Christies Diamond Auction Will Make you Green of Envy

October 20th, 2014 by Noam Flint

Christies Important Jewels Auction October 2014Christies Important Jewels Auction

Only a week has passed since Sotheby’s breathtaking auction where the world’s most expensive vivid pink diamond sold for over 17 million and we are already gazing into what’s coming next, and this time it’s by Christie’s.

As always Christie’s important jewels auction features an amazing collection of diamonds, jewelry and precious stones (350 jewelry pieces be exact). However, while most recent auctions highlighted beautiful blue and pink diamonds, this one is different – Christie’s managed to bring us not one but three notable green diamonds at the same time.

The Green Diamond Collection

  1. 3.51 Intense Green Diamond Ring3.51 Intense Green Diamond Ring

    The first and most notable green diamond at the auction is without a doubt the 3.51 carat pear shaped intense green diamond with si1 clarity.

    Pure green diamonds are extremely rare. They get their color due to exposure to radiation and therefore it is extremely difficult to prove the authenticity of the origin of color. In fact, in some occasions diamond manufacturers leave a piece of the rough unpolished as a proof. Action which reduces the clarity. As can be seen, this 3.5 carat diamond has the GIA certificate to authenticate its findings and still a good clarity grading of si1.It’s magnificently strong green color has earned it an intense green color grading. Altogether, the findings didn’t go unnoticed and Christie’s have evaluated it between $800,000 and $1,200,000 dollars.

  2. 5.18 carat cushion cut intense yellowish green diamond with si1 clarity. While unlike the above pure green diamond which is truly a rare fluke of nature, yellowish green diamonds are “easier” to find.
    What makes this one so rare and noteworthy is the combination of weighing over 5 carats and the fact that it is intense (not fancy). It is mounted onto an interesting and impressive rose gold ring surrounded by melee pink diamonds and white colorless oval and heart shaped diamonds. This green is estimated to bring in $300,000 – $500,000
  3. 10.02 carat fancy yellow green diamond with si2 clarity. Another step and a half down the rarity scale into the more common colors moves us to the fancy yellow-green color. This diamond is estimated to fetch anywhere between $200,000 and $300,000.

Size Matters but the Green Color More

This auction actually provides us with a great opportunity to learn a bit more about the grading and evaluating of green diamonds.

Green Diamonds by ChristiesRare Collection of Green Diamonds presented by Christie’s (Images Christie’s)
Left to right: 3.51 Intense Green, 5.18 intense yellowish green & 10.02 fancy yellow green

Let’s analyze the above three green diamonds:

Carat 3.51 carat 5.18 carat 10.02 carat
Clarity SI1 SI1 SI2
Intensity Fancy Intense Fancy Intense Fancy
Color Fancy Intense Green Fancy Intense Yellowish Green Fancy Yellow Green
Price $1,200,000 $500,000 $300,000

As you can see, the most important aspect that affects the price, or at least the price estimation, is without a doubt the color!

The stronger and purer green color, the higher the price (dramatically higher).

BUT, in auctions, there is always room for surprise!

Back in April, Christies sold two beautiful and rare green diamonds. One was almost exactly like the current, a pure intense green weighing 3.60 carat with si1 clarity.

It was estimated exactly the same, $800k-$1.2M and was sold for $1,205,000 (hence the current estimate).

The other diamond was a 2.49ct fancy yellowish green diamond with I1 clarity, and it was eventually sold for… $1.8M – far above estimations and till this point for no apparent reason (at least to yours truly).

A Yellow Opportunity

With all the respect to the green highlights, we cannot ignore a few of the yellows that are presented.

36 carat intense yellow diamond ring36 carat intense yellow diamond ring

However, while most sites will probably give coverage to the spectacular 36.09ct Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond that is estimated to bring in a million, I’d like to focus on the other type of yellows – those are not the biggest on the auction nor the most expensive, but rather those that might provide a buy opportunity…

  1. A two stone white and yellow diamond ring. The yellow diamond is graded as 5.35ct fancy yellow vs1 and not much is known about the other pear shaped diamond besides its weight of 4.42 carat. Interestingly, this ring is estimated to bring in $40,000-$60,000. This means that if it will close within the price estimations the yellow diamond will cost $8,000 – $10,000 per carat and we can put the other diamond in $0. This is a GOOD price for a 5 carat yellow.
  2. Another interesting option though in a higher price range is that of the 15.41 carat radiant cut fancy yellow diamond with vvs2 clarity. Not much to say about this beauty besides for the relatively low price estimation of $180,000-$250,000 which comes to $12k-$16.5k per carat.

* Important note – I tried to trace the full GIA certificate of the above diamonds but for some reason with no luck. Christie’s did not specify if the yellow diamonds have fluorescence. Fluorescence reduces the value of yellow diamonds dramatically. This does not mean that these diamonds are not great catches, just provides some sort of explanation for the lower price estimations!

Pink Representation

Fancy Brown Pink Diamond Ring 9.73ctFancy Brown Pink Diamond Ring 9.73ct

Since it is practically impossible to go through a diamond auction without some sort of representation of pink diamonds, we’ll note this auction’s pink. It is a relatively “modest” pink diamond. Weighing 9.73 carats and graded fancy brown pink diamond with vs1 clarity. It is estimated “only” at $480,000-$700,000 – far less than the numbers we often report for such huge sized pink diamonds at the auction. The reason being that it is a fancy brown pink. A pink diamond with a secondary notable brown hue. In a way, brown pink diamonds are the cheapest pink diamonds (as cheap as pink diamonds can be), which in my opinion makes them extremely interesting. Keep in mind that a pure fancy pink with such grading would have cost millions…

Vibrant Touch of Orange

The last interesting diamond that you don’t usually get to see at the auctions is the 2.09ct vivid yellow orange. The interpretation of the color definition is that the diamond is an Orange Diamond with the strongest possible color saturation however it does have a secondary tone of yellow. Since it is yellow (and not yellowish) when you try to quantify it you can imagine something in the lines of 60% orange and 40% yellow which is not as good as a yellowish orange diamond definition. What does make this orange diamond much more unique and interesting is the fact that it is round and has a nice clarity grading of si1.

BUT (there seems to always be a but), while pure orange diamonds are extremely rare (recall “The Orange” – a 14 carat orange diamond that sold for 30 million?), yellow orange diamonds are by far more common (though still relatively rare). Even though this magnificent diamond is round and is over 2 carats, pricing it between $350,000-$500,000 seems a bit high – we’ll wait and see how it closes.

Intrigued? Curious? To check out the other 343 lots visit Christie’s