Would an Auction House Sell a Lab-Grown Diamond?

Is Christie’s tempted by a 5 ct. lab-grown blue?

Earlier this year, we had news out of Russia about a 5 ct. blue polished diamond.  

Given the rarity of blue diamonds, the auction houses would normally jump at that stone. Except in this case it was grown by New Diamond Technology. And while it is as rare as any natural blue—at this point, it is arguably rarer—we probably shouldn’t expect coming to the block at Christie’s any time soon. (Sotheby’s did not return a request for comment.)

Says Christie’s head of Asia Pacific, Francois Curiel:

‘Never’ is a word that is not part of my vocabulary, but for the time being and the foreseeable future we will not offer lab-grown blue (or other color) stones in our sales.

Same with HPHT. In the early days clients offered us large-size blues and pinks, which we refused.

We believe in the rarity and long-term appreciation of natural diamonds and advise our clients accordingly.

I am something of a skeptic regarding the “naturals will hold their value more” argument, but it’s interesting to see Curiel’s perspective here.

One can never be sure whether any object (no matter how rare and/or pretty) will hold or increase its value; that is the game. But for the time being, Christie’s believes that lab-growns represent more of a risk than naturals.

 As for the blue, New Diamond Technologies spokesperson Aleko Arens says it has sold some of its big stones but would not comment on their prices.

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