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.
60 posts categorized "Colored Diamonds"
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..
122.52 Carat Blue Diamond Found at Cullinan
The auction market may have just set a record for the shortest-lived record.
One night after Sotheby’s set a new benchmark for the largest jewelry sale ever with its $141 million sale in Geneva, the Christie’s May 14 Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva “blue” that away with an even-more-incredible $154 million tally.
Both topped the previous champ, Christie’s first-night sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, which brought in $114 million.
The star of the Christie’s show was the Blue, a 13.22 ct. fancy vivid flawless pear-shape that fetched $24.2 million. The stone, accompanied by a letter from GIA that said it was the largest fancy vivid blue the lab had ever seen, was described by jewelry specialist Jean-Marc Lunel as “absolutely pure externally and internally. It is almost a dream.”
The stone’s winner was Harry Winston, which rechristened it the Winston Blue. This is the second time in the last year the Swatch Group–owned retailer purchased a notable stone; it spent $27 million on the 101.73 ct. D flawless Winston Legacy last May. “When Christie’s announced they were offering the largest flawless fancy vivid blue the GIA had ever graded, I had to buy it,” said Harry Winston CEO Nayla Hayek in a statement.
At $1,799,953 a carat, the sale may have scored a photo-finish per-carat record for a blue diamond, inching out an April 2013 sale at Bonhams, where a deep-blue cushion fetched $1,799,883 a carat. In any case, says president of Christie’s Switzerland François Curiel, “This is a record for a vivid blue flawless, while the Bonhams stone was deep blue, VS2.”
The overall hammer price, however, falls slightly short of the $24.3 million paid for the 35.56 ct. Wittelsbach in 2011.
The sale notched four other world auction records, including:
A 76.51 ct. square-cut light pink VVS1 necklace by Leviev realized $10 million, a record total for a pink diamond.
A 21.41 ct. Russian alexandrite took in $1.3 million, a record auction price for a piece of alexandrite.
A 49.04 ct. pink sapphire went for $2 million, a world auction record for a pink sapphire.
“The jewelry market continues to remain extremely vibrant, and we look forward to a buoyant season as we move into auctions at Christie’s Hong Kong, London, Paris, and New York,” said Rahul Kadakia, international head of Christie’s jewelry department.
Photos courtesy of Christie’s
The world’s largest orange diamond, the 14.82 carat stone named “The Orange”, was auctioned by Christie’s in Geneva on November 12, 2013. It sold for $35,000,000, setting the world record for the largest orange diamond and the highest price per carat paid for any colored diamond.
It is approximately three times larger than the other two known large orange diamonds (the 5.54-carat “Pumpkin Diamond” and a 4.19-carat Fancy Vivid Orange, which sold for $2.95 million in 2011).
Few people have ever seen a pure orange diamond because they are so rare and usually kept in private collections. The majority of orange diamonds are found in Africa. The auction of the Pumpkin Diamond, named by the buyer Ronald Winston as it was purchased the day before Halloween, make the news in 1997 and created the first general interest in orange diamonds. At the time the 5.54-carat Pumpkin Diamond with Fancy Vivid Orange color was the largest ever found.
The vast majority of all diamonds have a trace of nitrogen, which usually produces brown or yellow color. With orange diamonds the nitrogen atoms are grouped in a special way when the diamond is formed. The result is that light in the blue and yellow region of the color spectrum is absorbed, producing the orange color.
Like all colored diamonds, the strength of color is one of the most important factors in determining the value of the diamond. As the color of diamonds progress up the intensity scale (Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid), the rarity and value increases.
Fancy colored diamond prices are showing significant gains in 2013 while other goods struggle along. As a result, the various auctions and tenders held in the past two weeks continued to set records, headlining the strength of the colored diamond market with both dealers and private buyers driving up prices.
With more buyers around and diminishing supply, prices have continued to increase. While there is no formal price list for colored goods, Rachminov, managing owner of Rachminov Diamonds estimates that prices for pink diamonds are up about 30 percent from a year ago, while fancy intense vivid yellow goods are up around 35 percent, with lower-quality yellow diamonds up approximately 10 percent. Prices of fancy blue diamonds have increased by about 35 percent in the past two years. Similar estimates were reported from Rio Tinto’s recent Argyle tender of pink diamonds. Leibish Polnauer, of Leibish & Co., who won seven of the 64 Argyle diamonds on offer at the tender, said prices were about 35 percent higher than last year. He similarly reasoned that there were more people bidding. As a result, Rio Tinto fetched record prices with its top lot, a 2.51-carat, fancy deep pink diamond, selling for more than $2 million, or at least $797,000 per carat.
Buyers were therefore spread geographically at the recent Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale. Three of the top ten lots went to private Asian buyers, three to the international trade, two of the top buyers remained anonymous, and one lot sold to a member of the U.S. trade. The very top lot sold to UK-based Moussaieff Jewellers, which bought the rectangular cut, 8.77-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS1 diamond for $6.3 million, or $721,200 per carat.