Christie’s Geneva Auction Expects To Break Records

Let’s be honest and say that only at rare moments in the diamond world do we see such a truly magnificent and rare beauty that is colorless diamond. More often than not, colorless diamonds do not stand out from one another, and for various reasons. This is actually one of the reasons that fancy color diamonds ultimately earn so much more money at auction than their colorless diamond counterparts. However, this year the highest priced item to sell at Christie’s auction in Geneva is none other than the 163.41 carat D color Flawless emerald cut diamond by de Grisogono. The following two highest estimated items at the auction are The Grand Mazarin diamond, which has unique provenance, and a rare 8 carat Fancy Intense Blue diamond. The diamonds balance nicely with Sotheby’s offerings at their own Geneva auction, and it seems that this year the auction houses have managed to split the high-interest gems evenly rather than skewing the goods to one auction house or another, as has occurred in the past.

The 163.41 carat D color Flawless de Grisogono diamond          Image credit: de Grisogono

de Grisogono

The top lot in the evening’s auction is the 163.41 carat D color Flawless de Grisogono diamond. It was cut from the 404 carat rough diamond that they acquired back in 2016, about which we discussed in detail several weeks ago when it was revealed by Christie’s.

The diamond, which is set in an emerald and diamond necklace, is valued at a sale price between $20 million and $30 million, or $122k to $184k per carat. We are of the opinion that it will break the $30 million mark due to its size, color and clarity. In fact, this may be one of the rare occasions when a colorless diamond can truly be considered an investment piece, which happens more rarely than gem investors care to admit. The high caliber of the diamond’s characteristics render it very rare.

 

The 163.41 carat D color Flawless de Grisogono diamond          Image credit: de Grisogono

 

Le Grand Mazarin

The Grand Mazarin diamond is a historic Light Pink diamond and will be one of the most expensive diamonds sold in the Geneva auctions this year. The diamond, which weighs 19.07 carats, takes its name from its first owner, an Italian avid diamond collector named Cardinal Mazarin who bought it in the mid-1600s. Upon his death, he bequeathed it and the rest of his diamonds to King Louis XIV, and the diamond officially became part of the French crown jewels. It was stolen in 1792 during the French revolution but was recovered and reincorporated into the crown jewels until it went into the ownership of the Louvre museum. It was sold at auction in the 1800s and has remained in private collections ever since.

 

The 19.07 carat Fancy Light Pink old mine cut VS2 “Le Grand Mazarin” diamond          Image credit: Christie’s

 

The 19.07 carat Fancy Light Pink old mine cut VS2 diamond is estimated to sell at a price between $6 million – $9 million, although Christie’s will not make their estimate public. At the high end of the estimate, the price would be equivalent to $472k per carat. The historic value is the true added value factor here, since the diamond exhibits such weak pink color. It remains to be seen whether buyers will be willing to pay top dollar to own a diamond that was once worn by French kings and queens as part of their crown jewels.

 

Fancy Intense Blue Diamond

The blue diamond that will be auctioned by Christie’s that evening is the largest Fancy Intense Blue diamond to be offered in 2017 thus far. It weighs 8.67 carats and has a VVS1 clarity, but it can potentially be re-polished to become an Internally Flawless diamond. If it can remain above 8 carats after the re-polish, the I would recommend proceeding with the re-polish. The value added by upgrading a diamond’s clarity from a VVS1 to an IF is significant, even with blue diamonds.

 

The 8.67 carat Fancy Intense Blue diamond          Image credit: Christie’s

 

The auction house estimates its value at a price between $7.5 million and $10.5 million, or $868k to $1.215 million per carat. Based on this valuation, and without having seen the diamond yet with our own eyes, there are 2 very differing scenarios than can occur.

  1. It is well underestimated and we will see a fast betting on it from various entities during the auction, resulting in a very significant final price.
  2. The color is not strong, and may be closer to a Fancy Blue rather than Fancy Intense Blue, but price will reflect the certificate issued by GIA.

 

Fancy Intense Pink Diamond

A 9.17 carat Fancy Intense Pink SI1 diamond set on a diamond necklace will be offered under the hammer as well. It is valued at a price between $3.7 million to $4.5 million, or $405k to $492k per carat. Although the clarity is an SI1, a Fancy Intense Pink diamond of this size is still quite rare and this price is undervaluing the diamond. We should ultimately be seeing a much stronger price level at the auction.

The 9.17 carat Fancy Intense Pink SI1 diamond on the necklace          Image credit: Christie’s

 

Fancy Pink Diamond

Our final important piece of the evening is a 5.08 carat Fancy Pink diamond. It has a nice VS1 clarity, and is valued at a price between $1.25 million to $1.5 million, or $247k to $296k per carat. This is a good value for this diamond, as there is some value to be built as even Fancy Pink diamonds over 5 carats become rarer and harder to find on the market.

The 5.08 carat Fancy Pink VS1 diamond          Image credit: Christie’s

 

It seems that diamonds with provenance are taking center stage at this year’s Geneva auctions, with the exception of the very impressive de Grisogono diamond. This fact further cements the reality that in today’s diamond industry, a diamond needs to be more than just a diamond in order to appeal to the market. However, even diamonds without provenance or a strong brand are still estimated to sell with high prices as long as they are the industry’s top colors – pink and blue. Got any questions about the state of the industry or the diamonds being auctioned this month? Feel free to comment or ask questions in the comments section below!

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