-colored diamonds, and this 34.17-carat yellow stone is the largest one so far.
"The company's specialists are still to study the stone more in detail, but we can say in advance that it is fancy vivid yellow, which is very rare and highly valued. The stone will become a worthy addition to our collection of large rare-colored diamonds that we are forming and will bring to the market."
Earlier this year, ALROSA also extracted a 27.85-carat pure pink diamond - the largest pink stone in its history.
Weighing 27.85 carats, the rough diamond has dimensions of 22.47 x 15.69 x 10.9 mm, and is described by the company as being “of gem-quality and almost free of inclusions.”
Prior to this find, Alrosa said the biggest pink diamond it had ever recovered was 3.86 carats. That too was discovered by Almazy Anabara, which recovers pink and other natural color diamonds at the Severalmaz kimberlite pipes and placer deposits.
Apart from that stone, which was found in 2012, Alrosa has found only three pink diamonds weighing more than 2 carats over the last eight years.
This week’s news of the recovery of a nearly 28-carat high-quality pink follows the company’s August unveiling of the five polished diamonds it cut from a colorless 179-carat piece of rough it found in 2015 and dubbed “The Romanovs” diamond.
The largest of the stones is a 51.38-carat round brilliant, D color, VVS1 clarity diamond with triple excellent cut. Called “The Dynasty,” it is the biggest stone of this quality ever cut by the company.
Commenting on The Dynasty, Alrosa said: “This stone gives a start to a new stage in the development of Alrosa’s cutting division that will actively develop polishing of extra-large and colored diamonds. The Dynasty demonstrated that we can do it at the highest level.”
But whether the company will apply these cutting skills to the newly discovered pink diamond remains to be seen.
In a news release issued Thursday, Evgeny Agureev, the head of USO (United Selling Organization) Alrosa, said the company’s polishing division is examining the diamond in order to decide whether to cut it or sell it rough.
“Large stones, particularly colored, are always in demand at auctions. But if the company decided to cut it, it would become the most expensive diamond in the entire history of Alrosa,” he said.
New York--Christie’s set a world record Tuesday with its sale of the Rockefeller Emerald, raking in $5.5 million for the ring, the highest price per carat for an emerald ever sold at auction.
Swatch Group-owned Harry Winston purchased the stone at the Magnificent Jewels & Rockefeller Emerald auction in New York for $305,000 per carat.
Chief Financial Officer Robert Scott was charged with bidding for the emerald at the sale, under instructions from CEO Nayla Hayek to “bring this magnificent gem home at any price.”
“Harry Winston is immensely proud to own the finest emerald in the world, which once belonged to one of America’s most important dynasties,” Hayek said after the sale.
The Rockefeller Emerald is not the first major stone snapped up by Harry Winston since being bought by Swatch Group, though it is the first in a few years. In 2013, the same year it was acquired by Swatch Group, Harry Winston paid $26.7 million for a 101.73-carat D flawless diamond that it renamed the “Winston Legacy.”
The 18.04-carat octagonal step-cut emerald, which is set in a platinum and diamond ring designed by Raymond Yard, has been christened the Rockefeller-Winston Emerald. Its $5.5 million sale was at the higher end of its pre-sale estimate of $4-$6 million.
Also at Tuesday’s auction, a 5.01-carat deep grayish-bluish-green diamond (pictured left) topped its pre-sale estimate of $2-$4 million, going for $4.4 million.
Works from an important private collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany & Co., which were once part of the Garden Museum Collection in Japan, also achieved well over their pre-sale estimates.
For example, a multi-gem pendant circa 1920 by Louis Comfort Tiffany sold for $271,500, eclipsing its pre-sale estimate of $50,000 to $70,000.
All in all, Christie’s Magnificent Jewels & Rockefeller Emerald auction garnered $26.1 million and was sold 83 percent by lot and 89 percent by value.
Christie’s U.S. Head of Jewelry Tom Burstein said: “The historic Rockefeller Emerald and museum-level collections of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Cartier objects formed the core of what was truly a Magnificent Jewels auction.
“The record prices achieved by the Rockefeller Emerald and fancy deep grayish-bluish-green diamond, coupled with competitive bidding for signed jewelry, underscores the strength in the market for pieces of the highest quality. Our jewelry team is proud to finish the first half on such a strong note and we look forward to the fall sales season.”
Scheduled concurrent with Magnificent Jewels, Christie’s online sale continues to Thursday.
From rubies and emeralds to rare coloured diamonds
Specialist David Warren provides an in-depth expert guide for buyers seeking a bright addition to their collection
1) Fancy or Vivid? Get to know your terminology
A highlight in the coloured stones category — often setting world-record prices — coloured diamonds come with their own specific colour categories. A blue diamond, for example, could be classified as Faint Blue, Very Light Blue, Fancy Light Blue, Fancy Blue, Fancy Intense Blue, Fancy Dark Blue, Fancy Deep Blue or Fancy Vivid Blue. The same principle of categorisation applies to coloured diamonds of virtually all hues.
2) Word order is important
Coloured diamonds aren’t always a single colour. You may sometimes see a diamond described as ‘Vivid Orange Yellow’ — or even ‘Vivid Yellow Orange’. But what’s the difference? The key here is to look at the last word, which will be the principal colour. A pair of Vivid Orange Yellow diamond earrings were recently sold by Christie’s in Geneva, for example, where the colour was considered marginally more towards yellow than orange.
You can also have an ‘Orangey Yellow’. Here, yellow remains the dominant colour, with just a touch of orange; it’s not as orange as an ‘Orange Yellow’.
3) Are some colours more valuable than others?
The rarest of the rare is a red diamond — there aren’t many, and they’re generally not very big. It would be exceptionally unusual to find a red diamond above 2 carats.
4) How are coloured diamonds graded?
Christie’s sends diamonds to the GIA laboratory (the Gemological Institute of America), which provides the world’s most trusted colour grading service. It’s often worth doing, even if you have a stone with a weak colour — particularly if the colour is faint pink, green or blue, for example, which could still be significantly valuable.
A weak yellow diamond, however, might not be, as it is not uncommon to find stones with a yellow tinge. Other colours that may still be attractive and collectable but far less expensive include brown, yellowish brown, greenish yellowish brown, brownish yellow, yellowish brownish green. There are many colour combinations — even black.
5) Where do coloured diamonds come from?
Mining coloured diamonds is really a matter of chance. The only exception is the Argyle mine in Australia, owned by Rio Tinto, which is the only mine in the world to consistently produce pink diamonds, and is also the world’s largest supplier of natural coloured diamonds.
Diamonds in their purest form are white — as are all other gemstones, except three: opal, turquoise and peridot. What turns them a particular colour is the presence of an accidental colouring agent. A blue diamond, for example, will contain a tiny amount of boron in the composition of the stone. Green diamonds acquire their colour from radiation in the ground, while yellow diamonds are created when nitrogen enter their chemical composition. Pink diamonds result from a ‘slip’ in the stone’s lattice structure.
6 What about other coloured stones? Is there such a thing as a perfect emerald?
When it comes to emeralds, the most coveted are a darkish green. It’s important the stone isn’t too dark, however: the highest-quality emeralds combine good colour with clarity. Imagine if you were to take an empty wine bottle made from green glass and hold it up to sunlight — that’s a good indication of the perfect shade.
The proportions of an emerald (or any gemstone) are also important. If they’re poor, light will diffract and go through the stone, rather than bouncing around within it, coming out, and hitting the eye — a phenomenon known as total internal refraction. While fissures, known as ‘inclusions’, are common, too many will affect the beauty of the stone and lower its value.
Although highly rare, it is theoretically possible to get an emerald so perfect in terms of colour, clarity and brightness that it comes close to resembling the brilliance and ‘fire’ of a diamond (I have only ever seen a handful of emeralds that fall into this rare category).
7) What about rubies and sapphires?
The same concerns apply — as with emeralds, buyers of rubies and sapphires should look for stones with an appealing colour, good clarity, and attractive proportions.
A small percentage of the top rubies have a colour referred to as ‘pigeon’s blood’ — a dark red — though must not be too dark. Aim for a rich, warm burgundy that makes you joyful when you look at it.
8) Is origin relevant?
For coloured gemstones, this is a point to be considered, with the top emeralds mined in Colombia, the finest rubies coming from Burma and, for sapphires, the cream of the crop hail from Kashmir. However, it is important to remember that attractive gemstones do come from many different localities, and it is all about the beauty of the colour and the budget available.
9) How important is carat?
It’s a common misconception to think that stones with a higher carat weight are always more valuable. They often are, but you could have a 50-carat emerald that’s worth say $500 per carat — or a five-carat emerald worth $30,000 per carat. The same is true for all stones. It’s a combination of the ‘four c’s’: colour, clarity, cut and carat weight.
10) Should I be wary of treated stones?
Man has a long history of tampering with coloured stones. Emeralds, for example, often have fissures that break the surface, which can be filled with oil or plastic resin. The oil or resin is designed to have the same refractive index as the stone and, once absorbed into the fissures, the inclusions become less apparent. This practice is one that goes back 4,000 years to Ancient Egypt, when natural oils were used.
The degree to which an emerald has been improved with an enhancement agent is graded from none to insignificant, minor, moderate or significant. Oil, though considered to be gentler, can have the disadvantage of leaking from the stone over time, unlike resin, which is permanent. There’s nothing wrong with buying an enhanced stone, as long as the degree of enhancement is reflected in the price — though a beautiful untreated emerald will be worth far more than a beautiful treated emerald.
11 What about coloured diamonds?
Buyers should ensure that the diamond’s colour is natural. Concerning green diamonds, it’s important to verify that the radiation that gave the stone its colour occurred in the ground, and not in a laboratory — one of the hardest tests for the GIA to determine.
Blue diamonds can also be created through artificial irradiation, but mostly look obviously wrong. Similarly, the colour of yellow stones can be enhanced, with the most famous example of an enhanced stone being the Deepdene Diamond, weighing 104.52 carats.
12 How should I care for coloured stones?
One golden rule is: never carry gemstones in a pouch. Sadly, it’s something I’ve seen too often, and results in badly damaged stones. The resistance of minerals is assessed using ‘Mohs scale of hardness’. If stored with other stones, a diamond will scratch another diamond, and any stone softer than it. Sapphires will scratch everything that is softer than them, and so on, down the scale.
It’s a mistake, however, to think that diamonds are indestructible. Although they are the hardest substance known to man, they do have a certain brittleness. A diamond can chip, for example, if it hits a hard surface like marble. Here, weight becomes critical: if a diamond is damaged, it can be re-cut to remove any chips, but in doing this there will be a loss of weight. If a stone weighing 10.05 carats drops to 9.95 carats, the impact on value can be significant, because it has dipped below 10.00 carats. A loss of half a carat in a 15.75 carat stone, on the other hand, may do little to alter value.
The oval-shaped 59.6 carat stone was bought after just five minutes' bidding at Sotheby's, reports said.
It is the largest polished diamond in its class to go under the hammer.
It sold for $83m in Geneva in 2013 but the buyer later defaulted. The record until now was held by the Oppenheimer Blue, which sold for $50m last May.
Bidding for the gem, which was found by De Beers at a mine in Africa in 1999 and cut over a period of two years, began at $56m.
Sotheby's said the buyer was Hong Kong jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery.
Alexander Breckner, head of diamonds at jewellers "77 Diamonds", told the BBC that the stone was exceptional.
"It's the largest pink diamond ever found in the history of humankind. It's an incredible colour to it.
"And the sheer size of the stone already makes it so rare and so beautiful."