Thanks to their rarity and beauty, blue diamonds are often among the most expensive stones to be offered at auction and Sotheby's latest instalment is no exception. The 8.01 carat Fancy Vivid blue 'Sky Blue Diamond' will be the centrepiece of the house's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on November 16, 2016 and carries an estimate of $15-25 million. The square emerald cut diamond is currently set in a Cartier ring surrounded by brilliant cut and baguette white diamonds and is described by David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's International Jewellery Division as being "of a wonderfully clear celestial blue".
At a huge 1,109 carats, the tennis-ball sized Lesedi La Rona rough diamond will deservedly be honoured with its very own auction at Sotheby's London on June 29, 2016. Discovered in November 2015 in the Karowe mine in Botswana, it has already been certified as possessing qualities "commonly associated with Type IIa diamonds" by the Gemological Institute of America and is being hailed as the most momentous discovery since the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond was unearthed in 1905.
Although not as large as the Cullinan, the Lesedi La Rona's composition means it has the potential to yield the world's largest top-quality diamond once it has been cut and polished. Of course, such rare, pristine quality comes with a price tag and current estimates have the Lesedi La Rona valued in excess of $70 million.
This incredible necklace by Hong Kong-based jewellery artist Wallace Chan brings together an entire family of flawless diamonds weighing in at a total of 383.4 carats. 24 of the stones, including the 104 carat internally flawless centre stone, were cut from the Cullinan Heritage - a 507.55 carat rough diamond bought by retail jeweller Chow Tai Fook for $35.3 million in 2010.
The necklace itself represents 47,000 hours of work and features pink diamonds, green jadeite and white jade in ornate forms including a bat for good luck and butterflies for eternal love. As if that wasn't spectacular enough, the modular design of the necklace means it can be worn in 27 different ways making it the ultimate transformer jewel for your capsule collection.
The newest diamond to join the elite handful of top ranking rare diamonds is Graff’s Golden Empress. The Fancy Intense cushion cut yellow diamond weighs in at 132.55 carats and was cut from a 299 carat opaque diamond discovered in Lethoso. The rough diamond also yielded six pear-shaped and two brilliant round satellite diamonds.
Unveiled earlier this year, the Golden Empress is available for bespoke creations or as part of a necklace set with 30 other yellow diamonds, making it a truly unique and covetable piece from this purveyor of the world’s finest gems.
Unveiled as the centrepiece of De Beer’s 1999 Millennium Diamonds collection, this incredible 203.04 carat diamond is the world’s second-largest grade D (top colour) flawless diamond after the privately owned Centenary Diamond. The stone, which is cut from a 777 carat diamond discovered in Congo in 1990, was so famous that within weeks of it going on display at the Millennium Dome an attempt to steal it during a jewellery heist was foiled by the Metropolitan Police.
The stone remains unsold because, despite having an estimated carat-weight value of $5 million, De Beers insists that the stone’s rarity, clarity and irreplaceability make all talk of monetary value irrelevant. However, for the right price, we think they could be persuaded.
While much smaller than its colourless and yellow counterparts, at 23.88 carats the Graff Pink is undeniably one of the rarest and most desirable stones in existence. Bought for £29 million as a rough 24.78 carat stone from a private collector in 2010, Laurence Graff set about removing 25 natural flaws from one of the few truly pink diamonds to exceed five carats. After painstakingly removing less than one carat, the end result was an internally flawless and vivid stone that has been certified as one of the largest and most valuable pink diamonds in the world.
At 407.48 carats this yellow-brown stone is one of the largest diamonds in existence and has an equally astonishing history to match. Discovered among a pile of a rubble by a young Congolese girl in 1989, the 890 carat rough stone was sold by her uncle to De Beers before passing into the hands of diamond dealers Donald Zale, Louis Glick and Marvin Samuels. After a brief spell on display at the Smithsonian, Samuels cut the stone into one large “triolette” centrepiece and 14 satellite stones.
Louis Glick offered the stone for auction at Christie’s in 1988 but the lot was withdrawn when it failed to reach the reserve price of $20 million – at least $8.5 million more than had ever been bid for a single stone. In 2002 Glick tried his luck on eBay but, at $15 million, the lot failed to gain any interest. Eventually it passed to Mouawad Jewellery who used the diamond as the centrepiece of its currently unsold L’Incomparable necklace which, with a price tag of $55 million, set a new world record as the world's most expensive necklace.
As if further proof was needed of Graff’s dealings with some of the world’s most exquisite diamonds, the third stone in our list to be in the company's possession is the Wittelsbach-Graff. An exceptionally rare 31.06 carat internally flawless deep blue stone, it originated in the Kollur mines of Andhara Pradesh and first belonged to King Philip IV of Spain for inclusion in his daughter’s dowry. It was bought by Laurence Graff in 2008 for £16.4 million and has been displayed at both The Smithsonian and Natural History Museum of New York.
The Unique Pink diamond sold for $28 million at Sotheby's on May 17, 2016.
Weighing in at 15.38 carats, the Unique Pink is the largest Fancy Vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction. Recently cut and mounted as a ring by Cora International, the gem went on sale as part of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on May 17, 2016.
Less than 5% of all diamonds are classified as true coloured diamonds and the Unique Pink is particularly special for its Type IIa certification - the most chemically pure class of diamond - from the Gemological Institute of America. As well as owning this incredibly rare stone, the new owner will also be able to rename it thus memorialising their purchase for posterity.
The Oppenheimer blue diamond has now been sold at auction, reaching $57.5 million.
One of there rarest gems in the world, the Oppenheimer diamond became the largest Vivid Blue diamond ever to appear at auction when it went under the hammer at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on May 18, 2016. Named for its previous owner and diamond connoisseur Sir Phillip Oppenheimer, this 14.62 carat rectangular-cut stone was accompanied by its original platinum mounting and a monograph from the Gemological Institute of America attesting its rarity, provenance and clarity.
The Oppenheimer blue diamond smashed its estimate of $38 - 45 million, eventually selling for $57.5 million, thus breaking records for the most expensive blue diamond ever sold.
The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 has now been auctioned, reaching a sale price of $32 million.
This 10.10 carat, Internally Flawless, Fancy Vivid blue diamond is the largest oval blue diamond ever to appear for auction and is set be sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong on April 5, 2016. As the name suggests, it was part of the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection, comprising 10 rare blue diamond and one 203.4 carat white diamond (the Millennium Star - also in this list) which were displayed at the Millennium Dome and the subject of a consequent attempted jewellery heist.
The Millennium Jewel 4 is only the second diamond from the collection to be offered on the open market and, while it is unlikely to surpass the Blue Moon of Josephine which fetched $48.4 million in November 2015, estimates currently stand at a noteworthy $30-35 million.
This rare diamond is now sold
Currently set in a platinum ring with a double row of pave diamonds, this cushion-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond is the largest of its kind ever to be offered for auction. The 16.08 carat diamond was sold by Christie's in Geneva on November 10, 2015, when it exceeded the predicted price and went for $28,523,925.
Already one of the most sought after hues, the gem is made exceptionally rare for its flawless clarity and the fact that it contains no trace of a secondary hue. Its rarity is further underscored by the fact that only 1 in 100,000 diamonds possess a colour deep enough to be classified as Fancy and, in 250 years of auction history, only three pink diamonds over 10 carats have ever appeared for sale.