Colored Diamond Auctions in the Last Year Show Market Growth

Over the last fifteen years, fancy colored diamonds have become more popular as an investment vehicle and have exhibited higher profit margins over time than other hard assets. As noted in this recent Wall Street Journal article, a wealth report by Knight Frank, a property broker in London, stated that the prices of colored diamonds have risen by 122% over the last decade. And in just the last year, there have been a number of auctions of colored diamonds that provided clear indications of continued market growth.

At the beginning of April this year, the Pink Star, a 59.60-carat fancy vivid pink diamond mined by De Beers in South Africa in 1999, was purchased for $71.2 million at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction by Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook. The chairman of Chow Tai Fook, Dr. Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, phoned in the bid for the stone, which was sold five minutes into bidding.

Later in the same month, a 5.26-carat fancy purplish pink diamond was up for auction at Christie’s New York. The colored diamond was set in a platinum ring and flanked by tapered-cut diamonds. The ring sold for $1.9 million.

In May, a pair of mismatched earrings, containing fancy colored diamonds–one blue and one pink–sold for more than $57.4 million. The 14.54-carat Artemis Blue, which is an internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond and the largest one of its type ever to be offered at auction, sold for more than $42.08 million. The 16-carat Artemis Pink, a fancy intense pink diamond, sold for more than $15.3 million.

Meanwhile, an extremely rare 2.11-carat fancy red diamond, dubbed the Argyle Everglow, was shown by the mining company Rio Tinto in July. In an article on CNN, Tobias Kormind, the managing director of 77Diamonds.com, estimated that the stone would sell for more than $10 million. Rio Tinto does not report on the amount of winning bids, but bidding closed in mid-October 2017.

In London this September, at Bonhams Fine Jewellry sale, a fancy intense blue diamond that had been held privately for almost 30 years sold for $3.6 million. The pear-shaped diamond is 4.03 carats.

The Raj Pink, which is the world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond at 37.30 carats, will be on sale in mid-November at the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva. The Raj Pink has a clarity grade of VS1 and is mounted on a platinum ring. The estimate for the sale of the Raj Pink is $19.7 million to $29.7 million.

Finally, later this fall, an enormous fancy vivid pink diamond, named the Pink Promise, will be auctioned at Christie’s in Hong Kong, with a price of $42 million. The Pink Promise weighs 14.93 carats and is set in a diamond-studded ring.

With various mining companies, like Rio Tinto, set to close some of their mines in the near future, the scarcity of fancy colored diamonds could increase, in addition to their value.