Christie’s Redeems Reputation With Brand Name Diamonds at Auction In Hong Kong

A full year has now passed since the famous 5.03 carat Fancy Vivid Green diamond “The Aurora Green” sold for a record price at auction. Only 6 weeks have passed since the 59.60 carat Fancy Vivid Pink “Pink Star” diamond was sold in Hong Kong to jewelry power house Chow Tai Fook. Although Christie’s has been struggling so far in 2017 to keep up with Sotheby’s catalog lineup, it seems like they are finally covering some ground with the addition of a few excellent pink and blue diamonds to their roster. Some extraordinary jewels will be sold on May 30th, led by one from famous jewelry house Moussaieff.

Moussaieff Blue Diamond Leading the Auction Event

The star of the event on May 30th is an exceptional Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, weighing 3.98 carats and featuring a superb VVS2 clarity. The diamond is valued to sell at a price between $8.3 million and $11 million, or $2 million to $2.76 million per carat, at the Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction.


3.98 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond from Moussaieff          Image credit: Christie’s

Let’s quickly evaluate the plausibility of this price estimation by comparing it to the last record breaking diamond of this category. The last record sale made in the 3-5 carat Fancy Vivid Blue category was set by no other than Moussaieff herself. On November 29, 2016 Moussaieff sold a 4.29 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond with an IF clarity for $11.8 million total or just under $2.756 million per carat – which by the way, also broke the previous record in this category that she had also set. Will she do it again, and break her own record? Time will tell.


4.29 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond from Moussaieff          Image credit: Christie’s 

Unique Pink Diamond Earrings

The second top lot for fancy color diamonds that day is a pair of rare and unique Fancy Purplish Pink oval shaped diamonds, one weighing 4.64 carats and the other weighing 4.01 carats. Both diamonds have a VVS2 clarity and are surrounded by colorless diamonds on 3 sides. They are valued to sell at $2.84 million to $3.9 million total, or $328k to $490k per carat. Based on the price range that was given, we noticed that this is actually the correct price range for a single diamond. In this case, because it is a pair, there should be valued at a premium, therefore the upper valuation is where the pair should sell! We shall see what happens that night and how the bidders value them.


4.01 and 4.64 Fancy Purplish Pink oval shaped diamond earrings          Image credit: Christie’s 

The next highest valued piece of fancy color diamond jewelry is a bracelet containing several Pink diamonds with various intensities and sizes ranging from 1.32 carats to 0.09 carats, totaling 16 diamonds; all surrounded by colorless diamonds. It features one blue diamond at the end as well, although the exact specifications for that diamond are not specified by the auction house. The bracelet is valued to sell between $2.8 million to $3.8 million. A further detailed examination will be needed for each diamond in order to see the individual intensity and clarity and better understand the valuation here. Some important questions include: how many of the diamonds are above 1 carat and how many below? What is the clarity of each? The current information is not enough to know if the valuation makes sense.


Pink diamond, blue diamond and colorless diamond bracelet          Image credit: Christie’s 

Green Diamonds Making a Comeback

Another green diamond is being offered on the auction scene. It seems that more and more green diamonds of various intensities and clarities are appearing at auction, but they are still extremely rare, especially if they are Fancy Intense Green and weigh over 5 carats. This is the third Fancy Intense Green diamond to ever appear at auction. The largest Fancy Intense green to ever appear at auction weighed a 6.13 carats and was sold on May 27, 2014 at a Christie’s auction. It sold for $3.64 million or $594k per carat and is the record holder per carat for a Fancy Intense Green.


6.13 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond           Image credit: Christie’s 


The Fancy Intense Green diamond being offered at auction this May weighs 5.28 carats and has a VS2 clarity. It is currently valued between $2.3 million to $3.6 million, or $435k to 682k per carat. In order to break the record, the color must be a very strong Fancy Intense Green, otherwise, it will not reach the high end of the valuation.


5.28 carat Fancy Intense Green VS2 diamond          Image credit: Christie’s 

Red Diamonds Return to Auction

The following item is also composed of both fancy color and colorless diamonds. Red diamonds have always been the most sought after color of all fancy color diamonds due to rarity. The brooch, by Scott West (son of L.J. West in New York), has 6 red diamonds surrounded by colorless diamonds shaped in a flower.

The center stone is the most important element, and holds the majority of the value given by Christie’s. It is a 1.58 carat Fancy Red diamond. Currently, there aren’t many red diamonds available on the market that weigh over 1 carat, although there are plenty of red diamonds that weigh below 1 carat. The other 5 diamonds on the brooch range between 0.36 and 0.22 carats in size and are either Fancy Red or Fancy Purplish Red. Overall, they are all important but the real value is within the 1.58 carat diamond. The brooch is currently valued between $2 million and $3.2 million. The 5 smaller diamonds are valued in the $200k to $400k per carat range, so in total (1.41 carats) they should be valued at $282k to $564k total. That brings the center stone’s value to $1.6 million to $2.6 million, or $1 million to $1.645 million per carat. The value is quite conservative, even though the 1.58 carat has no clarity disclosed (most likely an I2 clarity). If the color is strong, then we will see the overall value on the upper end of the valuation.


Scott West 6 Red diamond brooch          Image credit: Christie’s 


The last item that I wanted to review here is the 3.37 carat Fancy Intense Blue hexagon shaped diamond with an I1 clarity. It is being offered by the Asian brand Etcetera. It is valued between $620k to $839k total, or $184k to $249k per carat. My first impression about the estimated price is that it may be because the color is possibly weak, and closer to Fancy Blue rather than Intense. Even so, the price is somewhat conservative. We will see what happens that day.


3.37 carat Fancy Intense Blue I1 hexagon shaped diamond          Image credit: Christie’s 

It is interesting to see the diamonds that Christie’s collected for this auction, and that more than one of the fancy color diamonds seem to be undervalued by the auction house. We may see new records broken yet again, and as always brand names are partially responsible for these strong prices. We will have to see how the attendees of the Hong Kong auction will approach the goods in front of them.

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