Rare diamonds gain traction as asset class with record sales

Geneva: A blue jewellery box for the most extraordinary blue diamond of all times!


GENEVA – Magnificent colour diamonds are gaining stature as an asset class due to their rarity and extraordinary beauty, achieving successive world record prices this year culminating in the landmark sale of the Oppenheimer Blue.

2016 has been the year of the blue diamond, one of the rarest of colour gems. Blues have taken centre stage at auctions around the world, starting with the sale of the 10.1-carat De Beers Millennium Blue Jewel 4 in Hong Kong on April 5 for a record price for any jewel sold at auction in Asia of US$31.8 million.

Ehud Laniado, chairman of Cora International, seller of the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in November 2015,  said he saw potential for the most rare diamonds to sell for hundreds of millions of dollars each in future years, mirroring a recent trend in the art market for such prices for the most exceptional paintings. The extraordinary prices reflect the emergence of more new billionaires than at any time in history.

Provenance can be a vital component in a diamond’s valuation, said Tobias Kormind, managing director of 77Diamonds, the UK’s biggest online retailer of diamond jewellery.

He said that in his view, the new owner of the Oppenheimer Blue should keep the name as it brings back memories of the time when De Beers, which was owned by the Oppenheimer family, was by far the dominant player in the industry.

ADTF will showcase a selection of exquisite fancy colour diamonds in 2017.