Bigger, brighter, better – from record-breaking auctions, to large diamond finds, 2012 was a year that saw some diamond items worthy of a book of their own!
There’s been lots of good news coming out of the Karowe diamond mine in Botswana over the past year. Perhaps the best news was the discovery of a rare 9.46-carat rare Type II blue diamond. Where there’s one, more are sure to follow…
The 1.32 Carat Argyle Siren
Never one to reveal pricing information, Rio Tinto Diamonds said this year’s Argyle pink diamond tender delivered “exceptional” results. The top item of this years sale was a 1.32-carat radiant cut Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink VS2 diamond named Argyle Siren, which was bought by John Glajz.

A 131.5 carat white diamond was discovered at the Lonrho Mining Lulo Concession in north-eastern Angola. The diamond was the largest stone recovered by the Perth-based company since it began treating alluvial gravels through its Dense Media Separation plant at the Lulo project in 2010.

It was a good year for diamonds at auction. The Clark Pink, a 9-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond ring by Dreicer & Co. sold for a U.S. auction record of $15,762,500 or $1.75 million per carat.

Another pink making the news was a 12.04 carat fancy intense pink diamond sold for $17.5 million at Christie’s spring sale of Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels, giving it a price of $1,452,267 per carat (p/c). The Martian Pink was sold after a 10-minute bidding war. The diamond, which was sold by Harry Winston in 1976, had a pre-sale estimate of $8.4-$12 million.

At the same sale, a record $551,000 per carat was paid for a 6.04 carat Burmese ruby while a private Asian buyer bought a pair of brilliant-cut D / Flawless diamonds of 10.88 carats each for $ 4.9 million, or $223,000 p/c. D / Flawless diamonds weighing more than 10 carats are a hot purchase among investors in diamonds. A matching pair of such a diamond carries an extra premium.

The Jewels For Hope: The Collection of Mrs. Lily Safra sale, which took place at Christies Geneva, could be said to be the auction of the year. The sale, which was 100 percent sold by lot and by value almost doubled pre-sale expectations to realize a total of $37,924,551. But what made the result of the sale so outstanding is that The Lily Safra Foundation donated the full proceeds of the sale to charitable organizations.

The 10.48 Fancy Deep Blue
Diamond Purchase by Laurence
Graff for $10.86 Million
Prior to the sale, the Foundation announced 20 charities that would benefit from the sale. Given the outstanding result, the Foundation announced an additional 12 organizations that it will now be able to support. The top lot of the night was a 32.08 carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring, by Chaumet. The ring, which had an estimate of $3-$5 million, sold for $6.74 million, making it the most expensive ruby sold at auction. To reflect the sale, it has been renamed “The Hope Ruby.”

In April, a 3.54 carat fancy blue SI1 diamond set in a platinum ring by Tiffany was the leading item at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale, selling for $2,434,500. The result was nearly five times the $0.5 million top estimate the auction house estimated. According to Sotheby’s, the result was a record price for a fancy blue diamond.

Perhaps the biggest sale of the year was a diamond that was, if not as big as the Ritz, then pretty sizeable. The 76.02 carat, D / IF cushion cut Archduke Joseph Diamond sold for a whopping $21,474,525. The $282,545 per carat price is a record for a colorless diamond sold at an auction. The diamond was previously auctioned at Christie’s Geneva in 1993 for $6.5 million, or $10.4 million at today’s value. This is a 106.2 percent appreciation in 19 years.

Just days later, it was the turn of rival auction house Sotheby’s to host its Magnificent Jewels sale. The star lot of the night was the sale of an exceptionally rare Fancy Deep blue, Flawless 10.48 carat diamond. The stunning item was bought by Laurence Graff for $10.86 million. At $1,036,273 p/c, this was not only a world record per carat price for a Flawless Fancy Deep blue diamond, but it was also a world record price for a Briolette cut diamond at auction.
Idex Magazine Issue 272
 

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