Joyce Kauf of Rapaport Magazine
Blue diamonds have been stealing the spotlight as prices skyrocket.
Blue Diamonds have become celebrities on the auction scene with all the attendant fame. The fan fare continues this month with an 8.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond ring by Cartier, named The Sky Blue Diamond, set to be auctioned at Sotheby’s Geneva. But what accounts for the soaring interest and stratospheric prices that these diamonds command in today’s market? From gemologists to diamond brokers to the heads of jewelry sales at the two major auction houses and an industry expert, the answer can be summed up in two words: extremely rare.
“There is so much more buzz now. There is more awareness of how rare these diamonds are,”explains Larry West,president of L.J.West Diamonds, a color diamond specialist based in New York City. “Previously, information about these exotic stones was only available to the most involved collectors.But now there are more discussions within the high-end jewelry trade.”And while collectors might consider a blue diamond the ultimate investment, “more and more people are discovering the beauty of a blue diamond,” says West, who admits to being“passionate”about these diamonds.
“Perhaps one in 10,000 exhibits any color. A diamond with any evidence of blue color—even if the color is very faint—is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of what would be mined in one year.” Historically, some blue diamonds were discovered in the Golconda region in India; the Hope Diamond has been traced to that area.However, the only source to produce a very small but consistent supply of blue diamonds is the Cullinan Mine in South Africa,owned by Petra Diamonds.