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Historical color diamonds sold at auction - Christies

Historical color diamonds sold at auction

14.62 carats, the breathtaking Oppenheimer Blue vivid diamond. Image courtesy of Christie’s

14.62 carats, the breathtaking Oppenheimer Blue vivid diamond. Image courtesy of Christie’s

The Oppenheimer Blue became the most expensive gemstone ever sold at auction in 2016.

At 14.62 carats, the breathtaking Oppenheimer Blue — named after Sir Philip Oppenheimer of De Beers fame — is the largest Fancy Vivid Blue ever to come to auction. It is the latest in a line of historic blue diamonds to have been auctioned at Christie’s which includes the Tereshchenko in 1984 and the Wittelsbach Blue in 2008.

François Curiel, Chairman of Christie's Asia Pacific and China, observes: ‘Blue diamonds have gained a wider following, not only because they are stunning, but because there are so few of them available in the world. The Oppenheimer Blue is one of the rarest gems in the world. It is the gem of gems.’

The Perfect Pink - Image courtesy of Christie’s

The Perfect Pink - Image courtesy of Christie’s

The Perfect Pink. A superb coloured diamond and diamond ring. Set with a rectangular-shaped fancy intense pink diamond weighing 14.23 carats, flanked on either side by a rectangular-shaped diamond weighing 1.73 and 1.67 carats, mounted in 18k rose and white gold. Sold for: HK$179,860,000 ($23,274,064) on 29 November 2010 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Since they were first discovered in India, pink diamonds have been considered among the most beautiful of gemstones. At 14.23 carats, The Perfect Pink is particularly rare, with polished pink diamonds of its size and colour virtually unheard of — fewer than 10 per cent of all pink diamonds weigh more than 0.20 carats.

While most pink diamonds show some elements of purple, orange or grey, The Perfect Pink is just that, showing absolutely no trace of secondary colour. Completely devoid of inclusions, the diamond was sold in Hong Kong in 2010 for $23,274,064.

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Image courtesy of Christie’s

This exceptional gem possesses a soft cushion-shaped silhouette with modified cutting style, and is a sensational example of a Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond. Simply set as a ring within a streamlined yellow gold setting, the Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond requires no further ornamentation. To find a stone of approximately 75.56 carats graded a Fancy Vivid Yellow by the GIA is a rare occurrence in today’s marketplace.

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Image courtesy of Christie’s

When it was auctioned in 2013, The Orange was the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond ever to have been discovered, weighing approximately 14.82 carats. The GIA commented: ‘In the laboratory’s experience, strongly coloured diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three of four carats in size when polished. This diamond is almost four times larger.’

Termed ‘fire diamonds’ by famous gemologist Edwin Streeter, pure orange diamonds remain incredibly rare, with so few having been graded that the exact cause of their colour remains a mystery. The diamond’s unique nature was reflected in its price, selling for $35,543,804 — more than $15 million above its high estimate.

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Sold in Geneva on 10 November 2015, this cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond is the largest of its kind ever to come to auction, weighing in at 16.08 carats. The stone is set in a ring, and is surrounded by a double row of pavé white diamonds, a third row of small pink diamonds nestled underneath.

‘As large and rare coloured diamonds of this calibre become increasingly hard to locate, this 16.08 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond comes to market at a time when great gems are mirroring prices achieved for masterpieces in the world of fine art,’ comments Kadakia. Awarded to just one in 100,000 diamonds, the ‘Fancy Vivid’ status is exceptionally rare, reflecting the depth of the diamond’s straight pink hue.

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Image courtesy of Christie’s

Weighing in at 13.22 carats, The Blue was sold as the largest Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond in the world. Set in a ring, the pear-shaped stone came flanked by two pear-shaped white diamonds, weighing approximately 1.00 and 0.96 carats. It was purchased by Harry Winston in Geneva in 2014 for a sum equating to just over $24 million.

Credit - Christies

A diamond as rare as you.

For centuries, natural color diamonds have been regarded as the world’s most sought-after gems, from collectors to royalty. Diamonds so rare that they are only discovered in a few locations on earth, they are likened to works of art, hidden treasures and rare books.

One of the exciting factors involved in natural color diamonds is the origin of how they get their unique colors, where they are found and why they are so unique.

Rare Multi-Color Diamonds part of the L.J. West Diamonds collection.

Rare Multi-Color Diamonds part of the L.J. West Diamonds collection.

  • Tiny amounts of nitrogen created yellow and orange shades.
  • The element boron created blues.
  • Hydrogen causes the color violet to appear.
  • Tremendous pressure occasionally would realign or spiral the diamond’s crystal structure, creating red, pink, purple and brown diamonds.
  • Millions of years of natural radiation produced green diamonds.

Color diamonds have been around since the beginning of diamonds discovered approximately 3000 years ago in India; it is only the last decade where the desire and appeal for them have entered the consumer market. The growing awareness of rarity and value have created increased demand for natures most special diamonds At auction natural color diamonds are exceeding record prices with the 14.62 carats Oppenheimer blue diamond selling for an impressive $57,541,779 USD at Christie's in May of 2016. This blue diamond was the largest vivid blue diamond ever to sell at auction and holds the current record for highest price paid for any jewel at auction.

In 2014, the 12.03 fancy vivid blue “Blue Moon of Josephine” diamond sold for $48.4 million and still holds the current price per carat record for any public sale at auction at $4 million per carat. In 2015, a collector paid US$28,523,925.00 for a 16.08 Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond, setting a new world record for the highest price paid and highest price paid per carat at $1.773,875.00 for a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond.

These values highlight the exceptionally rare stones but are proven examples of the desirability for them.

The 14.62 carats Oppenheimer Blue Diamond (right) $57,541,779 USD at Christie's in May of 2016, Scott West Patriot Earrings (bottom) featuring rare Argyle Pink and Blue diamonds.

The 14.62 carats Oppenheimer Blue Diamond (right) $57,541,779 USD at Christie's in May of 2016, Scott West Patriot Earrings (bottom) featuring rare Argyle Pink and Blue diamonds.

Any buyer or collector has a spectrum of color to select from in natural colored diamonds, and there is no right or wrong in choosing what diamond can appeal to your taste. Prices for natural color diamonds can start from $100 up to $1 million per carat plus, the characteristics in determining a stones value can vary with the exceptionally rare stones being valued by rarity, size and color. However, the main reason to own any is all the same – beauty, is the ultimate reason to own a natural color diamond!

A natural color diamond is as rare as you, no color is the same and no diamond is alike. The diamonds can be compared to the endless variety of flowers on our earth, a colorful rainbow in the sky and the unique personalities found all around the world.

Consider finding a color diamond that is as distinctive and alluring as you are. You will not be disappointed in your quest to do this.

Why 2016 was the year of the colored diamond

By Nick Glass, CNN

Updated 5:27 AM ET, Tue December 20, 2016

(CNN) Relatively small, but slowly and perfectly formed over billions of years, the Argyle Violet diamond is so rare in color that it has its own unique diamond classification: "Fancy Deep Grayish Blueish Violet."

It was "a once in a lifetime discovery. I fell in love with it. We had to have it," says Scott West of L.J. West Diamonds Inc. of New York.

Like his father, Larry, and his grandfather Max before him, West is a diamond hunter, searching for the rarest and most unusually colored stones.

His most recent acquisition, the 2.83-carat oval Argyle Violet is being displayed as part of "Diamonds: Rare Brilliance" at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

An exclusive offer

Scott West spends three months every year traveling the world looking for special stones.

The Argyle Violet came from the remote Argyle Mine in North West Australia. Every year for the last 30 years, the mine's owner, Rio Tinto, has invited a select group of buyers to tender for newly discovered stones by sealed bid. It's said to be the most exclusive diamond sale in the world.

This year, there were 63 diamonds on offer, all pink, red or violet.

West says he and his father, Larry, first saw the Argyle Violet in a secure room in Hong Kong in September, and made "multi visits in differing light" before placing their bid in November.

He declined to comment on a Financial Times report that L.J.West's winning bid was more than $10 million for the Argyle Violet and 15 other colored stones, although he did agree that it was "tough" having to make a sealed bid.

The allure of the sparkle

L.J. West claims to have the largest inventory of large colored diamonds in the world with some 2000 stones of all colors, many of them pink.

But, naturally, West remains discreet about money and collectors. Though the company did admit that Halle Berry wore one of their diamond rings (the Pumpkin Diamond, Fancy Vivid Orange, 5.54 carats) when she won her Oscar in 2002.

"The Middle East is a strong market. China continues to grow. The United States is still the strongest market of all," he says.

Article courtesy of CNN

The Irresistible Allure of Natural Color Diamonds

In the world of jewels, nothing compares to the sparkle and allure of a natural diamond or a beautiful colored gemstone. For discerning buyers who appreciate both sparkle and color, natural color diamonds are the perfect addition to any jewelry wardrobe.

Fascination with color is found in ancient history, so it should come as no surprise that we
are still drawn towards colorful jewels today, whether in making a fashion statement or wearing
a treasured jewel. Many famous natural color diamonds have a rich history, such as with the Blue Tavernier that traveled through several incarnations of re-cutting, under different names, over centuries. Today, it is known as the Hope Diamond, the world’s largest deep blue diamond at 42.52-carat, on display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. The diamond got its name after it surfaced in 1839 in the gem collection catalog of a well-known gem collector, Henry Philip Hope. While many people think of natural color diamonds as those with historic significance, today’s jewelry designers are using them to add pizazz to their jewelry designs. Natural color diamonds are certainly among the rarest gems mined on Earth, with only one found in 10,000 stones. Scott West of LJ West Diamonds based in New York describes his vision of color diamonds:

“In the world of luxury products, natural color diamonds bear comparison to works of art, hidden
treasures, and rare books. They speak the language of exclusivity, desirability, and collectability.”

When color diamonds come to mind, many people think of famous diamonds that sell at auction
for incredibly high prices, however; more retailers are adding natural color diamond jewelry to their bridal and fine jewelry lines. The bridal market is known for demanding the authenticity of a diamond, and in recent years has seen a surge in preference for color diamond engagement rings. Millennials are part of the reason for the increase in natural color diamond sales as they are looking for something different fromtheir parents’ traditional diamond engagement ring. In her latest publication on diamonds, gem and jewelry expert Antoinette Matlins wrote, “Of all
the gems on earth, nothing surpasses the palette ofnatural color diamonds for beauty, distinctiveness, and desirability” (Diamonds Buying Guide, 4th Edition).

Some of the better known natural color diamonds are the yellow and brown stones. Pink diamonds come in pastel shades to deep raspberry colors. Aside from their extraordinary color, pink diamonds gained popularity with celebrities, such as Jennifer Lopez, who received a pink diamond ring from former beau Ben Affleck.

Natural color diamonds are also found in a variety of intensities in orange, green, blue, purple and red. Red is considered the most rare, but famous diamonds can be found in all colors. The NCDIA
website contains information on some of the most famous color diamonds ever found.
Regardless of the main body color, natural color diamonds are known for modified colors and complementary colors. To explain these terms, Thomas Gelb, of Gelb Gemological Consulting advises jewelers that, “A large percentage of diamonds that receive a certificate from a gem lab have more than one word in their color description.” Modifiers might be described on a certificate as bluish gray or grayish blue, while complementary colors might be described as orangey pink or pinkish orange. NCDIA has published information for retailers on how to understand natural color diamond grading.

It’s important for retailers to be able to explain to clients that not all natural color diamonds come in vivid or intense colors. Fancy and fancy light color diamonds, as well as those with modified colors and complementary colors, are just as beautiful as other colored jewels.