Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Was A Real Disaster! Or Was It Not?
On June 23, the first real and live auction took place in Geneva by Sotheby’s. Only 49 items were offered. Guess what? Only 23 items actually sold. Two items were withdrawn including the highlight item of the evening, the 3.01 carat, Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, and 24 items went unsold. The total intake was $12.4 million.
Fancy Color Diamonds Sold
The Top lot sold this evening was the 7.00 carat, Fancy Intense Pink diamond with VVS2 clarity. It was valued between $2.44 million to $3.41 million and ended up selling for $2.84 million or $406k per carat. This value is low and represents the low end of the valuation. It is the fees and commission that got the price to seem higher, but technically, it is the final price since this is what the buyer pays.
The second top Fancy Color Diamond that was sold was the 5.29 carat, Fancy Grey-Blue diamond with SI1 clarity. It was valued between $780k to $1.17 million but ended up selling for $2.06 million or $389k per carat. Perhaps there is a strong possibility that it can be improved, by both color and clarity. Even if it gets improved to a greyish blue and a VS2, it can definitely increase the value quite drastically.
The 3.77 Carat, Fancy Light Pink diamond was estimated to sell between $300k to $490k and ended up selling for $620k or $164k per carat. The reason for its high value is the fact that round Fancy Color Diamonds sell for a premium.
Fancy Color Diamonds Unsold
The 3.03 Carat, Fancy Intense Blue Diamond set in a ring went unsold. It was valued between $980k to $1.46 million, at the low end of the value which means that the highest bid did not reach $323k per carat. I believe there are 2 main factors; the clarity of I1 is not desirable, which means buyers are picky, and the color may have been weak, and closer to a Fancy Blue color intensity.
Surprisingly, the 4.09 carat, Fancy Pink also went unsold. It was valued at between $830k to $980k or $203k to $240k per carat. It was also Internally Flawless. I have not seen the diamond personally, but if it did not sell at the low end, it means the color was weak.
The 1.51 carat, Fancy Deep Purple-Pink was also not sold. it was valued between $180k to $280k in total.
Fancy Color Diamond Withdrawn and unlisted
It is disappointing to have seen the top lot, the 3.01 carat, Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, withdrawn from the auction. It was valued between $4.19 million to $6.13 million or $1.392 million to $2.037 million per carat. It is clear that the seller felt that it would be a weak sale event and preferred to remove it rather than “burn” the diamond. This is perfectly legitimate. It is even more disappointing that Sotheby’s chose to remove it from their site, rather than be fully transparent, leave it on, and just mark it as withdrawn.
The good news is that the total sale was about $5.5 million for Fancy Color Diamonds which represents about 45% of total sales; that is 3 items out of 23 sold (13%). Overall and considering that only 23 items sold, Fancy Color Diamonds are in a good position. Fancy Color Diamonds still garner a significant portion of sales, with low percentage of items sold.
Let’s remember an important factor for low sales: It is imperative that people view the actual diamonds with their own eyes and loupe. It is a basic rule that before buying a Fancy Color Diamond, that it is physically viewed. In this case, and because of Covid-19, it certainly did not happen unless an appointment was booked ahead of time, and strict safety measures were taken.
I call on Sotheby’s to change their policy and instead of pulling out items from their site, to leave them on and mark them as removed or withdrawn.
I look forward to the Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels live auction on July 10th.
- Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Auction Will Be A Test Of Strength For Fancy Color Diamonds And Offering The Largest Fancy Color Diamond Of Its Kind At Auction
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- Magnificent Jewels Auctions In New York Successfully Seals 2020 Despite Virus Challenge
- Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels In Hong Kong Yields Strong Results During Pandemic Despite Many Fancy Color Diamonds Not Selling
- The Art Of Mastering Fancy Color Diamonds