693 posts categorized "Diamond Industry News"

Bulgari Blue Sells for $18 Million at Christie’s

Bulgari-Blue-ChristiesA Bulgari diamond ring surpassed its estimate at Christie’s in New York on Wednesday, bringing in more than $18 million.

The cushion-cut, 8.08-carat, fancy-vivid-blue piece was the event’s top seller at $18.3 million, beating its presale estimate of $13 million to $18 million. It completes a mixed week for colored-diamond sales after a 10.62-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond — estimated at $20 million to $30 million — failed to find a buyer at Sotheby’s in New York on Tuesday.

Pink Heart Diamond 15.56 caratProceeds at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction came to $69.2 million, with 95% of lots sold by value. Those items included a heart-shaped, 15.56-carat, fancy intense-pink diamond-pendant necklace, which garnered $9.5 million against a presale estimate of $9.5 million to $12 million.

Other notable lots included a 28.70-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity, type IIa diamond ring from the estate of art collector Lee Vandervelde. That piece sold for $2.1 million, against its $1.5 million to $2.5 million presale estimate, with proceeds benefiting the Los Angeles-based Children’s Hospital and Children’s Institute.

Diavik Foxfire earringsA pair of earrings weighing a combined 77.71 carats, cut from the 187.63-carat Diavik Foxfire — North America’s largest known gem-quality rough diamond — brought in $1.6 million. Its original valuation was $1.3 million to $3 million. An 8.09-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring by Gillot & Co. achieved $1.3 million, versus its presale estimate of $900,000 to $1.2 million.

Belperron tube braceletA diamond “tube” bracelet by Suzanne Belperron went for $852,500, smashing its expected price of $200,000 to $300,000 and setting a world auction record for pieces by the designer.

“The excitement and prices achieved in our New York sale tonight, including the exceptional price achieved for the sensational fancy-vivid-blue diamond ring by Bulgari, and the world auction record realized for Suzanne Belperron, mark a perfect ending to our successful year of global jewelry auctions,” said Daphne Lingon, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas.

Ref: Rapaport 


India Is The Leading Diamond Cutting and Polishing Country

Diamond-cuttingIndia increased its dominance in cutting and polishing last year due to relatively low costs that gave it a competitive advantage over China, according to Bain & Company.

The Indian diamond-manufacturing industry grew 11% in 2017, outpacing the Chinese market, which increased 2%, Bain reported. That left India with more than 90% of the market, versus China’s low-single-digit-percentage share, the consultancy firm said in its 2018 Global Diamond Report, which it published last week in partnership with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC).

India’s manufacturing sector has benefited from cheaper labor, improvements in workers’ skills, advances in technology, and a favorable regulatory environment. Those factors also helped the country increase its production of large stones, a more profitable segment, Bain explained.

Relatively easy access to financing further contributed to the 2017 rise, as credit enables cutters’ to buy and process larger rough diamonds. While banks tightened lending in 2018, the more transparent and financially healthier companies have managed to weather that challenge, it added.

Costs in China are also low by global standards, but are still higher than in Indian hubs such as Surat, putting pressure on the ability for the country to grow its sector, Bain said.

Polishing in other countries, such as the US, Belgium and Israel, declined 6% due to high costs and an ageing workforce, the report continued. Africa failed to gain significant market share due to low productivity and relatively high costs.

Global revenues from cutting and polishing rose 2% in 2017, with manufacturers realizing profit margins of 1% to 3%, Bain said.


Winston Pink Legacy Sets New Record at Auction

The-Pink-Legacy-1On Nov. 13, Christie’s Geneva sold the much-hyped 18.96 ct. fancy vivid Pink Legacy (pictured) for $50.3 million to Harry Winston—setting a new per-carat record for a pink diamond.

Its new owner has since rechristened the rectangular-cut VS1-clarity gem the Winston Pink Legacy.

The hammer price came after what Christie’s called “five minutes of spirited bidding” and topped the diamond’s pre-auction estimate of $30 million–$50 million.

“The room was packed solid as private collectors and dealers wanted to see the sale of the pink diamond,” says Francois Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Asia. “In the end it was purchased by Harry Winston, bidding against Vickie Sek, head of Christie’s jewelry department in Asia. There were many underbidders, all on the phone, with our Geneva- and London-based colleagues.”

Pink-Legacy-DiamondThe Legacy’s $2.7 million per-carat price tops the previous record holder, the 14.93 ct. fancy vivid Pink Promise, which fetched $2.1 million a carat in Hong Kong last year. But the Legacy’s overall price still fell below the $71 million garnered by the 59.5 ct. fancy vivid Pink Star, which in 2017 set a world auction record at Sotheby’s not only for a pink diamond but any kind of diamond or gemstone.

Christie’s described the Pink Legacy as “descended” from the Oppenheimer family, which formerly controlled De Beers, though it did not specify which family member owned the gem. Before its sale, the family had sold it to a private collector.

This is at least the third major diamond that has been purchased by Harry Winston since it was bought by the Swatch Group in 2013.

“We are proud to continue in the Winston tradition of acquiring the finest gems in the world,” said Winston president and CEO Nayla Hayek in a statement. “Tonight, the Winston Pink Legacy joins our incredible legacy collection, which began with the acquisition of the 101 ct. D flawless Winston Legacy diamond at Christie’s in 2013.”

Winston also bought a 13 ct. fancy vivid blue for $24.2 million in 2014.

Ref: JCKOnline.com


Famous 6.16 Carat Farnese Blue Diamond To Be Sold At Auction

Farnese Blue diamondThis 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.

Learn more about the historic Farnese Blue Diamond


1 of the Biggest Diamonds in History Has Just Been Discovered | Fortune

By Bloomberg
6:21 AM EST

One of the biggest diamonds in history has been discovered in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa.

910 ct-diamondGem Diamonds (GMDMF, +10.20%) found the 910-carat stone, about the size of two golf balls, at its Letseng mine in the country. It’s a D color Type IIa diamond, which means it has very few or no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive stones. The diamond is the fifth-biggest ever found.

The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the highest average selling price in the world. Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.

Read: The 51-Carat Russian Diamond That Couldn’t Sell

 

“This exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letseng mine,” Chief Executive Officer Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

Lesedi-la-Rona-(2)Gem did not say how it will sell the diamond or what it could be worth. Its value will be determined by the size and quality of the polished stones that can be cut from it. Lucara Diamond Corp. sold a 1,109-carat diamond for $53 million last year, but got a record $63 million for a smaller 813-carat stone it found at the same time in 2015.

“The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of factors,” said Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital Markets. “But assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million.”

 

Read: De Beer’s Diamond Sales Have Taken a Major Hit Recently

Gem’s mega discovery follows news last week that it had found 117-carat and 110-carat stones. It will be another boost for the company that dropped to a record low last year after prices for its stones fell and it was forced to close a new mine in Botswana. Gem rose as much as 18%, the biggest intraday gain since 2010, and traded at 93 pence by 9:06 a.m. in London.

The three large discoveries will raise investor confidence that the company has overcome a shortage of large stones and that it can recover the biggest diamonds without breaking them. Gem found at least seven stones bigger than 100 carats in 2017 and five the year before. It recovered a dozen exceeding 100 carats in 2015.

 

Read: Here’s How Much It Costs to Buy a Diamond the Size of a Tennis Ball

Cullinan roughThe biggest diamond discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria, in South Africa, in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. Lucara’s 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona is the second-biggest, with the 995-carat Excelsior and 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone the third- and fourth-largest.

via fortune.com


Graff Pays $53M for 1,109-Carat Rough Diamond

Lesedi-la-Rona-(2)New York--Almost exactly two years after its discovery, Lucara Diamond Corp. has found a buyer for the “Lesedi La Rona,” the 1,109-carat rough diamond unearthed at its mine in Botswana.

The mining company announced late Monday that Graff Diamonds, the London-headquartered company headed by billionaire diamantaire Laurence Graff (no relation to the author), has paid $53 million for the tennis ball-sized stone.

That works out to $47,777 per carat and is $17 million less than what Lucara originally aimed to get for the diamond when it put it up for auction in June 2016, though Lucara President and CEO William Lamb noted that $53 million is more than the highest bid received at the auction.

In the news release issued Monday, Graff called the purchase of Lesedi La Rona a “momentous day” in his career.

“We are thrilled and honored to become the new custodians of this incredible diamond. The stone will tell us its story, it will dictate how it wants to be cut, and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties. This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of Lesedi La Rona,” he said.

Graff Diamonds already owns a 373.72-carat chunk that broke off the Lesedi La Rona. The company paid $17.5 million for that rough diamond ($46,827 per carat) at Lucara’s exceptional stone tender held in May.
Lucara recovered the Lesedi La Rona, a Type IIa diamond that actually totaled 1,111 carats before cleaning, at its Karowe mine in Botswana in November 2015.

The citizens of Botswana participated in a naming contest after the diamond was found. Its name means “our light” in Setswana.

Lesedi La Rona is the second largest rough diamond ever found, topped only by the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond unearthed in South Africa in January 1905.

On Monday, Lamb called the discovery of the stone a “company-defining event” for Lucara and said: “We took our time to find a buyer who would take the diamond through its next stage of evolution. Graff Diamonds is now the owner of the Lesedi La Rona as well as the 373-carat diamond … We are excited to follow these diamonds through the next stage of their journey.”

via www.nationaljeweler.com


Diamonds.net - Letšeng Yields 126ct. Rough Diamond

Gem Diamonds Letseng 126ct rough diamondRAPAPORT... Gem Diamonds has recovered a “high-quality” rough diamond weighing 126 carats at its Letšeng mine, following a switch to a more lucrative section of the project in Lesotho, the company reported Thursday.

The D-color, type-IIa stone is the latest in a string of large discoveries at the mine, which is known for its high-value rough production. Last month, the company found a 104.73-carat, D-color, type IIa diamond and a 151.52-carat yellow diamond. In April and May, Gem Diamonds found three D-color, type IIa rough diamonds weighing 80.58 carats, 98.42 carats and 114 carats respectively.

Gem Diamonds shifted focus to the higher-grade K6 portion of Letšeng’s main pipe in the second quarter, enabling a higher rate of large-diamond discoveries, the company explained in May. This followed a slowdown in 2016, when it unearthed only five stones of 100 carats or more, dragging revenues down by 22%. 
via www.diamonds.net

What is a whopping 709-carat diamond worth? It's a mystery in Sierra Leone

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — The recent find of a mammoth diamond the size of a hockey puck has everyone in this small West African nation wondering how big a fortune it will fetch.

Giddy talk about the gem's worth is providing a needed uplift in a country long plagued by misfortunes that include a deadly Ebola epidemic in 2013-16 and a decade-long civil war that broke out in 1991.

Even diamonds have a bad connotation here. Smugglers took advantage of the country's abundance of precious stones to sell them illegally and help finance that brutal conflict. The gems gained the name "blood diamonds" and inspired the 2006 movie Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

“This diamond makes me happy even though I am not the owner,” said Mohamed Bangura, 28, a bartender on popular Lumley beach. “When I saw it being displayed on national TV by the president, I felt good that after all these years, our country is making headlines again for a good reason.”

Sierra leone mapA few years ago, this beach was deserted because of a nationwide ban on public gatherings to prevent the spread of Ebola, which killed nearly 4,000 people in Sierra Leone.

Now on a recent sunny day, people on the beach enjoy picnics and discuss how local Pastor Emmanuel Momoh found the huge diamond in May in his small mining plot in Kono, in the east. Mining is a common alternative to subsistence farming in this impoverished country.

Following a law passed to curb diamond smuggling, the pastor handed the diamond, dubbed the "Transparent Gem," to the government, which is supposed to sell it and give the proceeds to him after collecting a 3% tax.

“My fear is, how will the money be shared and spent?” Bangura asked. “Diamonds worth millions of U.S. dollars have been smuggled before and nothing happened.”

The-sierra-leone-diamondDiamond experts say the gem could be the 10th-largest ever discovered and initially pegged its value at $50 million.

A few days before the new gem was put on auction, the diamond-mining firm Lucara sold an 813-carat diamond for $63 million in London. But the top offer for the Transparent Gem was only $7.8 million at a May auction. The government rejected the bid.

“The next step is to call for an international bidding to be held either in Tel Aviv or Antwerp to ensure the right price is paid,” government spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay said, referring to major diamond centers in Israel and Belgium.

Since then, the government has refused to answer questions about the diamond. That has led to much speculation about the sale and what happens next.

Cecilia Mattia, national coordinator for a mining watchdog group, said the country's diamond wealth often has led to tragedy: Thousands have died because of illegal trade, and rebels started the civil war by seizing mining regions.

“Diamonds and other minerals have not been very helpful to Sierra Leone for some obvious reasons,” Mattia said.

Now some hope diamonds can benefit the country.

“Our district lacks good roads, no electricity and no water,” said Fanday Musa, 25, a taxi-motorcycle driver in Kono, where the pastor found the stone.

The civil war destroyed Kono and left 50,000 dead nationwide. Musa hoped Momoh, the pastor, would spend his fortune from the diamond in his community. The churchman's mines employ a handful of men, providing crucial jobs for Kono.

“It’s a shame,” Musa said. “The name Kono is known worldwide, but on reaching here you will see the deplorable ruins left behind by the war. I hope the blessing of this gem will give a face lift to my town.”

Momoh believes he and his fellow citizens will receive their windfall soon.

“I am very satisfied," he said about giving the diamond to the authorities. "I am looking forward to the government working on how to sell the diamond in the interest of Sierra Leone.”

Others were impatient. “I want this diamond to be sold now,” said taxi driver Mohamed Sall, 34, of Bo South, an inland city. “Our country needs the money badly.”

Government officials counsel patience. “In the 1990s, our country was known for blood diamonds,” said Bayraytay, the government spokesman. “This is now a golden opportunity to let the world know that Sierra Leone is back on track. This diamond will help us achieve that.”

Some also hope the diamond heals the nation after Ebola.

“This is the first time since my adult life a diamond has been given this kind of attention,” said Ramatu Turay, 35, a street vendor in Port Loko, a northern district. “I lost relatives to Ebola in 2014. But this diamond is a way of wiping tears from Sierra Leone."

Alpha Kamara, Special for USA TODAY


$13 Diamond Ring Sells for $850,000

26.29 ct costume-diamond-1London--The owner of a diamond ring long believed to be an essentially worthless piece of costume jewelry saw the ring sell for more than $800,000 on Wednesday at Sotheby’s London.

The buyer, who wishes to remain anonymous, paid 10 British pounds (about $13) for the ring in the 1980s, buying it at a car-boot sale, a sale where people look to offload unwanted items out of the trunks of their cars.  

She wore it for decades to do chores and run errands, unaware that what she was wearing wasn’t a piece of cheap glass but a big, high-quality diamond. The stone’s old-fashioned cut and dark setting (it was set in a silver mounting that had tarnished) were likely why the ring’s owner didn’t know what she had, Sotheby’s said prior to the sale.

Then, one day, a local jeweler spotted the ring on the woman’s finger and, thinking it could be a real diamond, suggested she get it appraised.

She did and it turned out the jeweler was right--it was a real diamond, a 26.29-carat cushion-shaped stone graded as I color and VVS2 clarity by the Gemological Institute of America.

26.29 ct costume-diamond-2The diamond dates to the 19th century, though nothing is known of its history prior to its purchase in the 1980s.

At Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale held Wednesday in London, a buyer paid 656,750 British pounds (including buyer’s premium), or about $851,000, for the ring.  

It was the top item in the sale, topping its highest pre-sale estimate by $400,000.

The buyer of the ring, which Sotheby’s referred to as the “Tenner” diamond because of the original price paid (10 British pounds), was identified by the auction house only as a member of the international trade. 

Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale totaled 5.2 million British pounds ($6.7 million) and was 80 percent sold by lot.

The second highest-grossing lot of the sale was a Cartier diamond brooch that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wore on a number of high-profile public occasions, including the day she offered her resignation to the queen.

The brooch sold for 81,250 British pounds ($105,308), more than three times its highest pre-sale estimate. Proceeds from its sale will go to the Endeavour fund, a charity that supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women.

via www.nationaljeweler.com


Christie’s Sells 92ct. Heart Pendant for $15M

Christies heart diamondThe largest heart-shaped, D-flawless diamond ever offered at auction fetched $15 million at Christie’s in Geneva on Wednesday, the company reported.

The 92.15-carat diamond, which was mounted in a necklace, achieved $162,611 per carat, falling within its pre-sale estimate of $14.1 million to $20.2 million. The piece, dubbed “La Légende,” was a creation of Boehmer et Bassenge, a high-end maison launched last year and named after 18th-century Parisian jewelers Charles Boehmer and Paul Bassenge.

Other sales at the auction included a ring set with diamonds and an oval-cut, 15.03-carat ruby, which garnered $12.9 million. Separately, a cushion-shaped, 7.97-carat, fancy intense blue, VS1-clarity diamond went for $12.7 million, or $1.6 million per carat.

The Magnificent Jewels auction recorded total proceeds of $95 million (CHF 93.1 million) including buyer’s premiums. It came a day after rival Sotheby’s sold $151.5 million of jewelry at its Geneva event, headlined by a pair of earrings that fetched a record $57.4 million, or $2.9 million per carat.

via www.diamonds.net