Diamonds / Industry

Colored Diamonds Have a Gray Week at Auction


Just as there was no “red wave” on Election Day, high-profile blue and pink diamonds recently proved something of a washout.

Two much-touted colored diamonds underperformed at Christie’s and Sotheby’s this week, with one big blue failing to sell and another notable pink landing at the low end of expectations.

The first diamond in De Beers’ exceptional blue collection—a 5.53 carat fancy vivid cushion brilliant cut—did not meet its reserve at Sotheby’s Nov. 9 Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva. It carried an $11 million–$15 million estimate.

It’s an inauspicious start for the collection of eight blue diamonds that De Beers is selling at Sotheby’s over the first year.

In a statement, Sotheby’s said: “The blue is an exceptional stone in every sense: it attracted significant interest prior to yesterday’s sale. While we didn’t get to see it sell in the room last night, we are confident it will find a new home very soon.”

Sotheby’s has had better luck with other De Beers diamonds: It sold the 15.1 carat De Beers Blue for $57.5 million in April.

Faring better, but still something of a disappointment, was the Fortune Pink, which sold for $28.8 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on Nov. 18.

The largest pear-shape fancy vivid pink diamond ever to go up for auction, the 18.18 ct. gem carried a $25 million–$35 million estimate—meaning the hammer price was at the low end of expectations.

Despite not meeting expectations, the Fortune Pink was the subject of a “tense bidding war” that lasted four minutes, according to CBS News.

The final buyer was listed as an “Asian private.”

The Christie’s auction was 96% sold by value and 87% sold by lot, raising a total of $57.3 million.

Top: The Fortune Pink, which sold for $28.8 million at Christie’s (photo courtesy of Christie’s)

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By: Rob Bates

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