07 Dec 2017

Graff Blue Diamond Ring Fetches $13M

A ring featuring two fancy vivid blue diamonds by Graff Diamonds smashed its pre-sale estimate at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale on Wednesday, as blue diamonds continued to dominate the New York auction scene.

The pear-shaped, modified-brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 3.36 carats and 2.71 carats with VVS2- and VS1-clarity, respectively, sold for $12.6 million, well above their estimate of $6.5 million to $8.5 million, Christie’s said. Both stones have the potential to be re-cut to be internally flawless, the auctioneer added.

At the same sale, a cut-cornered, square step-cut, 38.91-carat, D-color, VS1-clarity diamond went for $3.6 million, or $93,613 per carat, beating its high estimate of $3.5 million.

A brilliant-cut, 23.26-carat, E-color, VVS2-clarity diamond fetched $2.4 million, translating to $101,139 per carat. It had drawn an estimate of up to $1.5 million.

Total proceeds at the auction came to $62.6 million. The sale followed a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Tuesday, in which the top item, a 5.69-carat fancy vivid blue diamond ring, found a buyer at $15.1 million, beating its $15 million upper estimate.

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06 Dec 2017

Blue Diamond Sells for $15M at Sotheby’s New York

Sotheby’s sold US$54 million worth of jewellery 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.

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29 Nov 2017

The Pink Promise, A Rare 14.93ct Pink Diamond Has Sold For over A$42 Million

The November 28th Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong auction saw some pretty impressive results for fancy colored diamonds and for rubies, but the real headliner was the hammer price realized for an incredibly rare 14.93-carat Fancy Vivid VVS1 pink diamond. The diamond, described by Christie’s as the “Picasso of the Pink Diamond world,” sold for an incredible $31,861,000 – approximately $2.13 million per carat.

The diamond, referred to as The Pink Promise Diamond is a stunning pink oval stone with mixed cuts. Its Fancy Vivid Pink colour (as opposed to Fancy Intense Pink) is a designation given by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and represents the most prized colour grading in pink diamond history. The oval stone was set in a platinum ring and surrounded by diamonds. It was estimated that the ring would sell for between $28 million and $42 million.

The Fancy Vivid pink diamond was originally purchased by gemologist and jeweller Stephen Silver, who is known for his keen eye for gemstones. When he bought the stone (for an undisclosed sum) in 2013, it was originally a 16.21-carat Fancy Intense pink. However, Silver believed that the stone could achieve a higher colour rating if it were cut differently to allow more light through it. Silver turned to a master gem-cutter and together they spent several years planning how to cut the rare Type IIa pink diamond.

Diamonds are categorised into two main types: I and II, depending on the nitrogen present it the structure. Type II diamonds are divided further into a or b, meaning they contain very little nitrogen, with IIa being the purest.

Cutting the 16.21-carat stone was risky because if they could not achieve a higher colour rating, they were basically tossing away millions of dollars in lost carat weight.

 

The risk paid off. The stone was re-certified by the GIA after its cutting from 16.21 carats to 14.93 carats. It went from Fancy Intense Pink to the much rarer Fancy Vivid Pink rating. Additionally the Type IIa pink diamond achieved VVS1 clarity – the grade just beneath “flawless.” The higher grades in colour and clarity boosted the value of the diamond exponentially.

According to the GIA, only one in every 1,000 diamonds mined can be classified as Fancy colour diamonds. This stone is Fancy Vivid – the highest possible colour mark, and it is a large size, which is very rare for pink diamonds.

The remarkable remake of the diamond that Stephen Silver promised he could make brighter and more intense, yielded it the name, The Pink Promise. This was one in a string of important coloured diamond journeys for Silver. He has worked with, or re-imagined a host of important diamonds including a Fancy Vivid orange diamond known as “The Million Dollar Pumpkin” and he acquired the Cullinan Blue Diamond Necklace in 1992, which he subsequently donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 2010.

This diamond sale fell just short of a world record per carat price for pink diamonds. In the December 2009 sale at Christie’s in Hong Kong, a Vivid Pink, a cushion-shaped fancy vivid pink 5-carat diamond sold for $2,155,332 per carat, and set a per-carat record price.

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23 Oct 2017

The Famed Donnersmarck Diamonds Could Fetch $14 Million At Sotheby’s Geneva

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 Jewellery Division.

 

The Donnersmarck Diamonds, a pair of fancy intense yellow diamonds with aristocratic provenance

The Donnersmarck Diamonds were part of the collection of La Païva, Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck (1819-1884), arguably the most famous of the 19th-century French courtesans, Sotheby’s said.

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.

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13 Oct 2017

‘The Raj Pink’ Unveiled in London

LONDON – ‘The Raj Pink’, the world’s largest known Fancy Intense Pink diamond has been unveiled in London today.

The exceptionally rare diamond, which weighs 37.30 carats, will take centre stage in the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on 15 November.

ESTIMATE CHF 19,250,000–29,000,000.

Speaking about the diamond, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said:  “The discovery of any pink diamond is exceptional, but ‘The Raj Pink’’s remarkable size and intensity of colour places it in the rarefied company of the most important pink diamonds known.”

The rough diamond which yielded ‘The Raj Pink’ was studied for over a year after its discovery in 2015. It was then entrusted to a master cutter, who brought the diamond’s innermost beauty to full display by crafting it into an exceptional cushion-modified brilliant cut.

ESTIMATE CHF 19,250,000–29,000,000.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), which certified the diamond, characterized it as an “astonishing stone”, describing its hue as “a very bright and ravishing fancy intense pink colour”. It continued, “For a diamond to display strong, unmodified pink colour like that observed in ‘The Raj Pink’ is rare, particularly at so considerable a weight”.

The discovery of a gem-quality pink diamond of any size is an extremely rare occurrence. Of all diamonds submitted to the GIA each year, less than 0.02% are predominantly pink.

‘The Raj Pink’ will be on view in London from 13–17 October alongside other highlights from the Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale.

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21 Aug 2017

Aussie Dollar back above 79 cents

 From a May 9th low of just USD $0.7326, the Australian dollar has been on a tear, appreciating by more than 10%, and now trading above USD $0.79, almost its highest level in nearly two years.

To be fair, it’s not just the Australian dollar that has appreciated versus the US Dollar over this time period. Since early May, the US Dollar index (which measures the value of the US dollar versus a basket of currencies), has fallen from 99.65 to 93.48, a decline of just over 6%.

This weakness in the USD has been caused by a number of factors, including the political uncertainty in Washington, an escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and finally, a slowdown in key economic variables. Combined, these factors have many wondering how much higher the Federal Reserve will be able raise interest rates in the coming months.

The RBA has also contributed to the recent strength of the Australian dollar. In the minutes that accompanied their latest board meeting, they discussed the fact that they thought the long-term neutral cash rate in Australia was 3.5%, which is a full 2% higher than the current rate of interest.

This, coupled with a renewed rally in the price of iron ore, which has appreciated by nearly 30% in a matter of months, have been the major drivers of the recent AUD rally.

Going forward, whilst the AUD could go up a little more short-term, it’s still likely to fall in the coming months and years, as the iron-ore rally is likely to prove temporary. More importantly, whilst they’d prefer not too, there is still huge scope for the RBA to actually cut interest rates in the coming months and years, something they’ll be forced to do if inflation and wage pressures remain constrained.

All up, this recent rally in the AUD should be treated as a gift for Australian investors looking to internationalise a part of their portfolio through investments into foreign currency denominated assets like investment diamonds.

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03 Aug 2017

Sotheby’s EST 1744: A Diamond Is Not Forever

A career gemologist, Anna Cisecki has held some of the most precious stones ever unearthed. As Executive Director of Australian Diamond Portfolio, she’s teaching investors to recognise their true value.

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Beautiful, enigmatic and impossibly rare, pink diamonds have become one of the most sought-after and valued assets in the world. And, it’s not by chance that investors seeking to diversify their portfolio are looking at these special little pink gems. Statistics published by the Fancy Colour Research Foundation (FCRF) confirm rare intense and vivid pink diamonds have experienced an incredible average annual growth of more than 14 per cent since 2005, a total price appreciation of more than 485 per cent.

“Pink diamonds have outperformed practically all investment classes as consumers and investors continue to view them as a long-term safe investment option, an effective hedge against inflation and a unique opportunity to create value and gains in a portfolio,” Ms Cisecki said.

“Changes in the world economy are helping to fuel demand for investment diamonds while the supply squeeze is further driving price growth.”

The Rio Tinto-owned Argyle Diamond mine in Western Australia is the only significant source of ultra-rare pink diamonds in the world, producing almost 95 per cent of global supply.

However, in less than five years it will be time to say goodbye to one of Australia’s most famous natural resources. After more than four decades of production, Argyle’s supply of pink diamonds is nearing exhaustion and the mine’s life is drawing to a close in 2021.

But this is news which comes with a silver lining for investors and firms such as Australian Diamond Portfolio with its boutique team of specialised investment diamond advisors.

Ms Cisecki believes much of the reason for Australian Diamond Portfolio’s success has come because of the need for a specialist investment firm to simplify the investment process around pink diamonds.

“Rare pink diamonds are not just the realm of the uber-wealthy; investors of all types and levels of the market are getting involved from small private retail investors and wealth managers to financial advice groups and family offices.

“The fastest growing segment of our client base is SMSF trustees. They come to firms like ours because they value our ability to source the best available stones on the global market. We also provide the full end-to-end solution from sourcing to storage and insurance with our high-security vaulting partners, ongoing valuations and eventual resale. These are important considerations when investing in this highly lucrative space.”

Given the ongoing uncertainty in global financial markets and the demonstrated return potential, pink diamonds are indeed an asset class that every investor should be looking at.

In another decade the pink diamonds from Argyle will emerge as the new Faberge egg – the thing legends are made of.

 

Source: Sotheby’s EST 1744 Magazine, Page 30 

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27 Jul 2017

Rio Tinto reveals its largest red diamond at world exclusive preview in New York

Rio Tinto has unveiled the largest Fancy Red diamond in the history of its Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, during a world exclusive preview in New York.

The 2.11 carat polished radiant cut diamond, known as The Argyle Everglow™, is the dazzling centrepiece of the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender – an annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.

Rio Tinto Copper & Diamonds chief executive Arnaud Soirat said “We are delighted to announce this historic diamond at our Tender preview, a testament to the unique Argyle ore-body that continues to produce the world’s rarest gems.”

Unprecedented in size, colour and clarity, The Argyle Everglow™ has been assessed by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as a notable diamond with a grade of Fancy Red VS2.

Image Credit: Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

In the 33-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender there have been less than 20 carats of Fancy Red certified diamonds sold.

Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said “The Argyle Everglow™ represents rarity within rarity and will drive global demand from collectors and connoisseurs in search of the incomparable.”

The 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is named ‘Custodians of Rare Beauty’ in honour of its rich provenance and honourable pedigree. The 58 diamonds in the Tender weigh a total of 49.39 carats – including four Fancy Red diamonds, four Purplish Red diamonds, two Violet diamonds, and one Blue diamond.

The collection comprises five “hero” diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds.

The five ‘Hero’ diamonds of the Argyle 2017 Signature Tender. Image Credit: Copyright © 2017 Rio Tinto

 

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06 Jul 2017

Rio Tinto sells Argyle Diamond Coin Trilogy for $1.8 million

A SET of three giant one-kilogram Australian coins have sold for a whopping $1.8 million after commanding the attention of diamond connoisseurs across the globe.

The Perth Mint announced the sale of The Australian Trilogy 2017 1 Kilogram coin collection, which describes the pieces as “an incomparable combination of precious metals and rare natural fancy coloured diamonds unearthed from the Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley Region of Western Australia”.

Image Credit: The Perth Mint 2017

The three coins are gold, platinum and rose gold and portray Australia’s native animals, the kookaburra, kangaroo and koala, each set with the rarest pink and violet diamonds exclusively sourced from the Argyle Diamond Mine within its design.

“This coveted collection of diamond studded gold and platinum coins has raised the bar on the concept of ‘unique collectable’, exemplifying the quality craftsmanship for which The Perth Mint and Argyle Pink Diamonds are renowned,” said Perth Mint CEO Richard Hayes.

The collection was unveiled last month at the Mint by Western Australia premier Mark McGowan but only just sold to an anonymous Asian collector.

“In a convergence of colour and light, this extraordinary collectable embodies the essence of the Australian outback — its unique wildlife, rural landscapes and stunning natural treasures,” the Perth Mint said.

“While several discerning parties expressed interest in purchasing the rare treasure, it was sold via Glajz-THG Pte Ltd.”

The Singapore based company specialises in rare gemstones and luxury jewellery.

Image Credit: The Perth Mint 2017

Image Credit: AAP

“The prompt sale of The Australian Trilogy again highlights the premium collectors place on exclusive items, which is what we also found with the sale of the Kimberley Treasure $1 million coin in 2016,” Mr Hayes continued.
The collection will remain on display until July 31 at the Perth Mint.

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07 Jun 2017

Rio Tinto unveils Argyle Diamond Coin Trilogy

A $1.8 million coin trilogy boasting rare violet & pink diamonds has been unveiled at the Perth Mint with international buyers already showing interest in the unique collection.

The Australian Trilogy is comprised of three one-kilogram coins struck from gold, platinum and rose gold, with each featuring either a pink, purple-pink or violet diamond, which were unearthed at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in the east Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Each of the precious metals coins has either a pink, purple-pink or violet diamond, which were unearthed at Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.

One of the coins, made 99.99% of gold, portrays two kookaburras on a wooden fence looking at a 0.47-carat round brilliant cut fancy deep purple-pink diamond.

The kangaroo coin, crafted from 99.95% pure platinum, depicts the marsupial in an outback plain with a 0.46-carat emerald-cut fancy dark grey-violet diamond.

And the 91.7% rose gold koala coin depicts the animal beneath a eucalyptus tree beside a 0.58-carat emerald-cut fancy intense pink diamond.

The Perth Mint will only ever release one of The Australian Trilogy 2017 Collection, said Rio Tinto in a statement.

The Trilogy is selling for a cool $1.8 million and will be on display in The Perth Mint Shop throughout June, unless sold prior.

The 2016 Kimberley Treasure coin, valued at $1 million, sold to an international buyer within 48 hours.

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