Monthly Archives: November 2013

Another Day…Another Record For Colour Diamonds

orangey pink

Colour diamonds remain the talk of the jewelry industry by continuing to shatter auction records around the world.

At Christie’s auction in Hong Kong on November 26th, an oval-shaped 12.85 carat fancy intense orangey pink diamond went under the gavel.  The stone ended up selling for $4,950,720, a world record price for an orangey pink diamond.   It also set a world record for that colour of stone with a per-carat-price of $385,000.

The stone is surrounded by a brilliant-cut diamond border and pear-shaped diamond surround and then set in platinum and 18k rose gold.

In total, the Hong Kong auction sold $111,337,808 million in jewelry, the highest-ever total for a jewelry auction in Asia.

6 Grades of Diamond Clarity

In 1953, a team of experts were tasked to create a universal grading scale to judge all clear and colour diamonds.   They came up with five grades (with a sixth added later) in which diamonds were judged for any flaws or blemishes at 10x magnification.   Today, these six grades are still in use by diamond professionals around the world.

1. Flawless (symbolized as F)

The ideal clarity for diamonds, flawless means that the stone has no blemishes even when looked at under 10x magnification.   Only the most rare of diamonds are able to reach this level.

2. Internally Flawless (symbolized as IF)

To garner this rating, a diamond must have no flaws on the surface.  The aspect that determines whether a diamond is considered flawless or internally flawless is if blemishes seen beneath the surface of the stone when looked at 10x magnification.  This rating was added in the 70s as a reaction to the many diamonds that were being cut smaller than necessary to take out any possible flaws that would affect its clarity rating.

3. Very, Very Slightly Included (symbolized as VVS1 and VVS2)

This level refers to when minute blemishes can be detected on the diamond’s surface under 10x magnification but are still difficult to see. If the blemish is detectable from the bottom up it is graded VVS1. If it is detected from the top down, the diamond is graded VVS2.

4. Very Slightly Included (symbolized as VS1 and VS2)

Very Slightly Included means that minor flaws are seen at the 10x magnification scale while still invisible to the naked eye.    The size of those flaws will dictate whether it gets rated a VS1 or VS2.

5. Slightly Included (symbolized as SI)

This level gets to the point of the flaws are easily seen on the surface under the 10x magnification.    Though these flaws still can’t be seen with the naked eye and does not impact the diamond’s sparkle.

6.  Included (symbolized as I)

There are three levels of the Included rating – I1, I2 and I3.   I1 means the flaws can almost be seen by the naked eye.  I2 means they can actually be seen by the naked eye.   I3 means not only can the flaws be seen by the naked eye, they actually impact the spark of the diamond.

The Red Diamond No One Is Talking About

Image

Lost in the news surrounding the record-breaking auction sales of the diamonds “The Pink Star” and “The Orange”, a little red gem also made broke records this week.

At Christie’s auction in Geneva on Tuesday, a 1.92-carat fancy red diamond sold for more than 3.25 million, the most ever paid at auction for a red diamond.  The early word on the stone was that would sell between $2 – $3 million, so the final figure was considered a surprise.

Red diamonds are considered the most rare of all colour diamonds and are caused by a specific structure of the atoms within the diamond.   If this structure produces what are called grain lines, the diamond appears red.  The more the lines, the deeper the colour.   The deeper the colour, the more rare the stone.

The most famous red diamond in history is the 5.11 carat Moussaieff Red Diamond.   It is considered the world’s largest red diamond and was found by a Brazilian farmer in the Abaetezinho River in 1990.   As a rough stone, it weight 13.9 carats.   After being purchased and cut by the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation, It was then bought in the early 2000s by Shlomo Moussaieff for an undisclosed price.

Diamond Records

The Orangethe pink star

The colour diamond industry was rocked by record-shattering auction results out of Geneva this week.

At Tuesday’s Magnificent Jewel auction by Christie’s International,  the docket was highlighted by the sale of an almond-shaped fancy vivid orange diamond simply called “The Orange”.

Industry analysts had assumed the stone would sell for around $21 million, a record price for an orange diamond.   Instead, it sold for $35 million, setting two records simultaneously.    At $2.4 million per carat, it was the highest per carat price ever paid for a colour diamond at auction.   It was also the highest total ever paid for an orange diamond in history

The diamond was purchased by a private collector who was present at the time of the auction.   At this time, this person has requested to remain anonymous.

Not to be outdone, Sotheby’s auctioned off “The Pink Star” on Wednesday.   The round 59.60 carat pink stone was graded at Type IIa, a rarity for that colour of diamond.  Industry analysts considered the internally flawless vivid fancy pink stone to be the most rare diamond ever put up on the block.

Once again, the early estimates proved to be conservative as it was assumed The Pink Star would sell at around $60 million.  The diamond ended up selling at $83.2 million, the highest total ever paid for any gem (colour diamond or otherwise) in history.   Details on the buyer have yet to be released.

Update:

Sotheby’s has said that the buyer of “The Pink Star” was New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf, He plans on renaming the stone “The Pink Dream”.

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Are Black Diamonds The New Black?

NFL running back Mark Ingram Jr. made headlines this weekend with his purchase of a black diamond chain set which included a bracelet, chain and ring valued at US$120,000.

Some of the chatter in social media circles was about the fact that many people are unaware of the fascinating story behind the creation of black diamonds.

In 2007, a Florida International University research group theorized that black diamonds actually originated in outer space.    Their theory was that the diamonds came from the unprocessed stone of some meteorites that landed in Brazil and the Central African Republic.   Researchers found that black diamonds and the unprocessed stone they are found in contain minute traces of hydrogen, similar to the diamond dust found in hydrogen-rich environments of space.

If true, black diamonds are completely unlike white or colour diamonds that are formed beneath the earth’s surface and then reach the surface due to volcanic activity over the last 500 million years or so.

The other major difference unique to black diamonds is that they are not made up of one single crystal, but rather millions of tiny crystals bonded together with microscopic deposits of sulphites between their bonds.

In some scientists’ professional opinions, these factors combine to form the conclusion that a Black diamond is not actually one diamond, but several microscopic diamonds formed together.   With such a chemical composition, light cannot bounce within these stones like their white and colour counterparts, so these diamonds lack scintillation, or in laymen’s terms, sparkle.

Black diamonds, while named “black,” aren’t completely so.    Many will have shades of grey in the colouring, which is based on the amount of imperfections in the stone and the amount of deposits of sulphites.   Most importantly, any consumer thinking to acquire a black diamond should check to make sure that the stone is not simply another colour that has been altered, or a white diamond that has been radiated to appear black.  If black diamonds are of interest to you, as with all types of diamonds, be sure to do your homework.

A $20 Million Diamond

The Orange

This month’s Christie’s Geneva “Magnificent Jewel” auction will feature “The Orange”, a natural colour diamond that could realize a $20 million selling point.

The stone is a 14.82 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange, pear shaped diamond that industry insiders consider one of the rarest diamonds ever available for sale on the market.   This diamond, referred to as “The Orange,” was mined in South Africa 30 years ago.

“Orange natural colour diamonds are one of nature’s mysteries, as scientists are still trying to determine how they originate,” said Jeff Kushner, President of Ouroboro Diamonds.

“It is presumed that Orange diamonds get their hue due to exposure to nitrogen while they were being formed beneath the Earth’s surface.   This uncertainty has only increased the allure and desire to own a diamond with this vibrant colour.”

According to Christie’s, this diamond is the largest of it’s kind ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).    On average, these types of gems are between three and four carats.   The previous record for Orange diamonds sold at auction was a stone that was less than six carats.

The winner of the stone will receive a supplemental letter from the Gemological Institute of America indicating that it is, “the largest Fancy Vivid Orange, natural colour diamond graded as of the date of the report issued.”

The auction is set to take place on November 12, 2013.   If you are still on the fence about whether to make a bid on this diamond, keep in mind that you need to give Christie’s at least 24 hours notice if you plan on being a perspective bidder.

The Pink Star

the pink star

A new record could be set in the world of colour diamonds as The Pink Star is set to go to auction later this month.

The 59.60 carat oval-cut stone is named The Pink Star and is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

The diamond will be sold by Sotheby’s at their auction in Geneva on November 13.   It is expected to sell for close to $60 million.   The previous record for the sale of a pink diamond was for the Graff Pink which sold for $46 million in November 2010.

The Pink Star was originally mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa and weighed 132.5 carats in the rough.      It was not unveiled until May of 2003 and  was originally called The Steinmetz Pink Diamond.   The diamond was first sold  in 2007 but the details of the original cost and buyer has never been made public.