Will Sotheby’s Keep Up its 2015 Momentum in 2016?

April 4th, 2016 by Noam Flint

Time has flown by and the next season of diamond and jewelry auctions is about to begin. Sotheby’s Hong Kong is choosing to head its April auction with some spectacular diamonds and diamond jewelry, probably hoping to keep up the momentum that it established in November with its sale of the now infamous Blue Moon of Josephine diamond.

The new headliner is a 10.10 carat Fancy Vivid Blue oval shaped diamond named the “DeBeers Millennium Jewel 4

De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 - 10.10ct Vivid Blue DiamondThe De-Beers Millennium Jewel 4

The De Beers Millennium Jewels collection

The diamond earned its name and is famous for being part of the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection, a collection of 12 diamonds that were put on display in London in their Millennium Dome on the eve of the year 2000 to celebrate the turn of the millennium.

The collection of diamonds, all mined by De Beers, consists of 1 colorless diamond and 11 blue diamonds. Since blue diamonds are extremely rare, this makes the collection absolutely spectacular. The star of the collection and one of the most famous diamonds in the world is aptly named the Millennium Star, and is a 203.04 carat D color pear shaped diamond.

The collection was saved from the world’s biggest potential diamond heist when the London police intercepted a gang that was planning on stealing them from the Dome. The diamonds are currently owned by a private Asian collector but one of them, the De Beers Millennium Jewel 11, was sold in 2010.

The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, which is the next one from the collection that will be auctioned, is currently being valued between $30 million – $35 million by Sotheby’s. This is very unusual, and only characteristic of blue diamonds, which have seen a huge spike in demand thanks to the Blue Moon of Josephine. It is even exceptional for this auction, as it is valued at about 8 times the amount of the next lot on the auction!

In order to break the world record for most expensive diamond set in November 2015 by the 12.03 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, the Blue Moon of Josephine, the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 would have to sell for over $48.5 million. If it were to break the Blue Moon’s per carat record price, it would need to sell for over $40.7 million total. Only time will tell the result!

A Dazzling Yellow Collection

While blue diamonds often take the spotlight for being the most expensive diamonds, with all the respect (and there is a lot of respect…), whether for color or affordability – for every one buyer of a blue diamond there are about hundred looking to buy a yellow diamond.

Add the fact that yellow diamond engagement rings are among the most sought after colored diamond engagement rings and because and that the yellow diamonds have been very popular in the Asian market – Sotheby’s had put together an amazing collection. Here are my top picks for most intriguing pieces:

  1. My first focus is on a diamond that was actually already offered at auction once before. I was sold in Geneva at auction in November 2014 for $1.375 million. The 10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 emerald cut diamond is currently being estimated to sell at a price between $1.3 million to $2.05 million, or $125k to $200k per carat. Its high valuation is due to the deep yellow color of the diamond and probably also because of the brand, since it was originally a Graff diamond.

    10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 emerald cut diamond
    2016 Setting
    10.30 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VS1 emerald cut diamond - Original Setting
    2014 Setting
  2. The next yellow diamond is a beautiful 7.03 Fancy Vivid Yellow IF Emerald cut diamond. It is being offered at a very reasonable price of $848k -$925k total, or $121k to $132k per carat, nowhere near the world record per carat for Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds of over $250k per carat.
  3. Intense Yellow Diamond Pendent Earrings

    A pair of yellow diamond earrings. Fancy color diamond earrings are always exceptional because it is exceedingly difficult to find two color diamonds that are similar enough to be considered a pair since every color diamond is so unique.

    This particular set of earrings is composed of Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds, one 13.35 carat and one a 12.03 carat diamond, and both VVS2 clarity. They are valued at $835k to $899k total, although it remains to be seen how much the final buyer will be willing to pay for them.

An Exotic and Colorful Finish

Thought there are 272 lots in the auction and most are truly magnificent – I cannot cover all… But I could not bear the thought of not showing these next three items:

1.80ct Deep Blue Diamond Ring
4.90ct Intense Green Diamond
4.08ct Vivid Orange Diamond Ring
  1. A 1.80 carat deep blue diamond ring estimated at $1 Million (give or take a few thousands)
  2. A huge 4.90 carat pure intense green diamond estimated at $2.7-$3.6 Million
  3. A 4.08 carat pure vivid orange like we have not seen since the sale of “The Orange”

We are certainly looking forward to finding out how these diamonds will do at auction in April. Will the record set by the Blue Moon of Josephine in November be broken by the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4? Will yellow diamonds continue to earn fair prices at auction? We can’t wait to find out!

* Images courtesy of Sotheby’s. For full information about this amazing auction visit here