Monthly Archives: October 2014

Record Setting Diamond Tender For Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto celebrated their 30th anniversary with a record-setting diamond tender earlier this month.   Featuring 54 rare pink and red diamonds, sales from the tender were the highest per-carat in the company’s history.

Rio tinto

Leading up to the tender, industry experts were practically salivating as the lots included four Fancy Red diamonds, the most the company has ever offered at once.   In their three-decade long history, they have only had 13 of these Fancy Red gems available at tenders and only three of these rare stones have ever been above 1 carat in size.

argyle cardinal

The clear favourite among the red diamonds was the 1.21-carat radiant-cut Argyle Cardinal.   The heavily bid upon stone was purchased by Glen Bakker Jewels, however, details on the amount of the sale have not been released.

Red diamonds are among the rarest of the colour diamond world.  Red diamonds get their colour from defects in the interior structure of the stone called the crystal lattice.  They are mostly found in the Argyle Mine of Australia and Brazil and make up less than 0.1% of the diamonds recovered around the world.


The most famous red diamond is arguably the Hancock Red, named after famed color diamond collector Warren Hancock.   Rumour has it that Hancock purchased the stone for $13,500 in 1956.   It was sold at auction by Christie’s in 1987 for $880,000 or a massive $926,000 per carat.   That per carat price was a record for diamonds that lasted for 20 years.




Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Auction

On Wednesday, October 22, Christie’s will be hosting their Magnificent Jewels auction featuring 36 spectacular color diamond pieces.  Here’s a list of the Top 5 of those jewels!

1.  An Important Color Diamond and Diamond Ring


A fabulous diamond ring, featuring a cushion-cut fancy intense 36.09-carat yellow diamond with marquise-cut diamond shoulders.   Set on platinum and 18 karat gold, the piece is could sell as high as $1.1 million (CAD)!

UPDATE:  Did not sell

2.  A Color Diamond and Diamond Ring


The centrepiece of this ring is a 9.73-carat pear-shaped Fancy Brown-Pink diamond with bullet-shaped white diamonds flanking either side.  The rather conservative estimates have this piece selling for between $539,000 and $786,000.

UPDATE: Sold for $679.000

3.  A Color Diamond Ring


A stunning diamond ring, the focal point is a circular-cut fancy vivid yellow-orange weighing in at 2.09 carats.   Industry experts have the piece selling for between $393,000 and $561,000.

UPDATE:  Did not sell

4.  A Color Diamond and Diamond Pendant Necklace


The only pendant to make our list, it features an amazing pear-shaped fancy brownish yellow diamond, weighing approximately 20.40 carats.  The piece also has circular-cut yellow diamond bar links, spaced out by diamond beads and enhanced with two detachable pear-shaped diamond clasps and mounted in 18 karat white and yellow gold.   The pendant is expected to sell for between $359,000 and $561,000.

UPDATE:  Did not sell

5.  A Color Diamond and Diamond Ring


A flower-shaped diamond ring featuring a modified square-cut 5.18-carat fancy intense yellowish green diamond along with a heart-shaped and oval-cut diamond surround, trimmed with circular-cut pink diamonds and a circular-cut diamond gallery.   The pre-auction estimates have the piece selling for between $337,000 and $561,000.

UPDATE: Sold for $410,000

The Color Diamonds of the Singapore Jewellery & Gem Fair

The Singapore Jewellery and Gem Fair begins this week and there are some spectacular color diamonds being shown off by the over 300 exhibitors.

We take a look at 5 of the most impressive ones.


1.  From Glajz-Thg PTE Ltd, this is 5.21-carat diamond ring featuring a Purplish Pink stone as the centrepiece surrounded by smaller white diamonds.


2.   Another ring from Glajz-Thg PTE Ltd, the focus of this piece is a 12.31-carat shield-cut pink diamond with white diamond shoulders.


3.  The third piece from Glajz-Thg PTE Ltd on our list, this ring has a 1.61-carat purplish red diamond at the centre while being surrounded by 4.11 carats of white diamonds and 0.62 carats of pink diamonds.


4.   A stunning necklace from Essex Global Trading & Bijan and Company LLC, the piece includes a massive 80-carat deep brown diamond.


5.  From Windsor Jewellers, this platinum Graff necklace features a 10-carat pinkish orange diamond.

“Excuse Me Bartender, There Is A Diamond In My Drink”

Apparently diamonds aren’t just for wearing anymore.   Some bars and restaurants are using them to spice up their drinks.   From Tokyo to Connecticut, we take a sip (a very small sip!) of the Top 5 Most Expensive Cocktails (Featuring Diamonds) from around the world.

1.  Diamond Is Forever – $18,600


The most expensive cocktail on our list, this Diamond Is Forever martini is featured at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, Japan.   The drink features chilled Grey Goose vodka with fresh lime juice.   The stone is a “clear cut” 1-carat diamond resting at the bottom of the glass.   What puts the drink over the top is that a live band will play “Diamond Is Forever” as you enjoy your beverage.

2.  Martini On The Rock – $10,000


The Algonquin Hotel, the famed Midtown Manhattan bar that was originally home of the Algonquin Roundtable featuring Dorothy Parker, offers this five-figure martini.   Requiring 72-hours notice to order, the drink comes with a diamond along with a visit from the hotel’s resident jeweller.   The martini itself is styled after the drink from the James Bond books, vodka with a hint of gin and a French aperitif called Lillet.

3.  Diamond Is Forever – $10,000


The second of New York City’s $10,000 martinis, this one is offered at Uncorked and also requires 72-hours notice.   The buyer gets a simple Grey Goose vodka martini with fresh lime juice.   However, instead of just a diamond, the drink comes with a one-carat engagement ring and a consultation with restaurant owner and jewelry designer Andy Goetz.

4.  Diamond Cocktail – $4,350


Offered at the Sheraton Park Hotel in London, the drink is made with Charles Heidsieck Vintage Champagne, Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac, Angostura bitters, and topped with a sugar cube.   The buyer of the drink can choose between either a diamond or a ruby to accent the cocktail.

5.  The Sapphire Martini – $3,000


Offered at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, this martini is made with Blue Curacao, Bombay Sapphire Gin and a splash of dry vermouth.   The glass is coated with blue sugar along the rim.   What makes the drink so expensive is that it comes with a pair of blue sapphire and diamond earrings with a sterling silver pick.




Agatha Christie Diamonds = Big Pay Day!

Agatha Christie

Did you hear about the Agatha Christie story about the mysterious trunk purchased for less than $200 (CAD) that turned into about $80,000 worth of diamond jewelry?

This story doesn’t take place in an old mansion or on the Orient Express, it happened for real for a fan of the late author,  Jennifer Grant.

In 2006, Grant purchased a trunk at a sale in the author’s estate in Devon, England.   Inside the trunk was a strongbox that she decided to pry open with a crowbar 4 years later.  Located inside was a diamond brooch and a three-diamond ring.   These pieces became part of Bonhams’ Jewelry auction on October 8, 2014.

Leading up to the auction, industry experts assumed the ring would sell for for between $5,000 and $9,000 while the brooch would sell for between $10,000 and $14,000 while .   The sale of these two items blew away those predictions as the ring sold for a whopping $39,277 and the brooch sold for an even more impressive $49,377!

As per National Jeweler, the pieces were purchased as a gift for his wife by the husband of Sophie Kinsella, famed author of the Shopaholic series of novels.

Salvador Dali…the Diamond Jewelry Designer?

Dali Persistence

Even the most casual art fan will probably recognize Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali’s greatest work, The Persistence of Memory.   But did you know he also dabbled into jewelry design?   We decided to take a look at four pieces of his jewelry that has been sold at auction over the last five years.


Heading to auction in November 2014, The “Swirling Sea Necklace” features 67 diamonds, 61 Sapphire beads, 61 emerald beads, 125 Oriental pearls and a large South Sea Pearl.   The diamonds weigh in at a total of  4.74 carats and the entire piece is set with 18 karat gold.


“The Eye of Time” brooch features rows of diamonds surrounding the “eye” with a blue enamel watch face set as the “eyeball”.   It was sold for $1.2 million (CAD) at auction in May 2014 by Sotheby’s as part of their Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale.


A pair of yellow gold ear clips, stylized to look like telephone receivers featuring brilliant-cut diamonds on both ends along with rubies and emeralds.   These pieces were sold at auction in November 2010 for $53,832.


The “Tree of Life” necklace features leaves made of gold along with 20 brilliant-cut diamonds spread throughout the piece.   The necklace was part of the Sotheby’s London Fine Jewels auction in December 2011 and sold for $52,004.

Millions of Dollars in Color Diamonds At Auction in October

As temperatures drop, the autumn auction season is starting to heat up.   Next on the schedule of diamond auctions is the annual Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Auction by Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

The auction features more than 30 color diamond pieces, so we decided to look at the five most impressive ones.

1.  Superb and Highly Important Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring


The cream of the crop at the October auction, this ring features an 8.41-carat Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink diamond.   Early estimates have the piece selling for almost $17 million (CAD).

Post Auction Update – Sold for $19,823,873.   A new auction record for that color of diamond.

2.  Fine Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond and Diamond Ring


Centred by an emerald-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond weighing in at 3.32 carats, the ring also features white diamond shoulders weighing a total of 2.0 carats.   The piece is estimated to sell between $3.7 and $4.8 million.

Post Auction Update – Sold for $5,975,342

3.  Impressive Fancy Deep Brown-Orange Diamond with Diamond Necklace


A breathtaking piece of jewelry by Cartier, the focal point is a pear-shaped Fancy Deep Brown-Orange diamond pendant weighing a 100.26 carats.   The necklace itself is set with approximately 98.00 carats of white diamonds ranging from brilliant cut to marquise-shaped.   The piece is expected to sell for between $2.7 and $3.4 million.

Post Auction Update – Did not sell

4.  Fancy Blue Diamond and Pink Diamond Ring


This is an absolutely dazzling ring with a heart-shaped Fancy Blue diamond weighing 7.02 carats at the venter.  Flanking the stone are 3.60 carats of pink and blue diamonds ranging from brilliant-cut to marquise-shaped.   The piece is estimated to sell for between $1.7 and $2.1 million.

Post Auction Update – Sold for $2,835,268

5.  Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Necklace


Estimated to sell for between $1.7 and $2.0 million, this spectacular necklace features a Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond pendant weighing in at 25.16 carats.  Suspending that stone is a cushion-shaped 3.03-carat white diamond while the chain itself is set with 51.24-carats of brilliant-cut white diamonds.

Post Auction Update – Did not sell