As global financial markets reach new heights around the world, sophisticated investors are taking some of those profits and acquiring rare colored diamonds at the auction, retail and dealer level.
Trade show activity for the colored diamond pavilions in Hong Kong and Basel earlier in the year showed promising results, with dealers reporting solid activity within the trade as well as new orders brokered through international dealers buying on behalf of client searches.
With auction season kicking off recently with the sale of the Vivid Pink Diamond for over $70 million, a stone which saw the order cancelled by the vendor a couple of years ago, major auction houses are expecting a solid season for high and medium level colored diamonds, as supply gets tighter and buyers around the world look for rare tangible assets to add to their holdings.
2017 is expected to show solid activity from buyers who want to add rarity, quality and value to their rare colored diamond collection.
A fancy-color green diamond ring will lead Bonhams’ “Rare Jewels and Jadeite” sale in Hong Kong later this month, with the auction house expecting the piece to fetch $400,000 to $490,000.
The radiant-cut, 5.03-carat stone is surrounded by an array of brilliant-cut, pink-tinted diamonds, and lines of similarly cut diamonds run down the ring’s sides, Bonhams said.
Also up for auction is a pair of fancy intense yellow diamond earrings from Forevermark, estimated at $300,000 to $360,000. Each diamond in the set weighs over 5 carats.
The sale, which features 103 lots from Bonhams’ curated “Jewels of the World” collection, will focus mainly on colored gemstones, including a variety of ruby, emerald, sapphire and jadeite jewelry.
Among these are a bracelet with 30 carats’ worth of cushion-cut Burmese rubies set among 18 carats of pear- and brilliant-cut diamonds, also valued at $300,000 to $360,000. A pair of emerald-and-diamond earrings consisting of two Colombian emeralds that weigh more than 10 carats each has received a similar valuation. Additionally, a 10.06-carat-ruby ring with pave-set tsavorite garnets and diamonds is expected to sell for $190,000 to $260,000.
“As part of our first sale of 2017, we are delighted to present some of the rarest and most beautiful gemstones the world has to offer,” said Graeme Thompson, head of jewelry at Bonhams Asia. “The increasing popularity of natural colored gemstones has been driven by growing demand from around the world, and interest in them is now widening to newer areas.”
Blue diamonds outperformed the rest of the fancy-color market in the first quarter, as high demand for the rare stones continued to drive prices, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).
The price index for blue fancy-color diamond prices grew 1.9% from the previous quarter and jumped 5.7% from a year ago, the FCRF said Tuesday. This compared with a 0.2% price increase for all fancy-color diamonds since the previous quarter, 0.7% year on year.
“Highly coveted fancy intense and vivid blues are challenging to find in the market, while interest and demand for these categories continue to grow,” said Eden Rachminov, chairman of the FCRF’s advisory board. “This trend is likely to continue well into 2017 as owners react to supply shortages with price hikes.”
Across all color segments, diamonds labeled “fancy intense” or “fancy vivid” gained value, partly offset by declines in diamonds that were just “fancy,” the foundation explained.
The FCRF’s Fancy Color Diamond Index tracks pricing data for yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv.