News of record prices should no longer come as a surprise; much like with property, auction records at the top of the market are merely a reflection of what’s happening down below.
One of the headliners at Bonhams’ December 5th London auction surprised the diamond community once again this year, setting a new world record price-per-carat of US $760,000 for a ‘Greyish-Blue’ colour diamond. The 2.97-carat step cut stone achieved a total hammer price of US $2.2 million, smashing its highest estimate of US $1 million.
While the hammer price of this lot may seem modest in comparison to the record US $4 million per carat fetched by the Vivid ‘Blue Moon‘ diamond sold last month at Sotheby’s, diamonds with less colour saturation and ‘greyish’ overtones are valued in a different category. As such, the price achieved is quite extraordinary and reflects the robust growing demand for rare coloured diamonds.
However, as all categories of blue diamonds have appreciated significantly in value over the past 10 years (performance graphs below), news of record prices in any one of them should no longer come as a surprise; much like with property, auction records at the top of the market are merely a reflection of what’s happening down below.
More specifically, it’s a reflection of what’s happening across all levels of the coloured diamond market, particularly with blues and pinks – a limited and fading supply of these gems has made them coveted not only for their beauty, but also for their high capital growth investment potential.
“The prices achieved reflect the buoyancy of the market for coloured gemstones of the highest quality. We anticipate 2016 to be very much the year of color. It is exciting to see such wonderful pieces being appreciated by a discerning international clientele,” said Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery for the U.K. and Europe at Bonhams.