Attending the auction on Tuesday night seemed to be a waste of time at first, but by the end of the auction, I realized how important it was to attend. I could have very easily watched it live online on my comfortable sofa at home. I viewed and examined the Fancy Color diamonds that were presented that night, but more importantly it was clear that overall appetite for jewelry at auction was actually following a general trend in the market; Very Little!
Total sales for Sotheby’s was CHF 42,282,050 or $41,988,133 (using the official exchange rate of 1.007). I will keep it as 1 for 1 for the purpose of the article.
Sales were down over 50% from last year ($85.56 million in 2018), and down by over 75% from the 2016 all time high. It was also clear that Sotheby’s was not expecting a spectacular night, as they did not use models to showcase each item, rather showed only the last piece of the auction, which was also on the cover of the magazine for the auction that night.
Their lowest sales on record (published online since 2007) was in 2009 when sales were at $39.57 million total.
The 1.01 carat, Fancy Intense Blue with VS1 clarity was sold for $853,799 after being under valued at between $150k to $250k. It may have the potential to be re-polished into a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, which will follow up soon enough and report it.
The 1.01 carat, round brilliant, Fancy Intense Pink was sold for $210,968 after being valued at between $79k to $99k.
A 2.07 carat, Fancy Orangy Pink was sold for $186,148 or $90k per carat after being valued at between $40k to 55k or $19.3k to $26.57k per carat.
The 7.56 carat, Fancy Purplish Pink diamond with SI1 clarity did not end up selling. It was valued between $1.1 million to $1.79 million or $145.5k to $236.8k per carat. The highest bid was $900,000.
In general sales are down in auction, which we’ll most likely see at Christie’s as well. But this should not be a sign that the market is slowing down whatsoever. There are still many more private transactions that are taking place. Prices for unique blue and pink diamonds are holding strong. There might be less transactions out there, but due to rarity, prices are strong. This is in line with data reported by other industry participants such as the FCRF.
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