Sotheby’s Rakes In $57.5M for De Beers Blue

 A record blue diamond co-owned by De Beers far outstripped its presale estimate in a stand-alone sale at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, garnering HKD 450.9 million ($57.5 million), the auction house said Wednesday.

The 15.10-carat De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond

The step-cut, 15.10-carat, fancy-vivid-blue, internally flawless stone, called the De Beers Cullinan Blue, is the largest of its color to appear at auction. The stone, which sold to an unnamed buyer, had been expected to fetch up to $48 million.

Petra Diamonds discovered the 39.35-carat rough in April 2021 at its Cullinan mine in South Africa. In July, De Beers and Diacore bought the stone for $40.2 million, and Diacore manufactured the piece into the final polished.

39.35 carat rough blue diamond

To date, only five blue diamonds weighing more than 10 carats have come to auction, none of which has exceeded 15 carats, Sotheby’s explained. Similar blue diamonds have also fetched high prices, including the Blue Moon of Josephine, a cushion-shaped, 12.03-carat, fancy-vivid-blue, internally flawless diamond that sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2015. Meanwhile, the Oppenheimer Blue, a step-cut, 14.62-carat, fancy-vivid-blue, VVS1-clarity stone, garnered $57.5 million at a Christie’s Geneva sale in 2016.


De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond Could Bring $48M at Auction

De Beers Cullinan Blue Diamond

Sotheby’s will auction a stone described as “the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction” on April 27 in Hong Kong.

Sotheby’s estimates that it could bring $48 million.

Cullinan Blue Diamond

The 15.1 carat step-cut blue was cut from a rough stone discovered in April 2021. It is “the largest internally flawless step cut vivid blue diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded,” according to a press statement.

“This diamond ranks as one of the best De Beers has ever seen,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group. “It is extremely rare and unique, and as the Home of Diamonds, De Beers is pleased to join together with Sotheby’s to bring this diamond to the world.”

Only five blue diamonds over 10 carats have ever come to auction, Sotheby’s notes. Until now, none has exceeded 15 carats.

“Blue diamonds of any kind are rare on the market, but this is the rarest of the rare; nothing of remotely similar calibre has appeared at auction in recent years,” says Patti Wong, chairwoman of Sotheby’s Asia. “Hundreds of millions of years in the making, this extraordinary blue diamond is surely one of nature’s finest creations.”

The diamond comes from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

Source: instoremag

Colored Diamonds Set to Sparkle at Sotheby’s

6.11 carat, fancy intense blue diamond ring

A blue diamond ring is among the top lots at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York next month.
The piece contains a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, 6.11-carat, fancy-intense-blue, VS2-clarity diamond surrounded by round diamonds. It is estimated to bring in up to $6.5 million at the December 7 auction, Sotheby’s said Monday.

A cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut, 6.69-carat, fancy-intense-pink, VS2-clarity diamond ring with a high valuation of $6 million will also star in the sale, as will a cushion-cut, 3.01-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond. The stone, which is set in a ring and flanked by two heart-shaped diamonds, is expected to sell for up to $4.5 million.

Other notable items include a pear-shaped, 62.65-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity diamond ring with a high price tag of $3.5 million, and an emerald-cut, 9.97-carat emerald and diamond ring with an upper valuation of $2.5 million.

An unmounted, heart-shaped, 15.01-carat, D-color, internally flawless diamond will also be up for grabs. The stone, which is being offered without reserve, has a high estimate of $2.5 million. Sotheby’s is collaborating with Brilliant & Black designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey to make a finished jewelry piece for the diamond, it noted. She has created two original designs that utilize her signature triangle inlay pattern — for a necklace and a ring.

Meanwhile, 30 jewels from an American private collector will also go under the hammer. The entire group is estimated at more than $6 million and includes one of the most significant collections of Bulgari pieces ever to come to market, Sotheby’s explained.

In total, the auction house will offer more than 200 lots, with the sale forecast to fetch as much as $70.1 million — the highest estimate for a New York Magnificent Jewels sale since December 2018, Sotheby’s added.


20-Carat ‘Okavango Blue’ Diamond Goes on Display

The public can now feast their eyes on a big blue diamond thanks to New York’s American Museum of Natural History.  The museum opened an exhibition Tuesday showcasing the “Okavango Blue,” a 20.46-carat oval-cut fancy deep blue diamond on loan from Okavango Diamond Company, which is wholly owned by the government of Botswana. 

It has been given a VVS1 clarity grade from GIA.  The diamond came from Botswana’s Orapa mine and is the largest of its kind found in the country to date.  The Okavango Blue was named after Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of global importance for biological conservation and diversity.  It’s the first time the diamond is on view to the public and sits at the center of a larger presentation about diamonds from Botswana, exploring industrial uses for diamonds and how Botswana runs its diamond industry as well as educating about the different characteristics of diamonds like size, shape, color, and quality.  Botswana is the second-largest producer of natural diamonds in the world, behind Russia.   Previous

The Okavango Blue Diamond, pictured here in the center display, is part of a presentation about the variety of natural diamonds found in Botswana. (Photo credit: D. Finnin/©AMNH)
The Okavango Blue Diamond, pictured here in the center display

Next “Our natural diamond resources are managed responsibly in a manner that puts the people of Botswana first,” said Okavango Diamond Company Managing Director Mmetla Masire. “There is a strong sense of local pride knowing that these diamonds are improving the lives of Batswana, with profits directly reinvested in education, infrastructure, and public health. “We are so pleased to share with the world the larger story of the diamond industry of Botswana. The Okavango Blue is not just an ordinary 3-billion-year-old polished carbon element, but rather a physical embodiment of the passing of time, a fragment of eternity. Our diamonds tell the rich history and unique journey of Botswana’s development.” The exhibition sits in the Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery in the museum’s new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, which reopened in June after a major renovation.   The Okavango Blue and its corresponding Botswana diamonds exhibition will run for six months, AMNH confirmed. 

Source: nationaljeweler

Blue rough diamond fetches $40 million

39.3 carat blue rough diamond

Petra Diamonds Ltd. sold a 39.3-carat blue gem for more than $40 million, making it one of the most expensive rough diamonds ever.

The small miner sold the exceptional Type IIb blue diamond to a joint venture between top producer De Beers and Diacore, a trading company owned by the billionaire Steinmetz family, it said Monday. The stone fetched just over $1 million per carat and is the most expensive gem Petra has ever sold.

Petra found the diamond at the Cullinan mine in South Africa in April. The mine, once owned by De Beers, is famous for both large and blue stones and was where world’s biggest diamond was found in 1905. Blue stones are among the most rare and valuable.

The sale is good news for Petra, which was forced to restructure its debt last year, when the Covid-19 crisis brought the industry to a standstill at a time when the company was already facing a mountain of debt and falling diamond prices. The shares, which were once worth more than $1.5 billion, closed up 1.1% on Monday.

Petra puts “exceptional” 39-carat blue diamond up for sale

39.34 carat blue diamond recovered by Petra South Africa

South Africa’s Petra Diamonds has put a 39.34 carat Type IIb gem recovered at its iconic Cullinan mine in April up for sale, with viewings beginning June 15.

The company said the diamond of “exceptional quality” in terms of both its colour and clarity, will be showcased in Antwerp, Dubai, Hong Kong and New York.

Petra, which anticipates that the diamond will be sold via a special tender, said that biddings via its online platform will close on July 12.

While it didn’t set a price range for the stone, the miner said high-quality blue diamonds like the one for sale usually fetch the highest values.

Petra’s Blue Moon of Josephine diamond, cut from a 29 carat rough blue diamond, sold for $48.5 million in 2015.

The figure corresponds to a price of $4 million per carat, which remains the world record price per carat ever paid for a diamond.

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the birthplace of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa. The operation also yielded the 317-carat Second Star of Africa. They are the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.


Fancy Colour Diamond Trio Fetches $8M at Christie’s

The Perfect Palette diamonds. Christie’s

Three rings featuring diamonds with fancy-vivid color stole the show at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction, selling for more than $8 million combined.

The trio of jewels, called the Perfect Palette, achieved a total of $8.4 million at the New York sale, Christie’s said Tuesday. A 2.17-carat, fancy-vivid-purplish-pink diamond ring brought in $3.5 million, beating its $2.5 million high estimate, while a 2.13-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond ring sold for $2.7 million, toward the upper end of its valuation. The third — a 2.34-carat, fancy-vivid-orange diamond ring — went for $2.2 million, just under its top estimate at the April 13 sale. The entire auction garnered $35 million, with 94% of items on offer finding buyers.

Another high earner was a pear brilliant-cut, 38.04-carat, D-flawless, type IIa diamond ring, which fetched $3 million. A Burmese ruby ring by F.J. Cooper, a prominent Philadelphia jeweler, went for $1.7 million. Both pieces fell within their presale estimates.

Other notable items included an oval modified brilliant-cut, 25.55-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow, VS1-clarity diamond ring, which sold for $1.7 million, smashing its $1.2 million high estimate. An emerald-cut, 14.50-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond ring also shattered its $1 million upper valuation, selling for $1.4 million at the auction.

A diamond and onyx Serpenti wristwatch, donated by Bulgari, fetched $50,000, within estimates. Proceeds from the timepiece will benefit the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.

Participants at the sale originated from 40 countries across five continents, Christie’s noted. The auction house is still holding its Online Jewels sale, which began on April 8 and will run through April 20. It features a selection of items from Bulgari, Cartier and Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., among others.


De Beers Buys Petra Blue Diamonds for $40M

Petra De Beers

De Beers has purchased five rough blue diamonds from Petra Diamonds for more than $40 million in partnership with one of its sightholders.

The miner bought the Letlapa Tala collection together with South African wholesaler and manufacturer Diacore for $40.4 million, split equally between the two companies. The type IIb stones, which originated from Petra’s Cullinan mine in South Africa, weigh a total of 85.6 carats, with the individual diamonds ranging from 9.61 to 25.75 carats, Petra said Wednesday.

The sale price at the November 24 tender exceeded analysts’ predictions. Liberum believed the stones would fetch “in the region of $30 million to $40 million,” while Berenberg predicted approximately $26 million, they told Rapaport News.

“The result of this special tender affirms the very high value placed on blue diamonds,” said Petra CEO Richard Duffy. “We believe this to be the first time that five rough blue diamonds of significant size, color and clarity have been offered for sale at one time, and we are delighted that the collection has been bought in its entirety.”

Diacore, which specializes in manufacturing rare, fancy-color diamonds, has worked with De Beers before. It previously cut the miner’s 203.04-carat De Beers Millennium Star, and has also worked on other well-known stones, such as the CTF Pink Star, a 59.60-carat pink bought by Hong Kong jeweler Chow Tai Fook for $71.2 million in 2017. The manufacturer, with cutting facilities in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, was also one of the pilot participants in De Beers’ Tracr blockchain initiative. 

“We are excited and humbled to have the opportunity to unlock the unparalleled beauty of these rare and extraordinary natural diamonds and share them with the world,” said Paul Rowley, executive vice president of diamond trading at De Beers. “Cullinan has produced some of the most beautiful diamonds the world has ever seen, and these blue diamonds are no exception.”

De Beers and Diacore will select expert craftsmen to study and work with the diamonds before presenting them to the public, De Beers added.

De Beers previously owned the Cullinan mine. It sold the deposit to Petra for $149 million in 2007.


Rare Rough Blue Diamonds

rare blue diamonds

Recovered from the famous Cullinan Mine in South Africa, these blue diamonds are among the world’s most expensive

Five blue diamonds have been recovered from Petra Diamonds’ famous Cullinan mine in South Africa.

They are among the world’s most expensive diamonds, and were formed deep within the Earth about 400 miles below the surface, which is four times as deep as white diamonds. The element boron, which is what gives the stones their blue colour, combines with carbon and crystallises under extreme pressure and heat.

Photo: Donald Woodrow

The sales tender for the five Type IIb blue diamonds will close later this month, on November 24, following viewings in Antwerp, Hong Kong and New York. They weigh 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats, respectively.

Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure, which means they boast exceptional transparency.

Blue diamonds are so rare that most people, even in the jewellery industry, never have a chance to see one. It’s incredibly unusual that these five diamonds were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September.

Their birthplace, the Cullinan mine, is one of the most important sources of blue diamonds. It’s also the origin of the 3,106 carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530 carat Great Star of Africa and the 317 carat Second Star of Africa, which are set into the British Crown Jewels.

It’s the first time that five rough blue diamonds have been offered for sale at the same time. In 2013, a 25.5 carat blue diamond was sold by Petra Diamonds for over US$16.9 million.

Source: asiatatler

Petra to sell blue diamonds recovered at Cullinan

A 20.08-carat Type IIb blue diamond recovered at Cullinan.

Petra Diamonds (LON: PDL) announced the launching of a special tender process for the Letlapa Tala Collection, which comprises five blue diamonds sourced from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. 

Cullinan is known as the world’s most important source of blue diamonds, as well as being the place of birth of the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond, which was cut to form the 530-carat Great Star of Africa and the 317-carat Second Star of Africa, being the two largest diamonds in the British Crown Jewels.

In a press release, Petra said that the name of the new collection actually means ‘blue rock’ in Northern Sotho (commonly known as Pedi), the predominant language spoken in the Cullinan area.


The collection consists of five Type IIb blue diamonds of 25.75, 21.25, 17.57, 11.42 and 9.61 carats, respectively. Type II diamonds contain no detectable nitrogen in their chemical structure and tend to display exceptional transparency. Type IIb stones contain a small amount of boron, which is what determines their blue colour.

“Blue diamonds are so rare that most people working in the diamond industry have never even seen one,” the media release states. “There are no official statistics on their recovery, so it is therefore even more unusual that these five spectacular stones were all recovered within the space of one week’s production in September 2020.”

According to Petra, this is likely to be the first time that five blue rough diamonds have ever been offered for sale at one time, with buyers being offered the chance to bid either on individual stones, more than one, or for the entire collection.

The Letlapa Tala gems will be available for viewings in Antwerp from October 25 to November 1; Hong Kong from November 5  to November 10; and New York from November 16 to November 20, 2020.