NYC Diamond Blog’s goal is to inform the consumer of all Diamond news, innovations, as well as what is hot and exciting! Here are some notes from the highest level trade publication concerning fancy color natural diamonds. Keep in mind NYC Wholesale Diamonds carries a magnificent collection of Natural Red, Blue, Canary Yellow, Pink, and Purple Diamonds.
Unique large and color diamonds are poised to fetch strong prices on the auction circuit again this year. The Sotheby’s Hong Kong jewels sale taking place on April 7 and the Christie’s New York jewels sale on April 16, are well timed to carry on the momentum for these goods from the Basel shows this past week – or more correctly, the momentum from last year.
Exceptional diamonds consistently broke records at various Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions in 2013 and competition rose between the two houses to source the most exciting goods that they could place under the hammer. Subsequently, demand at both The Diamond Show in Basel and the Baselworld fair signaled continued robust demand for unique diamonds and jewelry, with a still growing appetite for high-end goods that the auction houses can build upon.
At a glance, the upcoming auctions don’t have standout individual stones that are expected to break records, as was offered last year. However, they still have an impressive lineup of lots.
Sotheby’s is anticipating to fetch $7.3 million to $8.3 million for a diamond necklace consisting of 17 brilliant cut, D, IF diamonds with a combined weight of 85.33 carats. The top lot at the Christie’s auction is a pair of ear pendants from round, 22.60-carat and 22.31-carat, D, IF diamonds, that is expected to sell for between $7 million and $10 million. An oval, 40.43-carat, D, potentially flawless diamond was given an upper estimate of $7.8 million, or 192,926 per carat, by Christie’s.
While some argue that the auctions have developed into an unsustainable bubble, dealers note that the high prices achieved at auction reflect what is happening in the market – albeit very specific high-end large and fancy color segments of the trade.
Dealers explain a number of factors fueling the continued uptrend: people want unique things and these goods provide that distinction; the wealthy are still buying in the top end and are consistently in the market as investors or collectors; investors are looking for interesting alternatives to store value since gold has depreciated in the past year and concerns remain about the U.S. dollar; and wealthy consumers in distressed or conflict-ridden countries tend to buy high value assets that are easily transportable.
While these factors are driving demand equally for large diamonds and color diamonds, it is important to distinguish between the two markets.
In particular, there was a lot of color on display in Basel with many in the trade noting that they’re being pushed by jewelry retailers to satisfy growing consumer demand for color. Tiffany & Co. CEO Michael Kowalski noted increasing demand for color diamonds and other gemstones in a recent conference call, with the company’s yellow collection being a standout growth item in 2013.