Christie’s New York Auction Ends The First Half Season Of Major Auctions

It seems that buyers have not lost steam since the auctions ended in Geneva, and found their way to the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction yesterday in New York. Christie’s ended up selling $26,126,500 in total last night, but the top four items brought in half the sales, while the rest of the sold lots (there were over 200) account for the balance of the sales. We will break down the prices of the important pieces of the night below and their implications for the industry.

Everybody had their eyes fixed on the Rockefeller Emerald, which was the frontrunner of the evening and the cover of the show catalog. It was finally acquired after much bidding by Harry Winston, the same company that has been acquiring other unique items for the last few years. I remember when they acquired the 14.22 carat Fancy Vivid Blue pear shaped diamond in Geneva back on May 14, 2014, and broke a world record at the time. The Rockefeller Emerald weighs 18.04 carats and was estimated to sell at a price between $4 million to $6 million. It ended up selling for $5,511,500 or $305,515.52 per carat.

The 18.04 carat Colombian Green “Rockefeller” Emerald          Image credit: Christies’s

The 14.22 carat Fancy Vivid Blue pear shaped “Winston Blue” diamond          Image credit: Christie’s


I, on the other hand, was not waiting to see the results of the Rockefeller Emerald but for the unique and extraordinary green diamond that was offered. It was a 5.01 carat Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Green with a VS2 clarity and cut into modified a lozenge shape. It was valued at a final price between $2 million and $4 million, which is honestly a major spread for an auction house estimate. It ended up selling for $4,391,500 or $876,546.91 per carat. If we did not take the certificate into account with the exact color title, it had to the eye a similar color as the famous Ocean Dream diamond that was sold back on May 14, 2014 in Geneva for $8,781,637 or $1,596,661.27 per carat (The Ocean Dream weighed 5.50 carats and was certified as a Fancy Vivid Blue-Green diamond).

The 5.01 carat Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Green VS2 diamond          Image credit: Christie’s

5.50 carat Fancy Vivid Blue-Green “Ocean Dream” diamond          Image credit: Christie’s


The 4.42 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond that went under the hammer that evening was estimated to be worth between $1.3 million to $1.8 million. It finally sold for $1,267,500 or $286,764.71 per carat. Since it sold below the auction house’s low estimate, it must have at least met the seller’s reserve price. As we mentioned in our analysis prior to the auction, there was only a slim chance that the price would even reach the $400k level per carat. In fact, the price reflects a weak true color, despite the fact that the certificate says that it is a Fancy Intense Green diamond.

The 4.42 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond          Image credit: Christie’s


The Diamond Industry’s “Quiet” Season

As we conclude the auction season for the first half of the year, we enter the summer days that are usually quiet for the diamond industry. Big diamond sales are not generally reported during this time and the brokers and dealers are gathering their best goods for the coming holiday rush. Therefore, during this time I want to take this opportunity and suggest that the industry continues to find and explore new initiatives going forward, and educate consumers about fancy color diamonds. I would also strongly recommend that perhaps the GIA (The Gemological Institute of America) explores ways to better describe colors in their certificates. Being the leader in the global diamond certification industry, I would suggest that they should find better ways to describe a color, so that when a potential buyer considers acquiring a fancy color diamond, he or she does it with more comfort. This will help build further trust in the industry. I would recommend the GIA consider working with the FCRF (Fancy Color Research Foundation) and perhaps try to adapt the depth of color strength, which the FCRF categories it into 4 strengths; 1 being less strong and 4 being strongest (with only yellow has a 4+ category).

Got any questions? Ask in the comments!


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