As we reported last week, Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction broke the record, again, for the third time in just over a year. A 15.04 carat Burmese Ruby, having a “Pigeon blood red” color sold for $18,382,385 or $1.222 million per carat. On November 11, 2014 the Graff Ruby, weighing 8.62 carats was sold for $8,600,410 or just under $1 million per carat, which was already a significant per carat price over the previous record. Just a few months later, on May 12, 2015, the “Sunrise Ruby”, a 25.59 carat “Pigeon Blood Red” color Burma ruby was sold for a staggering $30,335,698 or $1.185 million per carat. Comes December 1, 2015, and Christie’s broke that record with the 15.04 carat ruby. Not a significant increase in price, a modest 3% increase, but still a record price in the same year. Both previous rubies were sold by Sotheby’s.
8.62 carat Graff Ruby
25.59 carat Sunrise Ruby
The double strand Jadeite beads with diamonds, sold for a significant premium to its estimate. Jadeite jewellery have a history for selling at high prices in Asia, its main market. The necklace was sold for $7,565,557 total, a 53%+ premium to its $4,926,168 high estimate.
Jadeite & Diamonds Double stranded necklace
The ruby and diamond necklace sold at around the average value given by Christie’s. It got sold for $7,202,576. The auction houses estimated it to be between $6.22 and $8.56 million.
The 7.53 carat Fancy Intense pink, VS2 clarity that was estimated at $5.8 to $8.4 million was sold for $6.26 million in total, or $831k per carat. Given that it was a VS2 clarity and a weak color, i am not surprised at the price. We have known for a while that investors are looking for the top quality goods and are willing to pay top dollar for them. These same investors are not looking to dispose of their diamond investment in the short term, but rather hold on for an extended period of time.
7.53 carat, Fancy Intense Pink, VS2 clarity
The 5.22 carat Fancy Intense Pink, IF clarity, was sold for $4.44 million, or $851k per carat, while the estimate was $3.2-$4.54 million. We can see that this diamond in compared to the diamond above was sold at a premium. The premium was not significantly higher per carat, but we have to consider the fact that the 7.53ct is much rarer in size in compared to the 5.22ct, and most likely the color may have had the same saturation. Both diamonds have to be placed next to each other and reviewed in order to appreciate the difference. Images in a catalogue or even on the internet do not justify. When the color saturation and depth is at its best, similar size and clarity Fancy Intense Pink sell well above $1 million per carat.
5.22 carat, Fancy Intense Pink, IF clarity
Another interesting comparison, are the following two Fancy vivid yellow diamonds sold. The first, being a 13.79 carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow with a VVS1 clarity was sold for $77k per carat. The second, being a 7.16 carat, also a Fancy Vivid Yellow and only a VS2 clarity, but got sold for $122k per carat. Being that the clarity was inferior, we can rely on the fact that the second diamond had a deeper, higher on the scale, Vivid yellow. I think that also, a second claim to the higher price would be the fact that the second diamond was produced into a jewellery by Cartier. A brand can contribute significantly to the valuation, and maybe some historical data we are not aware of.
13.79 carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow, VVS1 clarity
A rarity that we do not see in auction quite often, and quite difficult to assess its price due to that rarity factor would be the 2.16 carat, Fancy Intense Green diamond with SI1 clarity. It was sold for $658k or just under $305k per carat. Green diamonds get their green color, yes you guessed it, from radiation; but not to fear, the radiation is non harmful.
2.16 carat, Fancy Intense Green, SI1 clarity
The last item worth mentioning on the results, would be lot #2065. This is a 7.28 carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond, with a VVS1 clarity, set in a ring by Cartier. It sold for $565,213 or $77.6k per carat. Being that the color was not a strong (or deep yellow), it was reflected in the sale price. What caught my attention? prior to the auction, the estimate by Christie’s was $103.7k to $155.6k; no, not per carat, but total price! these values translate to $14.2k to $21.4k per carat, a value too low for a Fancy Vivid Yellow, even if the color is at the low end of the spectrum. No Vivid Yellow sells for this price with this clarity, and hence the selling price showed it to us, being that it was sold for 263% above its high estimate.
7.28 carat, Fancy Vivid Yellow, VVS1 clarity
Christie’s achieved total sales surpassing $215 million in Asia in 2015, which is a record sale year. This record is due to the sale of a handful of unique rubies, which dominated the auction block for the year. Quite a few new records set by Christie’s, which should set a challenge for the auction house in 2016. We will continue to monitor all the auctions in the coming year.
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