When an auction house compiles its catalog of items on offer, they always ensure that everything that is chosen is in demand in the target market. In the case of the Asian market, jewelry made from jadeite is one of the most demanded types for cultural reasons, but the most demanded diamond color is pink. That is why there are always as large a number as possible of pink diamonds in the Asian auction catalogs, and why the lead piece of jewelry for Christie’s upcoming Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction on November 28, 2017 is a big pink diamond, the Pink Promise. The 14.93 carat Pink Promise diamond is one of the largest Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds ever offered in Hong Kong. The auction, as per the usual for a Hong Kong based auction, will include many items with jadeite, some of which are quite rare and have extremely high value, and pieces with diamonds and fancy color diamonds as well.
Jadeite bead necklace with a diamond and ruby closure Image credit: Christie’s
The star of the evening, the 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink “Pink Promise” diamond, is the lead piece on the auction catalog and has the highest estimated price for the event. It is not going to be the last item auctioned that day, which is odd for the main piece, but this is most likely because it was added after the deadline of the catalogue and only then probably negotiated by the owners for Christie’s to showcase it. The diamond is a 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink oval shaped diamond with VVS1 clarity that was categorized as a type IIa, the superior type of pink diamonds. The name “Pink Promise” was already used many years back to describe a very fine 2.02 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond. Christie’s Pink Promise diamond is valued to sell at a final price between $28-$42 million total, or $1.875 million to $2.813 million per carat. This estimated spread is huge, which feels like Christie’s knows something we don’t (perhaps its provenance, color saturation, re-polish potential etc) or they are really pushing for a high value (wishful thinking?).
The 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink VVS1 oval shaped “Pink Promise” diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The current record holder for the highest price per carat ever paid for a pink diamond (of all carat weights) is held by the 5.00 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, once owned by famous London jewelers Graff Diamonds, that was sold in Hong Kong back in 2009. It was sold for $2.155 million per carat. The record highest price per carat ever paid for a pink diamond weighing over 10 carats is held by the 15.38 carat Unique Pink diamond that was sold in Geneva in May 2016. It was sold for $2.05 million per carat. The Pink Promise certainly has the potential to break the record for the highest price per carat ever paid for a pink diamond above 10 carats, if not also break the record of price per carat for a diamond of any carat weight!
The 5.00 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond Image credit: Graff Diamonds
The 15.38 carat Fancy Vivid Pink Unique Pink diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
In order to break the record for total price ever paid for any pink diamond (not just price per carat), it must sell for a total of at least $32.2 million total. It would take a very wealthy individual to drive the price up to the $40 million + price range at the auction, as that price level would represent a minimum of a 24% premium above the current world record price for a pink diamond. In all of auction history, there have only been 6 Fancy Vivid Pink diamonds ever offered that weighed above 10 carats, 4 of them offered in the last 2 years alone (1 in 2006 and 1 in 2005). That is yet another factor which will drive up the demand for this diamond when it goes under the hammer.
The 14.93 carat Fancy Vivid Pink “Pink Promise” diamond on a model Image credit: Christie’s
Another rare pink diamond to be offered at the auction is the 5.39 carat Fancy Purplish Pink pear shaped diamond. The pink diamond has an Internally Flawless clarity and is also classified as a type IIa. Although the color is light, the IF clarity and size above 5 carats adds strength to the diamond’s value. It is estimated to sell at a price between $1.65 million to $2.3 million, or $306k to $427k per carat.
The 5.39 carat Fancy Purplish Pink IF pear shaped diamond Image credit: Christie’s
Still more pink diamonds will appear under the hammer that evening. A pink diamond with very good color and clarity and the very coveted emerald cut will be auctioned as well. The diamond in question is a 8.80 carat Fancy Intense Pink VVS1 emerald cut diamond that is classified as a type IIa diamond. Its setting features a small Fancy Intense Blue diamond on either side. Its estimated valued is $8.8 million to $12 million total, or $1 million to $1.36 million per carat. I do not see it as a world record breaking diamond, but it is a strong and justified price for this stone. The current record holder for price per carat in the 5-10 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond category is $1.881 million per carat, which is held by the recently sold 7.04 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond that was sold on May 16, 2017 in Geneva.
The 8.80 carat Fancy Intense Pink VVS1 emerald cut diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The 7.04 carat Fancy Intense Purplish Pink diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
Another pink diamond to be auctioned is a modest but well valued diamond. The 2.76 carat Fancy Pink VS2 diamond is being offered by Etcetera, a well-known brand in Asia. It is valued at $320k to $440k total, or $116k to $160k per carat. The true valuation lies at the high end of the auction house’s valuation, so we will see a premium paid for this diamond.
The 2.76 carat Fancy Pink VS2 diamond by Etcetera Image credit: Christie’s
Although the auction is featuring many strong pink diamonds, blue diamonds have not been neglected entirely. A 2.03 carat Fancy Blue VVS2 pear shaped diamond ring by Mikimoto will be auctioned that evening as well. The diamond is graded with VVS2 clarity but it recorded with the potential of an Internally Flawless clarity if it were to undergo a minor re-polish. I assume that the reason the diamond has not already been re-polished to an IF clarity was the weight. Most likely, if the re-polish into IF clarity were to be undertaken, the weight would fall below 2 carats, bringing its per carat value low enough that it would not make any financial sense to do so. The potential decrease in value would not be regained by the increase in value due to the higher clarity. The blue diamond is currently valued to sell that evening at a price between $150,000-$230,000 total, or $74k to $113k per carat. This value is quite modest, and the diamond will most likely sell for higher than the highest value estimate. Based on the color and clarity, it will surely surpass the $200k per carat mark, and it may even pass the $250k per carat.
The 2.03 carat Fancy Blue VVS2 pear shaped diamond ring by Mikimoto Image credit: Christie’s
There is even a yellow diamond that evening that is worth pointing the diamond investment spotlight upon. A marvelous 9.05 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond with a VVS1 clarity is being offered, and its valuation is between $1.25-$1.9 million total or $138k to $210k per carat. The value suggests that it is a zimmi yellow, which means it has exceptional depth of color. Zimmi yellow diamonds are diamonds that originate in the mine in the Zimmi village of Sierra Leone, which is famous for the extremely vivid color of its yellow diamonds. If this is such a diamond, it would explain why the valuation for this diamond is high. If the diamond would have weighed just over 10 carats (instead of its 9.05 carat weight), the low end of the value estimation would have been much higher.
The 9.05 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow VVS1 diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The Hong Kong auction at the end of the month will definitely be memorable. Rare items will be sold, and some may even break records, which is definitely not a given in the diamond world. Many diamonds and pieces of jewelry are auctioned throughout a year, and very few of them if at all ever set a world record price. We shall get a better feel in Geneva next week of how ready buyers are to pay high prices for rare stones, and this price behavior will indicate the potential success of the Hong Kong auction. It is becoming ever more difficult for the auction houses to find unique items which will move the investment community and impress them. However, because these diamonds are so rare it means that their prices are naturally rising over an extended period of time. The key ingredient here, like with all long term investments, is patience.
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