Will Sotheby’s Keep Up its 2015 Momentum in 2016?

The first serious auction of 2016 will be kicked off in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s next week. The media is already going into a frenzy about the top lot, the largest Fancy Vivid Blue oval shaped diamond to ever be offered at auction.

 

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The 10.10 carat Fancy Vivid Blue oval shaped diamond

The diamond is the famous 10.10 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond named the “DeBeers Millennium Jewel 4” that has a rare Internal Flawless clarity. It is famous for being one of 11 blue diamonds on display alongside the famous 203.04 carat D color pear shaped “Millennium Star” diamond back in 2000 at the London Millennium Dome, and was saved from the world’s biggest potential diamond heist. The diamond is currently being valued between $30 million – $35 million by Sotheby’s and is making heads turn all around the world. Just to put the diamond in perspective, it is valued at about 8 times the amount of the value of the next lot on the auction! It also can potentially make the Hong Kong auction break its own total sales that day, a fact which puts a lot of pressure on Sotheby’s to make it happen.

 

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The DeBeers Millennium Jewel 4, valued at $30 million – $35 million

I am sure that if they valued it at these levels, then Sotheby’s has contacted a handful of potential bidders and the bidders are interested. In order to break the world record per carat set in November 2015 by the 12.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond “The Blue Moon of Josephine”, the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 would have to sell for just over $40.7 million total. If the diamond were to break the Blue Moon’s record for the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction, it would have to sell for over $48.5 million total. I dare not say if it will or not!

When stones like this appear at auctions, no one, not even the most experienced fancy color diamond professor can predict what it will sell for. Only the final bidder will know to what length he or she will go to own a piece of history.

 

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The 10.10 carat Fancy Vivid Blue DeBeers Millennium Jewel 4

The second significant fancy color diamond on offer is a rare, 4.90 carat Fancy Intense Green, heart shaped SI1 clarity diamond, surrounded by pink and white heart shaped diamonds and set in a ring. It is not rare to see green diamonds with such a low clarity when compared to other diamonds. This green diamond it is valued between $2.7 million and $3.6 million, or $551k to $735k per carat.

 

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The 4.90 carat Fancy Intense Green, heart shaped diamond ring

The current record for green diamond price is held by a 6.13 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond that was sold back on May 27, 2014 by Christie’s for $594k per carat. Other than the 6.13 carat diamond, there are only 2 more Fancy Intense Green diamonds larger than this diamond ever sold at auction.

 

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The 6.13 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond

The most famous green diamond in the world is the Dresden Green diamond, a 41 carat Fancy Vivid Green diamond that is named after Dresden, Germany where it has been displayed for the last 2 centuries. Most recently, it was featured in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC alongside the Millennium Star diamond, the Allnatt diamond, the Heart of Eternity diamond, the Pink Dream diamond, and the Pumpkin Orange diamond in their Splendor of Diamonds Exhibition. Few famous green diamonds exist despite the fact that it is not one of the most difficult diamonds to obtain, perhaps because it is not one of the colors in the largest demand. The Dresden Green is the largest and most expensive known green diamond, and its existence is what keeps up demand for smaller green diamonds in the market.

 

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The 41 carat Dresden Green diamond

The third interesting fancy color diamond of the evening is a 4.08 carat Fancy Vivid Orange SI2 clarity pear shaped diamond set in a ring entwined with a pear shaped colorless diamond. The orange diamond is currently valued to sell at a final hammer price between $1.54 million and $1.8 million, or $378k to $441k per carat. It is not very often that we see a pure Fancy Vivid Orange diamond in auctions. The orange color aspect is usually a secondary tone on another color, or has a secondary tone to it. The last significant Fancy Vivid Orange became quite famous that year for breaking the world record price per carat for a diamond. It sold at just under $2.4 million per carat, back on November 12, 2014 in Geneva, and was named “The Orange”. The only other famous orange diamond is the 5.54 carat “Pumpkin Diamond”.

 

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The 4.08 carat Fancy Vivid Orange SI2 clarity pear shaped diamond

 

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The 14.82 carat Fancy Vivid Orange ‘ The Orange’ diamond

 

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The 5.54 carat Fancy Vivid Orange ‘Pumpkin’ diamond

Our next spotlight is on the 10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 diamond that is being estimated at $1.3 million to $2.05 million, or $125k to $200k per carat. I have not recently seen the diamond physically, although I did encounter it in Geneva back in November 12, 2014 at the Geneva auctions. The color is quite deep which helps explain the high valuation. Here we can see clearly that the clarity does not play a significant role in the valuation (I will address fancy color diamonds valuation and nuances more in-depth in a separate series of articles), but the valuation is positively affected due to the fact that it is a Graff diamond. In 2014 it was sold for $1.375 million. The final price on the diamond would be a perfect occasion to understand if and why branded diamonds get a higher valuation by the market.

 

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The Graff 10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 diamond

 

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The Graff 10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 diamond in its old setting in 2014

Another item I wanted to address is Lot #1738. Very infrequently do we get to see a Fancy Deep Blue diamond being offered at auction. This is the opportunity. The diamond is a 1.80 carat pear shape with a VS2 clarity and is valued between $963k to $1.03 million, or $535k to $572k per carat. If we had to compare to Fancy Vivid Blue, a more desired color, the valuation is quite fair.

 

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1.80 carat Fancy Deep Blue VS2 pear shaped diamond

Our last two notable mentions are in the yellow diamond family. The first is a beautiful 7.03 Fancy Vivid Yellow Emerald cut diamond with an Internal Flawless clarity. It is being offered at $848k -$925k total, or $121k to $132k per carat. This is a very reasonable price range for a top color Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond. It is not at all a world record per carat, which would be a price over $250k per carat for a superb Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond.

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The 7.03 Fancy Vivid Yellow IF Emerald cut diamond

The last item is a pair of yellow diamond earrings. It is composed of a 13.35 carat and 12.03 carat diamond, both Fancy Intense Yellow, and both VVS2 clarity. This is a hard match to find indeed. They are valued at $835k to $899k total, a good value for your investment dollars.

 

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The 13.35 carat and 12.03 carat Fancy Intense Yellow VVS2 diamond earrings

What do you think of these items up for auction in April? Can the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 break the Blue Moon’s record? Will we see interesting results from the green diamond or the orange diamond? Feel free to comment below and tell us what you think!

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