Category Archives: Sotheby’s

The “Perfect Diamond” Goes Up For Auction


A stunning 100-carat emerald-cut white diamond headlines Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction coming up this April.   The stone, recovered a year ago in the mines of South Africa, weighed in at 200 carats in its rough form.

Diamond giant DeBeers spent a year studying, cutting and polishing the rare stone before a world tour that includes Hong Kong, Dubai and London before ending in New York City for the big sale.

Gary Schuler, the head of Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York, said the diamond “is the definition of perfection. The color is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections.”

The cut of the diamond is what has most people talking.   According to Mr. Schuler, “It is the first true emerald-cut diamond over 100 carats to be offered at auction – the most classic of cuts, quietly elegant and very contemporary.”


The diamond is expected to sell for between $19 and $25 million.   Those prices break down to a per-carat price of between $189,000 and $249,000.   Two similar quality white diamonds of that size sold at auction in 2013 for $263,000 per carat and $259,000 per carat respectively.



The Color Diamonds of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction

Sotheby’s of Geneva will be holding their Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels auction on Wednesday, November 12 and, once again, colour diamonds will be front and center.

We take a look at the top 5 colour diamond pieces including a brilliant blue, some amazing yellows and a couple of stunning pinks.   All five should sell for at least a million dollars apiece.

1.  A Rare Fancy Intense Blue Diamond Ring



Estimated to sell for as much as $3.3 million (CAD), this beautiful Cushion-Shaped Fancy Intense Blue diamond weighs in at 3.16 carats.

2.  Fancy Intense Purplish Pink Diamond Ring


Another amazing color diamond ring, this one features a 4.53-carat Oval-Modified Brilliant Cut Purplish-Pink stone.   Industry experts believe it will sell for between $1.3 and $1.8 million!

3.  An Impressive Fancy Yellow Diamond Pendant


From the Swiss jewelry company Gubelin, this pendant features a massive 55.19-carat Fancy Yellow diamond.   This piece could be the steal of the auction as estimates have it selling  between only $1.1 and $2.2 million!

4.  A Rare and Impressive Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring


Graff Diamonds biggest entry in the world of color diamonds at the auction is this Step-Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond weighing 10.30 carats.  Estimates have it selling between $1 and $1.7 million.

5.  Attractive Light Pink Diamond Ring


A Pear-Shaped Light Pink Diamond featuring white diamond shoulders is the final entry on the list.   The low-end estimate for the piece is $783,000 though, considering the rarity of pink diamonds, the sale price will probably end up closer to the top-end of the estimate $1.6 million.

Sotheby’s Fine Jewels Auction

On Wednesday, July 16, Sotheby’s Auction House in London will be holding their Fine Jewels auction.   Here is a look at the six color diamond pieces that will be going under the hammer.

1.  Fancy Color Diamond and Diamond Earrings


Featuring a cushion-shaped Fancy Dark yellow-brown diamond weighing 6.15 carats and a cushion-shaped Fancy Dark brown-yellow diamond weighing 6.34, these earrings could sell as high as $136,000 at the auction.   Each of the diamonds feature a diamond surround of yellow and white diamonds and are suspended from an articulated line of Cushion-Shaped and Brilliant Cut diamonds.

2.  Pair Of Fancy Yellow Diamond Earrings


A pair of brilliant-cut Fancy yellow diamonds weighing in at 3.62 and 3.54 carats respectively are expected to sell for between $54,000 – $91,000.

3.  Pair Of Fancy Color Diamond Earrings


Brilliant-cut Fancy orange-brown diamonds highlight these earrings weighing 3.12 and 3.20 carats.   Suspending just below them is a square Fancy Light yellow diamond and a square Fancy Intense yellow diamond checking in at 0.98 and 0.96 carats respectively.   Pre-auction estimates have the pair selling at between $45,000 and $63,000.

4.  Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond Ring


Estimated to sell for between $32,000 and $40,000, this ring features a 3.09-carat Fancy Intense yellow diamond offset by a mount featuring trapeze and brilliant cut white diamonds.

5.  Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Pendant Necklace


The centrepiece of this necklace is a 1.77-carat oval Fancy Intense yellow diamond with a brilliant-cut diamond surmount.   Industry experts believe it could sell for between $14,000 and $21,000 but considering how yellow diamonds have been doing at auction lately, these numbers may be conservative.

6.  Color Diamond Ring, Boucheron and Color Diamond Ring


Two rings in this lot, the first is a simple band pave-set with yellow-tinted diamonds.   The second is designed as a flower with petals featuring pink, yellow and white diamonds.     The two are estimated to sell for between $5,000 – $7,000.

5 Highlights of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction

On April 7, Sotheby’s Hong Kong will be hosting their Magnificent Jewels And Jadeite Auction.   The early estimates look like sales of all of the pieces could reach close to $100 million.   A trio of necklaces appear to be getting all the early headlines.  However, our list focuses on the colour diamonds that will be featured in the auction.

1.  A unique Fancy Brown-Yellow Diamond Ring.   The stone weighs in at 49.31 carats and is set on an 18 karat pink gold ring.   Estimates are that the diamond will sell between $1.86 and $2.29 million in Canadian dollars.



2.  A cut-cornered square Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond weighing 16.72 carats with two shield-cut white diamonds on either side that total an additional 1.10 carats. It also has a mount set with circular cut diamonds mounted with platinum and 18 karat yellow gold. It is the only other colour diamond piece in the auction whose estimated value is set for over $1 million dollars Canadian. The estimates for this ring are set between $1.4 and $1.7 million.


3.  A Fancy Vivid Yellow cushion-cut diamond weighing in at 7.16 carats.   Like #2, it is flanked on either side by two shield-cut white diamonds that come in at a total of 1.10 carats.   Also, like #2,  it is mounted on a platinum and 18 karat yellow gold ring.   The estimates for this piece could be as high as $857,000 Canadian.



4.  The most valuable pink diamond in the auction.   The centrepiece is a 6.27 carat oval, light pink type IIa diamond and is surrounded by 12 white oval diamonds that total 4.70 carats.   The diamonds are mounted on a 18 karat white and pink gold ring.   Estimated value is between $614,000 and $685,000.



5.  One of the most underrated pieces in the auction, this ring features a centrepiece that is a cut-cornered rectangular Fancy Light Purplish Pink diamond weighing 3.43 carats.   The stone is flanked on either side by shield-cut white diamonds and then all three are surrounded by smaller circular cut diamonds and is mounted on platinum and 18 karat pink gold.   The ring’s estimated value is set at between $314,000 and 371,000 and could be the steal of the auction!


(photos courtesy of Sotheby’s)

The “Pink Star” Diamond Buyer Defaults On Record Purchase

pink star

The world’s most famous pink diamond is, once again, searching for an owner after news came out Friday that the original auction bidder is not going to be able to complete the purchase.

The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat flawless oval cut pink diamond, is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.   It was originally mined by De Beers in 1999 in South Africa and weighed 132.5 carats in the rough.

Famed auction house Sotheby’s put the diamond on the block last November as part of their Magnificent Jewels auction.  There was a brisk five-minute bidding war for the stone and was eventually won by New York City diamond cutter Isaac Wolf.   The price for the stone ended up being $83.02 million, the highest auction selling price for a diamond ever.

In a conference call on Thursday, February 27, Sotheby’s said that they had to take the diamond back into their own inventory as the buyer had defaulted on the purchase.   The stone is currently listed with a value of $72 million.

“We are currently in discussions with the buyer, while also considering other alternatives,” Patrick McClymont, Sotheby’s CFO said on the call. “In the meantime, we are quite comfortable with our valuation, and see real value in owning the diamond at this price.”

Considering the Pink Star was originally estimated to sell at auction for around $61 million just five months ago, it looks like the colour diamond industry is still booming.

(Updated on March 14, 2014 with link to Rob Bates of JCK Magazine’s article on why the sale was cancelled )