2013 Broke the Record of the Number of Records Being Broken!

January 20th, 2014 by Noam Flint

This confusing title is not a mistake…

A brief summary of the amazing colored diamonds we have encountered over the past year and the records they have broken:

Records set at Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender

The Argyle diamond mine continued making headlines. The mine, which was covered as about to be closed and later was covered as being prepared for sale wound up doing the exact opposite. At their annual tender, a 1.56-carat fancy red diamond, named the Argyle Phoenix, sold for more than $2 million.The exact price was never disclosed but they revealed just enough to show that a record was broken – the highest price per carat for such a sale – over $1,280,000 per carat!

5.3 Carats Deep Blue Diamond Sold for $9.6 Million

Another surprising aspect that this year’s auctions put the spotlight on is that when it comes to colored diamonds, you should check beyond Christie’s and Sotheby’s.

Several very interesting diamonds were sold throughout the year via auctions at M.S Rau Antiques (which auctioned 10.06 carat Royal Blue diamond), The One and Only One (with their Golden Dragon 90 carat vivid yellow) and the auction house which we found most interesting – Bonhams.

Bonhams displayed AMAZING diamonds all throughout the year but among them also was the 5.3 carats Bulgari deep blue diamond ring which was sold for $9.6 Million. A record price per carat for a blue diamond – $1.8 Million ($9.3 Million Total)

1965 Bulgari Blue Diamond Ring Sold by Bonhams1965 Bulgari Blue Diamond Ring Sold by Bonhams
(picture Bonhams)

Petra gets $17 Million Dollars for 25.5 carat Rough Blue Diamond

Blue diamonds also made headlines in the rough department. In fact, I don’t recall a year such as 2013 where there was so much talk in the industry about a specific rough diamond.

Petra diamonds discovered back in April a remarkable 25.5 carat blue gem. Since Petra is a publicly traded company, this find was also covered by the Telegraph which estimated the find in $10,000,000. A very high discovery which even earned the stock a buy recommendation.

However… approximately 6 weeks later Petra surprised the industry and announced the sale of the magnificent rough for the astounding price of $17 Million Dollars. Keep in mind that it means over $665,000 per carat for a rough diamond.

Petra 25.5ct Blue Diamond Rough
Petra 17 million dollar Blue Diamond Rough
25.5 carat rough Blue Diamond mined by Petra Diamonds for $16.9 Million Dollars
images Petra Diamonds

Don’t forget, while each diamond is different (very different), rough diamonds can easily lose 40%-50% of their weight during the polishing process which means that someone had paid well over 1.1 million dollar per carat in polished blue diamond with a whole lot of risk – a hell of a bet. All that is left for us bystanders to do is keep our eyes open for this rare gem to pop up in an auction during 2014 setting another record maybe.

The surprise of the year is probably reserved to this Orange Diamond -

Sold for $35.5 Million – ‘The Orange’ diamond sale exceeds expectations

When people consider auctions, and rare diamonds the first color that pops to mind is of a pink diamond. The second is the blue due to the unusualy high amount of blue diamonds making headlines during 2013 (making them popular than ever). Experts would think of Red diamonds because they are actually the rarest. But they are so rare that most people don’t even know they exist. But maybe one or two out of a hundred will think of an Orange Diamond.

The fact is… Orange Diamonds are VERY RARE. So rare that the largest orange diamond sold till this auction was a “mere” 5.54 carat orange diamond called “The Pumpkin Diamond” (sold for 1.32 Million back in 1997). This diamond however was a LARGE STEP UP.

The Orange - Largest Vivid Orange Diamond EverTHE ORANGE
The largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world
Image by Christie’s

‘The Orange’ which was graded by the GIA as a Vivid Orange Diamond weighs 14.82 carat. While still much smaller than the humongous pink and blue diamonds that are sometimes sold, it is almost three times bigger than the previous record holder and is the largest of its kind ever graded by the GIA. The well anticipated diamond was estimated to be sold for… $20,000,000. The analysts failed – they were very wrong! It actually sold for 35.5 Million – AN AMAZING Price!

This was the star of the year. Well… at least for a whole week…And then came the ‘Pink Star’.

The Pink Star sold for $83,000,000 – The most Expensive Diamond ever Sold

The Pink Star is definitely the diamond of the year and maybe the diamond of the decade. This pink diamond is a 59.6 carat Flawless Vivid Pink, a 59.6 carat Flawless Vivid Pink (we had to repeat it) – perfect in every way.

The 132.5 carat rough pink diamond that was mined somewhere in Africa back in 1999 and took two years to polish till it reached its flawless condition of 59.6 carat. It was sold first to an anonymous buyer in 2007 which later sold to the world renowned and respected Mr. Isaac Wolf as the MOST EXPENSIVE DIAMOND EVER for $83 Million Dollars. Mr. Wolf also earned the right to rename it and the gem is now known as “The Pink Dream”.

The Pink Star Flawless Vivid Pink Diamond by SothebysIsaac Wolf’s ‘Pink Dream’ – 59.6 carat Flawless Vivid Pink Diamond (Photo Sotheby’s)

Few days after the sale, on an interview given to the Israeli news, Mr. Wolf mentioned that this diamond is one of the three most important diamonds in the world. He also explained:

I saw a great opportunity that I don’t think anybody in the industry realized and I took advantage of it”

As he noted, such a colored diamond weighing 10 carats sells for $2.5 Million Dollars per carat ($25 Million) which makes the pink dream worth AT LEAST $150,000,000 and he bought the Pink Dream for mere $83,000,000 – Does sound like a very solid argument.

12.85 carat Intense Orangy Pink Diamond Ring12.85 carat Intense Orangy Pink Diamond Ring

While this excitement came at the end of November and we were exhausted with all of the broken records (don’t forget every broken record requires yours truly to report :) ) a new interesting record was squeezed in the last minute. A beautiful 12.85 carat Orangy Pink Diamond was sold for 4.95 Million Dollars – Highest amount for the beautiful and all so popular color combination orangy pink.

Two additional less conventional records that are worth mentioning (which we titled):

The best diamond investment ever –

With all the recent buzz about the colored diamonds prices and – buying colored diamonds for investment, we must pay our tribute to the Princie Pink.

On April 16th Christies NY auctioned the Princie Pink – a 34.65 carat Cushion Cut Fancy Intense Pink Diamond with vs2 clarity. The diamond belongs to one of the highest and most respected jewelry companies (and my personal favorite’s) – Van Cleef & Arples. They bought it back in the 1960′s for an amount equivalent to about $70,000. The sale brought in $35 Million ($39.3 Million including expenses). 500 times the original amount.

There was one more diamond that I personally crown as a record that you wouldn’t expect:

The world most expensive unsold diamond at the auction!

We had so many records this year why not add one?

Premier Blue Diamond by Sothebys Sotheby’s Premier Blue Diamond, 7.59 carat Internally Flawless Vivid Blue Diamond.
Photo credit – Sotheby’s

In August we learned that Sotheby’s intend to sell during their October sale the “Premier Blue”. One of the most interesting blue diamonds known to men.

The diamond is a 7.59 carat round Vivid Blue. What is interesting about it is that colored diamonds are hardly ever cut to rounds. This is mainly due to the fact that the high brilliance of the round shape causes diamonds to appear brighter which is good in colorless diamonds but for colored diamonds the effect is the opposite since we want to emphasize the color.

Finding a round vivid colored diamond of any size or color is rare. The “Premier Blue” was assessed at $19 Million. Trying to analyze the sale in a very simplistic manner based on the fact that every auction this year surprised us with the price tag and with the fact that a rough blue was sold early this year for $665,000 per carat – which we can estimate means over 1.2 Million for polished but not round and not vivid we expected this diamond to surprise during the sale… and it did.

The diamond was not sold! But who knows, maybe we’ll see it at the auctions again in a year or two.

Summarizing 2013

This post covers only a fraction of the sales that occurred during 2013.

Yet… we mention 8 broken records that belong to 8 different diamonds out of which three are blue, three are pink, one is red and one is orange. The total value of these 8 supreme diamonds is over $210 Million Dollars.

I can’t wait to see what’s coming 2014 – you?