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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17 May 2017

Sotheby’s sells the Apollo and Artemis diamonds

Auctioneer Sotheby’s has sold the most expensive pair of earrings in the world, at a combined price of A$78.3 million.

Sotheby’s inaugural sale of magnificent jewels in Geneva was headlined by ‘The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’, becoming the most valuable earrings ever sold at auction. There was dynamic bidding on the phone, online and in the room throughout with over 90% lots sold and two thirds over the high estimate with multiple records.

“In the last five to 10 years, the price seems to be escalating rapidly. And we just sold this world record stone, and that was a pink diamond,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery division, ahead of the auction.

“Certainly people who own important coloured diamonds are aware that the market is strong.”

The pair is made up of two pear-shaped diamonds; one Fancy Vivid blue diamond named Apollo, which sold for A$57.4 and one Fancy Intense pink diamond named Artemis, which sold for A$20.9 to the same telephone bidder.

The two diamonds were sold as separate lots, but will remain together as a pair.

 

The 14.54-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, Apollo, was undoubtedly the star of the show, with its unbelievably rare Fancy Vivid Blue colour. The world’s most expensive blue diamond, the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, is a Fancy Vivid – it sold for A$80 million at Christie’s in Geneva last May.

When considered as a pair with the sensational Artemis, a 16-carat Fancy Intense pink diamond, the set can be described as being in a class of its own.

“These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We have named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we are honoured that Sotheby’s has been chosen to bring them to auction,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.

THE APOLLO AND ARTEMIS DIAMONDS. EXCEPTIONAL FANCY VIVID BLUE DIAMOND WEIGHING 14.54 CARATS, INTERNALLY FLAWLESS, TYPE IIB. IMPORTANT FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND WEIGHING 16.00 CARATS, VVS2 CLARITY, TYPE IIA. MOUNTED AS A PAIR OF EARRINGS. SOLD AT SOHEBY’S MAGNIFICENT JEWELS & NOBLE JEWELS ON 16 MAY IN GENEVA. SOURCE: SOTHEBY’S

“The divine diamond twins – one pink and the other blue – are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality,” Sotheby’s says of the lots on its website. “The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but [were] being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence.”

“The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds [were] the stars of our May sale in Geneva – by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.

 

 

 

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26 Apr 2017

Fancy Color Diamond Price Index Up In Q1 2017: Supply Shortages Lift Blues

The Fancy Color Diamond Index for the first quarter of 2017 indicates pricing stability across most fancy color diamond categories, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).

The main exception was blue fancy color diamonds, which saw a 1.9 percent price increase in the first 3 months of 2017, continuing the trend of 2016. During the same time, yellow and pink fancy color diamond prices remained largely unchanged. Overall, the Fancy Color Diamond Index for all shapes and sizes was up 0.2 percent for the period.

The strongest performing price categories during Q1 2017 were fancy intense and fancy vivid blue diamonds across all carat sizes.

 

On a year-on-year basis, when compared to Q1 2016, the Fancy Color Diamond Index is up 0.7 percent, with fancy blue and fancy pink diamonds up 5.7 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, and fancy yellows down 2.5 percent.

As in Q4 2016, across all color segments fancy intense and fancy vivid stones demonstrated robust price increases, which were offset to some extent by price declines of color diamonds in the “Fancy” category.  .

The FCRF tracks pricing data for yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds in three key global trading centers – Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv.

FCRF Advisory Board chairman Eden Rachminov said, “Highly coveted fancy intense and vivid blues are challenging to find in the market, while interest and demand for these categories continue to grow. This trend is likely to continue well into 2017 as owners react to supply shortages with price hikes.”

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10 Apr 2017

Most Valuable Earrings To Appear At Auction – Estimated Selling Total Of A$92 Million

A pair of fancy coloured earrings, offered as individual lots, will lead Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, May 16 at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva. Together the auction house says they make up the most valuable set of earrings ever sold at auction.

“The Apollo Blue,” a 14.54-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, will be presented with an estimate of A$51 – $68 million and “The Artemis Pink,” a 16-carat fancy intense pink diamond, has an estimate of A$17 – $24 million.

“The Apollo and Artemis diamonds will be the stars of our May sale in Geneva—by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.

“These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking.”

They are named after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities.

 

THE APOLLO BLUE

Graded Fancy Vivid Blue by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and weighing an impressive 14.54 carats, the ‘Apollo Blue’ is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever to be offered at auction. It has been cut and polished into a beautiful unmodified pear-shape which flatters its exquisite and truly outstanding colour. The GIA has also determined that the ‘Apollo Blue’ is a Type IIb diamond – a group which contains less than one half of one per cent of all diamonds. The stone has had an auspicious start to its world tour, having already received many accolades on its exhibition in Hong Kong.

In recent times, the only mine to produce blue diamonds with any regularity is the Cullinan mine in South Africa. When in full production, less than 0.1 per cent of diamonds sourced showed any evidence of blue colour, according to the GIA. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue.

 

 

THE ARTEMIS PINK

The ‘Artemis Pink’ stands as an exquisite and rare treasure in its own right, displaying an elegant and delicate Fancy Intense Pink hue. Weighing 16 carats, the stone has been carefully cut into a captivating pear shape, matching the Apollo Blue, which perfectly showcases the stone’s colour and clarity. The GIA has declared the ‘Artemis Pink’ to be a ‘Type IIa’ diamond, describing this category as ‘the most chemically pure type’ of diamonds, which ‘often have exceptional optical transparency’.

The occurrence of pink diamonds remains exceedingly rare: according to the GIA, of all diamonds submitted to their specialists each year, ‘no more than 3 per cent are classified as coloured diamonds; less than 5 per cent of those coloured diamonds are predominantly pink’. Thus, a Fancy Intense Pink stone of such rich colour and impressive size can only be described as phenomenally rare.

 

The coloured diamond is today’s ultimate possession; in a climate of intense connoisseurship, the ravishing coloured diamond is appreciated as the rarest of the rare, with a mystical, miraculous beauty that comes from the unique, emotive blend of the diamond’s unrivalled fiery brilliance with an exquisite palette of colours, the most appealing being cherry-blossom pink, and the rarest of all diamond colours, noble, contemplative blue. Apollo and Artemis – the divine diamond twins – are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality.

Image Credit: Sotheby’s

Amongst the purest, chemically, of all diamonds, with an alluring limpidity, while the Apollo belongs to the most elite group comprising less than one-half of one percent of all diamonds, pure, with the presence of boron, the element that gives the diamond its blue colour. Diamonds of this quality, with this extraordinary depth and sophistication of colour, and of this size are unfathomably uncommon. 

The sheer luck of their very existence, the confluence of cosmic conditions that generated their miraculous formation process, billions of years ago, deep in the earth, is simply wondrous.

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04 Apr 2017

SOLD: The Pink Star has just become the world’s most expensive gemstone

The Pink Star diamond has become the world’s most expensive gemstone, selling at auction today for an incredible US$71.2 million (A$94.3 million) including buyer’s premium.

 

At 59.60 carats, The Pink Star is the largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. It’s more than twice the size of the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which set the previous record price for a pink diamond when it sold for $46.2 million in 2010.

It breaks the record previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, which sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s in Geneva last May. It has also become the highest price item ever sold at auction in Asia.

“At a time of unprecedented demand for the finest in coloured diamonds, I am delighted to be bringing this magnificent stone back to the market,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery division. “The extraordinary size of this 59.60-carat diamond, paired with its richness of colour, surpasses any known pink diamond recorded in history.”

The Pink Star surpassed the Graff Pink in November 2013 when Sotheby’s sold it to diamond cutter Isaac Wolf for a record $83.2 million. However, the stone was returned to Sotheby’s after Wolf and his investors defaulted on the payment.

Sotheby’s entered into a partnership agreement in June last year with Diacore and Mellen Diamonds, both New York-based diamond manufacturers, for shared ownership of the diamond. The Pink Star has been held in Sotheby’s inventory at a value of $72 million.

After bidding from three clients, the diamond was sold to jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook, who was on the telephone to Sotheby’s Asia CEO Kevin Ching, for a hammer price of 490 million Hong Kong dollars (US$63 million). The sale total was 553 million Hong Kong dollars once the buyer’s premium was added.

The Pink Star was cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999. It took two years of meticulous cutting and polishing to hone it into its current oval shape.

 

The pink diamond is also rated as Internally Flawless, meaning it has no internal inclusions, and is a Type IIa stone, the coveted classification given to less than two per cent of all gem-quality diamonds, which signifies chemical purity.

The 59.60-carat Pink Star is worth a staggering $1.2 million per carat. However that isn’t enough to break the price-per-carat record currently held by the Blue Moon of Josephine, a 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond which sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2015 for $48 million: over $4 million per carat.

Sotheby’s also holds the current world auction record for the most valuable Fancy Vivid pink diamond – the 15.38-carat pear-shaped Unique Pink diamond, which sold for $31.5 million in Geneva in May 2016; and the world records for the most valuable yellow diamond, ruby and white diamond – the 118.28-carat oval D-Flawless diamond which sold for £20 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2013.

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