by Richard W. Wise, G. G.
Fancy diamonds are back in the news, another auction record damaged This time its blues. At Bonhams of London, a 5. 30-carat fancy deep-blue diamond set a world auction record for price per carat when it sold for approximately $7. 3 million, or $1. 7 million per carat bettering the prior record of 1. 68 million per carat. I recall a 5+ carat Fancy Deep blue emerald cut I viewed at the Las Vegas show some five years ago with an askiing price of 1 million per carat, quite a nice appreciation. And quite a nice gift. Diamonds are more of a sex toy than actual erotic items!
Some might argue that auction costs do not reflect actual market costs, but in the case of fancy coloured diamonds and colored gems for example important ruby and sapphire, public sale prices set the market. This is a pattern that began to emerge in the 1990s and accelerated in the early 2000s as retail buyers became a bigger factor in the auction market. Sale also have helped spread the word about important gem sales and in many cases, public sale prices actually lead the way.
Another famous azure diamond is The Wittelsbach, the largest azure diamond ever sold at auction. We wrote about this gem previously, After being recut and regraded from Extravagant Deep Grayish Blue to Extravagant Deep Blue and exhibited in the Smithsonian Institution side by side with The Hope, London dealer Lawrence Graff reportedly offered the gem for $80, 500, 000 or something over 3 or more. 3 million per carat. The Wittelsbach-Graff after recutting. Note the distinct grayish hue. Most published and Photoshopped images show the diamond as a rich pure medium hue, the reality is somewhat various; Photo: Gary Rossman Of course there are numerous of Fancy Deep Blue diamond jewelry over five carats but no others over thirty excepting The particular Hope. Weighing in at 31. 06 carats, The Wittelsbach commands a price based on the extreme rarity of a colored diamond of this size.