Monthly Archives: April 2014

Graff Vivid Yellow Heading To Auction


Headlining Sotheby’s upcoming “Spring Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels” auction is a 100.09 carat yellow diamond called the Graff Vivid Yellow.

Industry experts believe the yellow diamond could sell for as much as $25 million at the May 13th auction.  The stone’s colouring is considered to be similar to that of a daffodil and is among the largest vivid yellow diamonds in the world.

The diamond, which weighed in at 190 carats in the rough, was originally named the “Dream Diamond”.   Graff bought that stone in 2005 in Kimberley, South Africa and had it cut and polished and then changed to its current name.

The last yellow diamond of this magnitude to go up for auction was the Sun Drop Diamond which went under the hammer in 2011.   The pear-shaped stone weighed in at 110 carats and sold for just over $12.25 million.

The month of May will see another significant yellow diamond up for sale as the Asian auction house Luxeford will be having a Fine Jewels auction featuring a 34.46 carat Fancy Intense yellow diamond.  The yellow stone is set on a 41-centimetre necklace that features 67.30 carats of white diamonds.   Pre-sale estimates suggest the piece should sell for $1.8 million but no one would be surprised it reached the $2 million range.

34.46 carat

Yellow diamonds get their colour when nitrogen molecules are trapped within the stone while it is forming.   These molecules give the diamond the ability to absorb blue light making the stone appear yellow.   The more nitrogen introduced, the deeper the colour yellow appears.

Colour diamonds have been all the rage at fine auctions of late as “The Orange” sold for almost double the original estimates at Christie’s November auction and “The Pink Star” sold for what would have been a record price for any gem stone when it sold for $83 million.    However, the buyer has since defaulted on the purchase and the stone is back in Sotheby’s collection.



The Future For Diamonds


For years, diamond industry experts have been predicting a doomsday for diamonds.    A time when the demand for the precious stones will be at an all-time high while a lack of active mines won’t be able to keep up with this demand.   That time looks like it could happen as soon as five years from today.

Currently, only 30 mines around the world have a substantial output of diamonds being recovered.   As these mines continue to age, the supply of stones coming out of them will only decrease.

Meanwhile, the demand for diamonds is growing partially thanks the increasing wealth of the middle-class in the most populous country in the world, China.   The increasing westernization in that country combined with the lack of homegrown diamond resources and increasing wealth means that millions who never cared for the precious stones have become willing buyers.

To combat the increasing demand for diamonds, some companies have started to transform their existing mines from open-pit operations to underground production.   The theory is that this changes will make it easier to find the remaining diamonds buried deep into the ground.   However, the process can take 7-10 years and becomes much more expensive to maintain on a daily basis.

The long-range future for diamonds could get better as new diamond mines in Africa, Russia and Canada are heading into production.   However, there are no guarantees about the quantity or quality of the stones that may be coming out of there.   There has also been talk from geologists about finding diamonds in the arctic circle, within the earth’s upper crust or from falling meteorites.    No word yet on whether any of these options will help fill the potential void in diamond production or if they are merely a (kimberlite) pipe dream.

With this combination of dwindling supply and increasing demand, both the price and value of diamonds should continue to increase in the future.  For colour diamonds, the increase could be even more dramatic.   In the last 10 years, the value for colour diamonds has gone up between 15 to 30 per cent year over year.   With this “diamond doomsday” looming closer, these numbers should only become dramatically higher in comparison.


Colour Diamond “Man-Gagement Rings”

Famed actor Johnny Depp may have just kick-started the man-gagement ring craze when he appeared wearing a diamond engagement ring while promoting his new film Transcendence.   


Brittany Siminitz of JCK Magazine wrote about the possible rise in popularity of engagement rings made specifically for men.   We decided to focus on the ones she included that feature colour diamonds.   Which one is your favourite?

1.  Men’s Etched Brown Diamond Ring

Mens Brown Diamond Ring

A 10.20 carat brown diamond is the focus of this ring from Los Angeles-based jewelry store Forty-Seventh & Fifth.   The diamond is surrounded by 2.01 carats of small round white diamonds.   The ring itself is hand-etched in 18 karat yellow gold.

2.  Men’s Palladium Raw Diamond Band

Mens Ring

The most subtle of the three on the list, Colorado jewelry designer Todd Reed crafted a ring that uses his eclectic diamond-in-the-rough style.   The band is made of palladium, one of the rarest metals in the world.   The ring features a hand-carved window with 0.114 carats of rough diamonds, one brown and one white.

3.  Two-Tone Men’s Yellow and White Diamond Ring

Mens Diamond Ring 3

From First Image Design Corporation out of New York, this ring is centred by a 1.03 carat radiant-cut fancy yellow diamond at the centre.   The stone is then surrounded by 16 round-shaped white diamonds with another two more on either side weighing in at a total of 0.76 carats.

For $25 Million You Can Enter “The Blue”

The Blue

The world’s largest polished Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond goes up for auction next month and the selling price is expected to be a whopping $25 million.

The exact history of this 13.22 carat blue diamond called “The Blue” is not known.   Like a lot of the world’s blue diamonds, it is assumed that this was found somewhere in South Africa but details such as where and when the stone was recovered have yet to be confirmed.   Christie’s, the auction house in charge of the sale, will only say that the diamond had been in the previous owner’s possession “for a long time”.

Blue diamonds get their spectacular colour due to the presence of the chemical element boron.   Put simply, boron has similar properties to carbon, the element found in all white or colourless diamonds.   If the diamond’s inner structure, also called the lattice, has boron present, the stone will absorb red light and make it appear blue.   The more boron present, the deeper the blue will look.

Blue diamonds have already been in the news in 2014 when Petra Diamonds recovered a 29.6 carat blue diamond from their Cullinan Mine in South Africa in January.   The company sold it a month later, still in its rough form, for $26 million to Cora International NY.

“The Blue” is expected to be the biggest seller during May’s auction.   However, a couple of other stones are expected to also garner big returns.   The first is the largest Fancy Vivid Blue-Green diamond in the world called The Ocean Dream.   This 5.5 carat stone is expected to sell for around $10 million.   As well, a white 26.14 carat diamond called the Rajah Diamond is expected to sell between $3 – $5 million.

Pink Diamonds Continue To Shine at Auction

Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction in Hong Kong rocked the diamond world Monday with records set and colour diamonds wildly exceeding pre-auction estimates.

Pink diamonds continued their upward trend as all six pieces on the docket sold for above what industry experts had originally predicted.

1.  The centrepiece is a brilliant-cut light pink diamond weighing 4.02 carats surrounded by oval and tapered baguette diamonds weighing approximately 1.40 carats and mounted on a  platinum ring. Pre-auction estimate $141,365 — 169,638 (CAD)  Lot Sold $209,220 (CAD)


2.  A pair of earrings featuring three small colour diamonds(pink, blue & yellow) weighing a total of 0.68 carats on each leading to a pear-shaped very light pink and light pink diamond weighing 1.14 and 0.91 carats respectively.  The earrings are mounted in platinum, 18 karat white and pink gold.  Pre-Auction Estimate  $42,409 — $49,478 Lot Sold  $67,148


3.  A ring with an oval light pink diamond weighing 6.27 carats, framed by circular-cut pink diamonds which are then surrounded by oval diamonds.   These surrounding diamonds weigh in at approximately 4.70 carats, mounted in 18 karat white and pink gold.  Pre-Auction Estimate  $607,868 — $678,550     Lot Sold  $955,625


4.  A heart-shaped light pink diamond weighing 4.03 carats, framed by circular-cut diamonds extending to the shoulders.   The piece itself is mounted in 18 karat white and pink gold.  Pre-Auction Estimate  $98,955 — $120,160 Lot Sold  $243,147


5.  A necklace featuring alternating pink diamond and diamond-set floral links with an emerald-cut diamond decorated by a pear-shaped frame suspended at the front.   It also includes a pair of matching pendent earrings, the entire set features approximately 12.20 carats of diamonds and all are mounted in 18 karat white and yellow gold.  Pre-Auction Estimate  $33,928 — $42,409 Lot Sold  $70,682


6.  An emerald-cut fancy yellow diamond weighing 1.72 carats, surrounded by circular-cut pink diamonds together weighing approximately 1.30 carats.   The ring is mounted in 18 karat pink gold.  Pre-Auction Estimate $16,964 — $19,791 Lot Sold  $21,205



Historic Victory Diamond Highlights Sotheby’s Auction


Sotheby’s Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels next month has a number of stones that are sure to sell in the millions.   For history buffs, the first on that list is the stunning Victory Diamond.

The Victory Diamond was the largest of 30 diamonds cut out of the rough the 770-carat Woyie River diamond.   Found in Sierra Leone in 1945, the lozenge-shaped Woyie River diamond was the the third largest diamond ever found in Africa.

Named in honour of the Allied victory during World War II, the Victory Diamond is a potentially flawless, type IIa, step-cut 31.35 carat stone that should sell at the auction for between $5 and $8 million.

Also expecting to make headlines at the same auction is a couple of diamonds from the London-based jeweller Graff Diamonds. The first is the Graff Vivid Yellow diamond.   Weighing in at 100.09 carats, it is considered the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds ever recovered.   The diamond, described as “daffodil yellow” in colour has a hefty auction pre-sale estimate at between $15 and $25 million.   However, with the value of colour diamonds continuing to increase, some of our in-house experts believe that estimate could be a little conservative.

The other major diamond to go under the hammer from Graff is a 103.46 carat, brilliant-cut, round stone.   Many experts consider the gem to be one of the largest known round diamonds. The stone is expected to sell at auction for between $3.5 to 5 million.


Two Of Christie’s 2014 Magnificent Jewels

Christie’s, the famous New York City auction house, is holding their annual Magnificent Jewels auction on April 16. Always a highlights of the spring calendar in the diamond world, last year’s auction featured a 34.65 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond that ended up selling for $39.3 million.

The high end pieces for this year’s auction include a pair of Internally Flawless diamond ear pendants of over 22 carats each, a 40.43 carat oval-cut diamond and a 50.05 carat Flawless briolette diamond.  However, a couple of sparkling colour diamond pieces by JAR really caught our eye.

1.  Historic Fancy Yellowish Green Diamond


Three separate angles of a 2.49 carat fancy yellowish green diamond set with an old-mine cut surround with a single-cut diamond gallery and hoop, mounted on platinum.   Early estimates are that this could sell for as high as half a million dollars. The diamond itself was formerly owned by Eliza Branicka, the wife of 18th century Polish romantic poet Zygmunt Krasinski.

2.  Oval-Cut Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond


A 15.75 carat oval-cut, fancy intense yellow diamond set on a pave diamond thread mount and mounted on platinum.   Christie’s estimates that it should sell between $500,000 and $700,000. The piece was formerly the property of Brazilian philanthropist and socialite Lily Safra.   One of the richest women in the world, Safra owns what is considered the second most expensive home in the world Villa Leopolda on the French Riviera.

Jewels by JAR

What makes these two colour diamond pieces even more special is that they are from jeweller Joel Arthur Rosenthal, better known simply as JAR.   His shop, located in Paris’ Place Vendôme, has no windows, no signage and no set hours.   He caters only to the worlds’ elite and does so without advertising or a social media presence.  The mere mention of his name means that what Christie’s estimates for these two colour diamond rings could end up being a very conservative guess.