Fancy colour diamonds saw slower growth in the last three months, with an increase of just 0.5 per cent in the FCRF Index, which tracks prices across all colours, sizes and intensities.
That compares with a 1.3 per cent rise during the first quarter of 2023, as reported by the New York-based Fancy Colour Research Foundation, with the biggest increases among yellows.
During Q2, yellows diamonds again drove the increase, with a rise of 6.5 per cent across all categories. Pinks were up 0.2 per cent and blues rose by 0.6 per cent.
The FCRF noted that fancy colour diamonds had again out-performed white diamonds, which saw prices fall 3.5 per cent during the quarter.
Board member Eden Rachminov said: “The first six months of 2023 were intriguing. We experienced notable spikes in certain sub-categories within the yellow category, particularly in the intense and vivid grades with a high inner-grade.
“Meanwhile, the blue and pink categories remained stable. If the world economy continues to maintain its positive momentum, we can anticipate a robust price behavior after the summer.”
The FCRF tracks pricing data for fancy colour diamonds in Hong Kong, New York, Geneva and Tel Aviv.
A pair of pear-shaped fancy pink pendant diamond earrings, weighing 11.17 carats and 10.85 carats, are to be sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.
The estimate is $5.48m to $7.01m. Both diamonds are GIA-certified as Fancy Pink, Natural Color, VVS1 Clarity.
The pink diamonds are set in platinum and yellow gold suspended from a pear, marquise-shaped and brilliant-cut diamond surmount weighing a total of approximately 6.5-7.5cts, mostly F-H color, average VS-SI clarity.
The lead tomorrow’s Magnificent Jewels I. The sale also includes a Harry Winston diamond fringe necklace with nine pear-shaped diamonds weighing 14.93 to 2.04 carats (estimate $4.46m to $6.37m) and a 5.49-carat fancy intense blue diamond ring (estimate $4.84m to $6.37m).
Average prices for fancy coloured diamonds of any size climbed by 3.9% in 2022, led by yellows and pinks, the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), a non-profit that promotes transparency and fair trade in the market, said on Wednesday.
The industry body said prices for all yellow diamonds climbed by 4.6% from the previous year, followed by a 3.9% rise in pinks and 1.8% in blues.
The improved prices reached by these diamonds, the FCRF said, contrast with the annual decline in white diamonds prices.
“2022 was a very good year for yellow fancy colour diamonds in all sizes and saturations. It seems like yellow diamonds with high visual grades and in certain shapes increased by more than what is reflected in the Index,” FCRF data supplier, Israel Papushado, said in a statement.
“Pink fancy colour diamonds performed with no significant change in comparison to previous years; however, blue diamonds did not perform as expected, probably due to limitations in the Chinese market,” he noted.
The prices reported by the FCRF are based on its own Fancy Colour Diamond Index, which is built on tracked data for yellow, pink, and blue fancy colour diamonds’ performance in major global trading centres such as Hong Kong, New York, Geneva and Tel Aviv.
Nature bestows fancy colours on about one in every 10,000 rough diamonds of gem quality that are mined around the world.
The precious stones that can be blue, pink or green form a special asset class, relying on a consumer preference for exotic and unusual items. This also means they are less affected by other factors driving supply and demand in the main diamond market.
The second largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond to ever appear at auction was unveiled Wednesday in London by Sotheby’s. The 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star will be sold in a single-lot auction in Hong Kong on October 5. Its estimate is $21 million.
The auction house says it has the potential to set a new per carat price record for a fancy vivid pink diamond.
“We do have the confidence that it will find a great collector and have the interest of multiple parties,” Wenhao Yu, chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia, told Forbes on Tuesday. “It has the potential to reach a very strong price.”
He adds, “This diamond truly checks all the boxes. It has the best qualities you can have in a pink diamond.”
The current price per carat auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond is $2,656,909 for the 18.96-carat Winston Pink Legacy, sold in 2018 by Christie’s Geneva. The largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond offered at auction is the 59.60-carat CTF Pink Star. It was sold by Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017 for $71.2 million, a world record for any gem or jewel sold at auction.
Yu compares the Williamson Pink Star to an exceptional work of art.
“We timed this lot to be offered between Sotheby’s modern and contemporary art auctions. That’s because instead of offering just another important diamond, we view this diamond as a work of art from mother earth and a wonder of nature,” Yu says. “It’s comparable to a Monet or a Picasso and is even more rare.”
The Williamson mine is one of the oldest operating diamond mines in the world, famous for producing what is described as “bubblegum” pink diamonds, according to the auction house. One of the best-known diamonds from the mine is the 23.6-carat Williamson Pink Diamond fashioned into a brooch by Cartier and owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
“We wanted to relate the important provenance of the Williamson mine when naming the diamond,” Yu says. “The unique saturated pink color is one of the important qualities of diamonds from this mine. It is an honor for us that after so many decades another important pink diamond comes from the Williamson mine and we can offer it at auction.”
The cushion-shaped diamond was crafted from a 32.32-carat rough diamond by Diacore, a diamond manufacturer that specializes in crafting rare, exceptional fancy-colored diamonds. The company purchased the gem in late 2021 for $13.8 million. Yu says crafting the diamond is just as important as discovering it, and Diacore is one of the few companies in the world capable of cutting and polishing such an important gem.
“Not every rough can yield a diamond of this high quality so we should also give credit to Diacore,” he says. “They really made cutting and polishing into an art. They are very skilled and experienced with the best technology and a lot of courage. It’s rare to have a vivid pink color. It’s rarer when it’s over 10 carats and even more rare if it’s internally flawless. It’s luck to find this kind of diamond that was formed underground for millions of years, and it takes a great amount of art and creativity to fashion it into a gorgeous stone with so many exceptional qualities.”
Pink diamonds are among the rarest colors to occur naturally in diamonds. Of all the diamonds submitted to the Gemological Institute of America (which analyzes and grades diamonds), fewer than 3% are classified as colored diamonds, and fewer than 5% of those are considered predominantly pink.
The Argyle Mine in Australia, before it was retired in 2020 after exhausting its supply of gem-quality diamonds, produced more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. The absence of pink diamonds from this mine makes important pink diamonds like the one being offered even more rare, Yu says.
“Pink diamonds are still growing in demand in the market, and this now makes the Williamson Pink Star even more sought after,” he says.
The diamond is being presented in an 18k gold ring flanked by trapeze-cut diamonds and embellished with brilliant-cut diamonds.
London is the first stop where the diamond will be viewed by the public. It will then travel to Dubai, Singapore and Taipei before the final viewing and sale in Hong Kong.
Lucapa Diamond Company has recovered one of the largest pink diamonds in history: a 170-carat stone from the Lulo mine in Angola.
The type IIa rough, named the Lulo Rose, is “believed to be the largest pink diamond recovered in the last 300 years,” Lucapa said Wednesday. It is also the fifth-largest diamond from Lulo, and the deposit’s 27th over 100 carats since commercial production began in 2015. Lucapa plans to sell the diamond through an international tender conducted by Angolan state diamond-marketing company Sodiam, it noted.
“The record-breaking Lulo diamond field has again delivered a precious and large gemstone, this time an extremely rare and beautiful pink diamond,” said José Manuel Ganga Júnior, chairman of the board of state-owned Endiama, one of Lucapa’s partners in the deposit. “It is a significant day for the Angolan diamond industry.”
In addition to the pink, Lulo is also the source of Angola’s largest diamond, a 404-carat rough named the 4th February Stone.
Lucapa has begun bulk sampling at “priority kimberlites” as it searches for the primary source of Lulo’s diamonds, managing director Stephen Wetherall added.
A fancy-intense-pink diamond ring with a high estimate of CHF 11 million ($12 million) is set to feature in the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s Geneva.
The oval-shaped, 15.23-carat piece, surrounded by diamonds, will be offered alongside the 100.94-carat Alrosa Spectacle diamond at the May 12 auction, Christie’s said last week.
Other notable items include a heart-shaped, 53.33-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity, type IIa diamond pendant with a high valuation of CHF 3 million ($3.3 million). A pear-shaped, 141.22-carat, fancy-brown-yellow diamond set in a diamond necklace is also on offer, carrying a high estimate of CHF 2.8 million ($3.1 million).
Meanwhile, a ring featuring a 47-carat, cushion-shaped old mine Colombian emerald surrounded by diamonds will go under the hammer. The jewel, which is from an important private collection, carries a high presale estimate of CHF 1.6 million ($1.7 million).
Christie’s will also sell a rectangular cut-cornered, 8.06-carat, fancy-purplish-pink, VVS2-clarity diamond ring bracketed by tapered baguette-cut diamonds. The piece, created by Boucheron, has a high valuation of CHF 1.5 million ($1.6 million).
Christie’s will preview the items from May 8. The sale will also feature an online component, which will be open for bidding between April 29 and May 10.
A 15.81 carat Sakura diamond, the largest of its kind to ever appear for sale, will go under the hammer at Christie’s upcoming Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Live Auction on May 23, the auction house announced on Tuesday. Estimated at $25 million to $38 million, the “fancy vivid purple pink internally flawless” diamond will be the star highlight of the sale.
It is the diamond’s exceptional rarity, extraordinary optical transparency, brilliant colour, and enormous size that make it an immensely important, and eternal masterpiece of nature.
As fewer than 10 per cent of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat, this fancy vivid purple-pink diamond is of an unprecedented size of 15.81 carats, which is the largest of its kind Fancy Vivid Purple Pink to be offered at any auction.
It added that the lot fell in the exclusive group of the four per cent of pink diamonds that possess a colour deep enough to qualify as “fancy vivid”.
This magnificent gem is graded ‘fancy vivid’ for its perfect display of strong saturation and remarkable pink hue with a secondary colour of purple, resembling the fascinating colour of cherry blossoms – appropriately coinciding with spring.
Prices of fancy-color diamonds slipped marginally in the fourth quarter of 2020 as stability in the yellow category helped the sector stave off a heavier slump, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF).
“Although 2020 was challenging in terms of logistics and travel, contrary to market expectations, fancy-color diamond prices proved to be resilient, with minor price decreases across the board,” the FCRF said Monday.
The organization’s Fancy Color Diamond Index for yellows inched down 0.3% year on year in the three months ending December 31, while prices for blues fell 1.3%. Pink fancy-color diamonds decreased 0.9%, with the overall index slipping 0.8%.
The 1.50- and 5-carat categories were the strongest for fancy blues, increasing 0.5% versus the previous quarter, while fancy-vivid blues decreased 0.6%, led by soft prices for 1-carat stones in that category. Pinks stayed mainly flat compared to the third quarter, with 2-carat fancy pinks seeing the highest rise, up 1.4%. In yellows, the fancy-intense, 5-carat segment grew 0.8%, and the price for fancy-vivid, 3-carat stones was up 0.7%. Fancy-yellow, 1.50-carat diamonds increased 0.6% during the period.
The FCRF believes prices of yellows will continue to remain strong throughout 2021.
“2020 was a fascinating year; wholesalers and retailers alike had to overcome many logistical hurdles in order to finalize simple transactions, while demand for fancy-color diamonds was solid,” said FCRF advisory board member Eden Rachminov. “I expect 2021 to be a bullish year for yellows; their current price is relatively low and I think that a price increase is inevitable.”
The index tracks prices of yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York, Geneva and Tel Aviv.