Auction houses, institutions where property are sold to the highest bidder, have existed for centuries. Whether it was for estate sales or for someone to redeem something that they owned for needed capital, auctions were wanted and needed by both buyers and sellers. Some of the most famous auction houses today, with branches all over the world, are Christie’s and Sotheby’s, but others exist as well, such as Bonham’s and Phillips. Philips auction house was born only 30 years after Christie’s auction house was created. It was founded by Harry Phillips in 1796. Phillips was a senior clerk to James Christie prior to establishing his own auction house. The Phillips auction house is still selling today, but we write less often about them because they normally don’t make the news in fancy color diamond investments. However, this month is different.
Only a day ahead of Christie’s Hong Kong auction coming up on November 28th, 2017, Phillips will be holding its own auction in Hong Kong, offering noteworthy fancy color diamonds to the public, including an original Argyle diamond, a blue diamond, a green diamond and a yellow diamond.
The auction will take place in Hong Kong, and Asia’s favorite color is green when it comes to jewelry. That is why the star lot of the Phillips Jewels and Jadeite auction on November 27, 2017 is a natural Fancy Intense Green diamond. It is the second largest ever to be offered at auction, including all the diamonds ever auctioned by the two leading auction houses, Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The 5.62 carat Fancy Intense Green VS2 cushion shaped diamond is certified by the GIA. It is valued to ultimately sell at a price between $2.8 million to $3.3 million, or $498k to $587k per carat.
The 5.62 carat Fancy Intense Green VS2 cushion shaped diamond Image credit: Phillips
The current record holder of the largest Fancy Intense Green diamond ever to be offered at auction is the 6.13 carat Fancy Intense Green VS2 diamond that was sold on May 27, 2014 at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong as well (of course). It was sold for $3.64 million total or $594k per carat, which is also the current record per carat price ever paid for a Fancy Intense Green diamond at auction.
The 6.13 carat Fancy Intense Green VS2 diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The last time a Fancy Intense Green diamond was offered at auction, it did not sell and ended up going home with its original owner. It was a 5.28 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond that was offered by Christie’s in Hong Kong as well. The green diamond was given an estimated price between $2.3 million to $3.6 million, or $435k to $682k per carat, but did not meet its original reserve price.
The 5.28 carat Fancy Intense Green diamond Image credit: Christie’s
The next most significant fancy color diamond to be offered at the Phillips auction is an 8.09 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow pear shaped diamond with an Internally Flawless clarity. It has an excellent polish. However, what is not so appealing, especially to Asian buyers, is the fact that the diamond has a medium yellow fluorescence. The most demanded yellow diamonds in Asia are those with no fluorescence at all. In this case the fluorescence is a yellow tone, which can enhance the natural yellow intensity of the diamond. My suspicion is that this diamond was re-polished from a previously Fancy Intense Yellow diamond. One way to conclude this it is the fact that there is an extra set of facets under the diamond, which helps concentrate the color into the middle of the diamond, which in turn helps increase the intensity. The diamond is valued by the auction house at a price between $700k to $830k, or $86k to $102k per carat. This is a strong price for such a diamond, but it is justified for a unique fancy vivid yellow with such a color and clarity.
The 8.09 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow pear shaped IF diamond Image credit: Phillips
Although the next item is below a carat in weight, which is generally not a quality of investment diamonds, its provenance and color counter that fact. The diamond is a pink diamond that was mined at the Argyle Mine in Western Australia, a 0.95 carat Fancy Intense Pink SI1 emerald cut diamond. It is extremely rare that we see an original Argyle diamond auctioned off, and there are only a handful of these that have ever appeared at auction over the last 30 years. This diamond is currently valued at a sale price of $165k to $200k, or $174k to $217k per carat, a value in the right range of valuation. The diamond should sell at a premium to the estimate due to its rarity. The Argyle Mine is closing in 2020 or 2021, and this makes pink diamonds even rarer, as 90% of global pink diamonds are mined at the Argyle Mine. Just recently, the Argyle mine announced a record double digit price increase of its tender diamonds since last year.
The 0.95 carat Fancy Intense Pink SI1 emerald cut Argyle diamond Image credit: Phillips
Finally, another beautiful diamond being offered by Phillips is a 0.73 carat Fancy Intense Blue marquise shaped diamond with VVS2 clarity. It is valued at $150k to $200k, or $205k to $274k per carat. This valuation is reasonable considering that the diamond is under a carat, but its nice clarity and color means that it has value in it over time.
The 0.73 carat Fancy Intense Blue VVS2 marquise shaped diamond Image credit: Phillips
Phillips auction house will be offering several other pieces of unique fancy color diamond jewelry that day. Feel free to contact us if you wish for us to help you acquire any investment grade diamonds, both loose and jewelry. Got any questions about the valuation or potential of fancy color diamond investments? Ask us in the comments!
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