16 Jan 2017

The Diamonds that Dazzled in 2016

The highs in last year’s auction season were extreme. All-time records were set while other high-profile gems and jewels failed to sell. As in the past few years, blue and pink diamonds pulled in the highest bids. A rare green diamond also made the cut among the biggest sellers this year.


Oppenheimer BlueThe Oppenheimer Blue

The Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue rectangular-cat diamond fetched a world record for any jewel sold at auction, more than $58 million, at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in May.


De Beers Millenium BlueDe Beers Millennium Blue

The De Beers Millennium Blue, a 10.10-carat fancy vivid blue diamond sold for more than $32 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in April.


Unique PinkThe Unique Pink

The Unique Pink, a 15.38-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond sold for a world auction record price for any fancy vivid pink diamond, fetching more than $31.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in May.


Cullinan DreamThe Cullinan Dream

The Cullinan Dream, a 24.18-carat mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond, sold for more than $25.3 million. It is the largest fancy intense blue diamond ever to be offered at auction. It was sold at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels & the Cullinan Dream sale in May.


An Important Intense PinkAn Important Intense Pink

A 17.07-carat fancy intense pink diamond with a step-cut sold for more than $20.7 million at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in November.


An Important Vivid PinkAn Important Vivid Pink

A 9.14-carat fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond sold for more than $18.2 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale in November.


An Important BlueAn Important Blue

A 7.32-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond sold for more than $17.1 million at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale in May.


Sky Blue DiamondThe Sky Blue Diamond

The Sky Blue Diamond, an 8.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond mounted on a diamond ring designed by Cartier, sold for more than $17 million at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in November.


Aurora Green DiamondThe Aurora Green Diamond

The Aurora Green diamond, a 5.03-carat rectangular-cut fancy vivid green diamond, within a circular-cut pink diamond surround, sold for more than $16.8 million at Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale in May.

“Coloured diamonds are very much in demand still, and very healthy,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, told reporters after conducting the semi-annual sale at a Geneva lakeside hotel.

“People who want the rarest and the most beautiful are seeking out these rare treasures,” Bennett said.


Cath The GreatMeanwhile, a diamond necklace from the Russian crown jewels, commissioned by Catherine the Great (1729-1796), failed to sell, stranded on the block after failing to meet a secret reserve price set by the owner. Its pre-sale estimate was $3 million to $5 million.

The royal piece, with a diamond bowknot clasp, was kept in a strong room of the Kremlin during World War One and sold by the Bolshevik government as part of a 1927 auction.

A 19th-Century Russian historical piece, a parure of white and Coloured diamonds estimated at $3 million to $5 million, also stalled.

Catherine I of Russia, second wife of Peter the Great, may have given it to the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed III as part of a “ransom” to help negotiate the end of the siege of Pruth in 1711, Sotheby’s said.

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