Christie’s has revealed yet another surprise for this auction season. The esteemed auction house has announced that it will be selling the largest Fancy Intense Blue diamond to ever be offered at auction on June 9th at its New York Magnificent Jewels. The diamond, called the Cullinan Dream, is a 26 carat Fancy Intense Blue radiant shaped diamond that originated from a 122.52 carat rough blue diamond that was discovered in Petra Diamonds’ Cullinan mine in South Africa.
Christie’s continues to surprise us, as I referenced in my previous article about Christie’s during this current auction season. They are adding another diamond record to their repertoire, as they have also already sold the largest vivid orange diamond, the largest vivid green diamond, the largest vivid blue diamond and even the largest red diamond to ever be offered at auction. They also have the prestigious reputation of having sold the world record holder for highest priced red diamond at auction (the 2.09 carat Fancy Red heart shaped Moussaieff diamond).
The 14.82 carat Fancy Vivid Orange “The Orange” diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The 5.03 carat Fancy Vivid Green “The Aurora Green” diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The 14.62 carat Fancy Vivid Blue “The Oppenheimer Blue” diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The 2.26 carat Fancy Red “De Young Red” diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The 2.09 carat Fancy Red heart shaped Moussaieff diamond Image credit: Christie’s
Current Fancy Intense Blue Diamonds to Beat
The current record holder for the largest Fancy Intense Blue diamond to sell at auction is the 13.39 carat Fancy Intense Blue VS1 diamond which was sold on May 14, 2008 for a total of $8,785,366 or $656,113.97 per carat.
The 13.39 carat Fancy Intense Blue VS1 diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The Cullinan Dream, at 26 carats, is just about twice the size of the current record holder, and is about to get considerably more attention. Considering that it is double the size of what was the largest known Fancy Intense Blue diamond, that is already quite the reputation for the Cullinan Dream, especially considering that such large blue diamonds are incredibly hard to come by.
The Cullinan Dream on a woman’s hand Image credit: Instagram
The Cullinan Dream has a similar status and reputation to the 5.03 carat ‘Aurora Green’ diamond, which was recently announced to the public as a Fancy Vivid Green diamond that is twice as big as the current auction record of 2.52 carat Fancy Vivid Green. Petra Diamonds mined the 122.52 carat rough blue diamond from which the Cullinan Dream originated back in June 2014 and sold it for $27.6 million in September of that year, and they are also retaining a 15% from the profits made in the eventual sale of the polished diamond. Neither Petra Diamonds nor Christie’s have revealed if the Cullinan Dream diamond has been accompanied by a letter from the GIA stating if it is the largest FIB certified as of the date of the certificate, and neither has yet revealed to us the Cullinan Dream’s clarity.
The 5.03 carat Fancy Vivid Green “Aurora Green” diamond set as a ring Image credit: Christie’s
The 2.52 carat Fancy Vivid Green diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
The 122.52 rough blue Petra diamond Image credit: Petra Diamonds
Another important aspect for the Cullinan Dream to conquer is the price. The current world record price for a Fancy Intense Blue diamond is being held by the 1.74 carat Fancy Intense Blue VVS1 (potentially IF) round brilliant diamond that was sold on December 10, 2015. I reported this after Christie’s sold it in New York. It was sold for a record $1.106 million per carat and this record was completely overlooked by the media. The question begs to be asked just how much will the Cullinan Dream sell for, and can it beat the per carat price of the 1.74 carat Fancy Intense Blue diamond?
The 1.74 carat Fancy Intense Blue diamond Image credit: Christie’s
Even if the Cullinan Dream sells for the same value of $1.1 million per carat, it will reach almost $30 million total for that stone alone.
The Cullinan Dream and its Sisters
Petra Diamonds has revealed the top 4 polished diamonds that came from that rough in its 2015 annual report back in late October 2015, but in reality a total of 7 polished diamonds were produced from the rough. Normally, we see up to a 60% loss from the rough diamond to the polished diamond. Here, it is almost 50%, which is excellent and can be explained by the amount of time the cutter has taken to assess the best yield of the diamond vis-a-vis quality, size, color, and clarity, among other factors.
The 4 best diamonds from the 122.52 carat rough diamond, from left to right:
The 11.3 carat pear shaped blue diamond, the 26 carat Fancy Intense Blue radiant shaped “Cullinan Dream” diamond, the 10.3 carat radiant shaped blue diamond, and the 7.0 carat cushion shaped blue diamond Image credit: Petra Diamonds
Will the Cullinan Dream Sell?
A high reserve has been put in place for the Cullinan Dream because of the buyer of the rough and its polisher (both details that I cannot yet expose). It is very relevant to the buyer if it sells, as both add immense value to the diamond. The owner and polisher would rather wait to get their ideal bid rather than just to sell the diamond. Money is not an issue for the Cullinan Dream’s seller, the only thing that remains to be seen is if Petra has put pressure on it to sell in order to get money into its own coffers and because they must answer to their own shareholders. Petra, after all, is a public company.
The Petra Diamonds logo
On the other hand, a stone like this should and most likely will garner a new world record for a Fancy Intense Blue diamond, both in total dollar value for a Fancy Intense Blue diamond as well as price per carat for a Fancy Intense Blue diamond. Considering that it is the last major auction of the first half of the year, we need to wait and see the tone that the Geneva auctions set in terms of buyers putting out big money. There are not one or two, but three Fancy Intense Blue diamonds on auction this week.
Fancy Intense Blue Diamonds in Geneva
The first Fancy Intense Blue diamonds to sell at auction will be on 17th by Sotheby’s. They are offering two Fancy Intense Blue diamonds of similar sizes. The first is a 6.64 carat Fancy Intense Blue SI1 diamond estimated at $10 million to $14 million, set on a brooch accompanied by a 2.01 Fancy Intense Blue VVS2 diamond and a 1.01 carat Fancy Intense Blue VS2 diamond, with an aggregated $1 million per carat price. The second is a 6.03 Fancy Intense Blue diamond with a top clarity of Internally Flawless, and which is valued at only $3 million to $5million, or $500k to $830k per carat. This diamond should easily be able to get a higher price and it is very possible that we will see a $1.2-$1.5 million per carat on one or the other.
The 6.64 carat Fancy Intense Blue SI1 diamond brooch Image credit: Sotheby’s
The 6.03 Fancy Intense Blue IF diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
The following night, on the 18th, Christie’s will be offering a pair of Fancy Intense Blue diamond earrings totaling 5.52 carat (3.02 carats and 2.50 carats), each with an IF clarity. Although it is a pair and not a singular large diamond, because they are of same color, clarity and shape, it is an extreme rarity to find a pair like this anywhere and it therefore should garner a nice premium. They are being valued at $3.6 million to $5.7 million or just over $1 million per carat on the high end of their estimate.
The 3.02 carat and 2.50 carats Fancy Intense Blue IF diamond earrings Image credit: Christie’s
Fancy Intense Blue diamonds are getting as much attention as Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds, which are rarer but certainly a lot more expensive. Investors are looking at Fancy Intense Blue diamonds as a close alternative to vivid blue diamonds, and so the prices are gaining momentum…
Let’s watch together, live from the auction houses where things will go for these diamond prices… You can even get live updates if you follow us on Twitter!
So what would you rather invest in – Fancy Intense Blue diamonds or Fancy Vivid Blue diamonds? Why? Let us know in the comments!
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- Cullinan Dream, A Successful Sale By Some, A Failure By Others…