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Fancy red diamond - heart shape

The variety of fancy colored diamonds

They say “diamonds are a girls’ best friend” and there are some breathtakingly beautiful diamonds out on the market. Those white gleaming diamonds available in a variety of sizes and cuts, but have you ever seen or even heard of the variety of fancy colored diamonds?

Fancy red diamond - heart shape Diamonds can come in twelve different colors such as yellow, pink, blue, green, orange, brown, gray, purple, red, fancy black and fancy white. The color of the diamond is made due to different defects in the crystal lattice of the stone. These defects influence the optical transparency along with the addition of chemical impurities found in the stones’ composition all create the multitude of color variations.

Defining the diamond and calculating the price

Unlike their colorless diamond counterparts, fancy colored diamonds are not held up to the standards of the typical 4C’s (carat weight, clarity, color and cut) when it comes to defining the diamond and calculating the price or value of the diamond.

Traditionally, the lack of color is what makes diamonds so popular and sought after, but in recent years the popularity of colored diamonds has grown. Women want something unique, something defining of their personality instead of the traditional colorless diamond.

Fancy colored diamonds shapes

Fancy colored diamonds are available in a variety of shapes or cuts as well, such as heart, oval, round, pear, marquise, emerald, asscher, and even princess cut just to name a few. Besides the common and popular cuts there are also the more unique and harder to find cuts such as novelty step cut, star, shield cut, modified kite step, and briolette cut. These more unique cuts of fancy diamonds tend to be less expensive due to their uniqueness.

The fancy colored diamonds are made for more than just rings as well, you can have the diamond picked separately and find a setting that is just right for you, such as in earrings or even a necklace. So, with all this wonderful knowledge under your belt you can get your special love a truly unique, one of a kind gift for the next holiday, a gift she will cherish for years to come.

Fancy Colored Diamonds and the holiday season

Fancy Color Diamonds and the Holiday Season

As the summer vacation period comes to an end and thoughts start to wander to the critical holiday sales season, what is the state of the American diamond and jewelry market?

U.S. Market Shows Strength Ahead of Holiday Season

The general consensus, certainly according to comments heard at the JCK Show Las Vegas which ended in early June, was that the US market is stable. And at a time when the Chinese market is declining, the stability of the American market is proving to be a crucial advantage for the global diamond business.

Fancy Colored Diamonds and the holiday seasonAccording to reports based on interim government figures, overall U.S. jewelry and watch sales amounted to $5.2 billion. Jewelry sales posted a similar performance, with sales of $4.6 billion.

For the first six months of the year, jewelry sales came in at nearly $29 billion.
The US economy is continuing to show signs of a turnaround. Unemployment and gasoline prices are declining, while stock markets and house prices are rising, and retail sales are becoming stronger.

An unsettled global economy

There is no doubt that the U.S. economy is gaining strength: unemployment is down to 5.3 percent from 10 percent in 2009. Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 3.7 percent in the third quarter, and the federal deficit is estimated at $486 billion this year, or about a third of what it was in 2009.

Indeed, the United States is one of the bright spots in an unsettled global economy. Much of Europe remains in a rut, with little if any growth. The so-called BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China, which were seen just a few years ago as being the nations that would push the global economy forward, are today among the most problematic.

Brazil is facing severe political problems due to alleged corruption at the highest levels and Russia is having to deal with sanctions due to its involvement in Ukraine and plunging oil prices which have hammered revenues.  Meanwhile, in India, the picture is mixed, and China is increasingly shaky with its currency being devalued by the authorities to make its exports more attractive and the Shanghai stock exchange crash of June-July seeing trillions of dollars of wealth being destroyed.

In an indicator of the state of diamond and jewelry sales in the United States and globally, Signet Jewelers, which has more than 3,000 stores across the United States and Canada, as well as in Britain, reported that sales grew 15 percent to $1.4 billion during the three months ending August 1, driven by its acquisition of Zale Corporation which took place at the start of last year. Same-store sales, a vital indicator of the health of store sales, jumped4.2 percent while net income rose 7 percent. American consumers paid more for jewelry, Signet said, with the average price at its U.S. Sterling division up 4.2 percent.

Store sales jumped strongly

Meanwhile, Tiffany & Co. reported that second quarter sales totaled $991 million while profit was $105 million. Same-store sales jumped strongly, up 7 percent, and beating analyst estimates of 3.5 percent.

And at online retailer Blue Nile, the firm posted an increase in net sales of 6.7 percent to $113.7 million for its fiscal second quarter which ended on July 5. The retailer’s profit was $2.3 million, more than the $2.2 million it recorded in the second quarter of 2014. Blue Nile reported that U.S. engagement net sales for the second quarter 2015 increased by 7.5 percent to $65.5 million, while U.S. non-engagement net sales for the quarter showed an increase of 3.5 percent to $28.7 million.

“We made good progress on our key initiatives which delivered revenue growth and expanded profitability,” commented Harvey Kanter, Blue Nile Chairman, CEO and President.  Overall, the United States remains the leader of the global economy. Its retail sector is continuously picking up, jobless numbers are declining, and consumer confidence is rising.

For now, all eyes will be focused on the September edition of the Hong Kong Gem & Jewellery Fair to see which way the winds are blowing in the global diamond jewelry trade.

Women shopping for diamond jewelry

Women Buying Their Own Jewelry

A little-noticed trend in recent years in the diamond jewelry sector is the increase in self-purchases of jewelry by women. That comes at the same time as huge numbers of now financially independent women. They have more spare cash than in the past, and are proud of their independence and want solid proof for their own self-satisfaction as well as to show off.

They are now able and willing to buy their own diamond jewelry to prove the level of success they have achieved.

Women know exactly what they want

Women shopping for diamond jewelryIn America, Europe and elsewhere across the world, the conventional structure of households is changing radically. Both the mother and father typically work in full-time jobs today. A look at the figures appears to confirm this: less than 10% of American families live on one income. Moreover, 95% of the decisions made in connection to shopping in America are made by women who carry out almost all the shopping alone.

A 2009 study by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) found that 23 percent of self-purchasing women expected to buy jewelry containing diamonds – both white and colored – or colored gemstones or cultured pearls at least once during a typical year, while many women were likely to purchase the jewelry for the sake of fashion. They did not want to simply wait to receive a taste of luxury, especially when they know exactly what they want.

The JCOC report also found that 50% of self-purchasing women will buy a piece of jewelry simply because they like it.

The trend

Self-buying women look for fashion jewelry in earrings and pendants. And local jewelry retailers are responding to the power of women in luxury purchase decisions by offering wish list systems in order to clarify the preference of each woman in the case of an engagement, for example.

Couples are more often shopping together to plan their ring and wedding generally.

The biggest stimulus for the rise of female self-purchasing came from De Beers with its advertising campaign for the right-hand ring: “Left hand is we. Right hand is me. Women of the world raise your right hand.” That was the advertising tagline – and it seems to have struck a chord with women.

“The trend of women buying their own jewelry began with the launch of the tennis bracelet,” according to diamond jewelry analyst Ken Gassman. He said it was about women making a statement about their power to buy themselves their own jewelry.

“The three-stone ring and the right-hand ring were aimed directly at women. That was when female self-purchase really took off,” Gassman said.

Female self-purchase has taken off

Women shoppingFemale self-purchase has taken off as the income gap between men and women has grown, especially in the younger age group. And the jewelry industry needs to attract young women who are more likely to buy for themselves, and to retain them throughout their lifetimes to keep returning to buy jewelry.

Advertising giant J. Walter Thompson, for De Beers in the 1980s, launched the first campaign to encourage female self-purchasing of diamond jewelry. The media firm’s Diamond for Working Women campaign aimed to cash in on the relatively large number of single, working women in the Japanese labor market at the time.

Diamond buying in the country at the time was relatively new, so the ad agency concluded that young female consumers had fewer expectations about receiving diamond jewelry from partners than did their counterparts in the West.

Female diamond jewelry self-purchase has grown globally for more than a decade. No longer seeing it as a gift, women now increasingly buy it for themselves. The Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council (JCOC) found out in a survey a decade ago in the United States that the majority of females who planned to make a jewelry purchase before the end of the year were likely to do it themselves.

What are the reasons for this trend?

Women want to celebrate an important life event, such as a special birthday, or career success, while other women may simply see a particular item that appeals to their tastes or complements their wardrobe.

Females may also buy jewelry as a memento of a place that has special meaning, usually bought on vacation. It may also be bought as a bond with someone the buyer cares about, such as mothers and daughters, or two best friends buying matching jewelry.

Often, the purchase marks an event such as promotion at work, an important birthday or anniversary. Jewelry purchases may also be a strong statement for women who are self-buyers. It has a permanent feel, being made of precious metals such as platinum, gold or silver, and set with the hardest stones known to man such as diamonds and colored gemstones – and that makes a convincing case for purchase.

In addition, the item can be worn repeatedly, with many different outfits and occasions. And, finally, it can be passed on to the next generation.

Where do women buy their own jewelry items?

Almost two-thirds (60 percent) of women buy jewelry at places other than traditional jewelry stores, and the percentage of women buying jewelry online, at department stores and at mass retailers is increasing.

In excess of two-thirds of the women asked said that they had bought jewelry for themselves in the past, and 16 percent planned to do so in the near future. Almost four-fifths of those surveyed said they bought jewelry whenever they saw something they liked, and more than half said they bought it while shopping for others or to celebrate birthdays or accomplishments.

It is difficult to estimate how much the female self-purchase market is worth, partly because of the wide number of of purchasing options in the Internet era, but also because women may often choose the jewelry item but it is paid for by their partner.

The JCOC does not believe that the retail jewelry trade is making enough effort to attract self purchasing women who are now a powerful consumer force in the marketplace.

For example, 66 percent of female self-purchasers in the United States typically will buy new shoes for themselves between two and five times annually, while one in 10 buys new shoes more than five times a year. The situation is similar regarding clothing purchases.

But for jewelry purchases, in a typical year, just two in 10 women bought once a year, while a similar number replied to the survey “not sure” and the same number again said “none.”

Market researchers say the diamond jewelry industry losing a great deal of income by not marketing to modern women.

Valentine’s Day Jewelry Sales

Valentine’s Day Jewelry Sales Seen as Solid

Retail Gets off to Strong Start in 2015 – and Valentine’s Day Jewelry Sales Seen as Solid

Valentine’s Day Jewelry SalesThis year has started well for American retailers as the economy continues to steam ahead. Christmas holiday sales were reasonable – helped by gas prices which fell in the last months of 2014, and have remained low in the first months of 2015. That has put extra money into shoppers’ pockets – and given retailers a boost.

The Christmas season was stable, with U.S. diamond jewelry and other jewelry watch sales in December at $15.25 billion. For all of 2014, jewelry and watch sales were $69.2 billion, the U.S. Commerce Dept reported.

A solid Valentine’s Day

The diamond jewelry trade reported a solid Valentine’s Day as shoppers felt more relaxed about opening their wallets. Although diamond rings were reportedly selling well ahead of Valentine’s Day, other items such as pendants, bracelets, necklaces and earrings were also doing well.

Although there were few specific sources of information regarding color diamonds, some high-end jewelers, such as Tiffany & CO, reported rising sales. Retail research firms predicted that Valentine’s Day spending would increase by 3.8% from 2014 figures.

Spend on Valentine’s Day rose

Falling unemployment over the past year has enabled American consumers to have more spending money for discretionary purchases like jewelry, gifts and dinner dates on special occasions. The average amount consumers spent on Valentine’s Day rose from last year’s $134.56 to $139.70.

The latest data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that the number of annual marriages has increased in recent years. Although Americans are waiting longer to get married, this does not translate to less spending on Valentine’s Day. Unmarried couples were a significant part of holiday revenue and jewelry purchases.

While Valentine’s Day is celebrated by single folks and couples alike, consumers reportedly spend the most amount of money on their significant others and spouses. IBISWorld estimates that revenue for jewelry retailers rose by 5.6% from last year, as consumers have more money to spend.

In 2014, data from U.S. specialty jewelry stores in February reflected a sales increase of 3.7% year on year to $2.91 billion, while sales of watches and jewelry across all retail channels improved 6% to $5.842 billion.

An increase in demand

Demand for jewelryDiamantaires also appear to be in a better frame of mind. One American diamond company executive with strong connections to the New York diamond jewelry business, said he had seen an increase in orders at the start of 2015.

“You can definitely see an improvement in retail sales. It is very gradual, but there is a shift in the way retailers are ordering. They are also saying that there is a rise in demand, especially for rings. It is partly a seasonal thing. As the Spring approaches, this is usually what happens but I believe there is an increase in demand.”

Marketing analysts have identified several trends in shopping patterns that apply just as much to diamond jewelry retailers as to the rest of the retail sector. Among these are ongoing growth in omnichannel shopping. This means that shoppers are buying via all channels – whether online or in bricks-and-mortar stores. Shopping and buying is taking place through multiple channels, with online research followed by in-store purchases.

The challenge for retailers

Another trend relates to sales via mobiles and tablet devices during the holiday season which were impressive, both in terms of the online and in-store traffic driven off of mobile devices. Actual purchasing from a mobile device is an increasingly popular and important sales channel. Clearly, consumers like the flexibility afforded through different channels.

The challenge for retailers is now to work out how to shift and adapt their operations to keep pace with widespread changes in shopping behavior in order to be able to deliver what shoppers are coming to expect. Shopping and researching in one channel, buying in another, and returning in a third are quickly becoming the new normal.

A further strengthening trend is the ongoing development of various payment options. The newest such payment channel is Apple Pay, a mobile payment solution that was launched in late 2014 and is seen developing and expanding further this year. Consumers want to be able to pay quickly, efficient and securely. Just as checkbooks have almost become a feature of a bygone era, so, too, will credit cards eventually as digital payment becomes the norm.

The rapid rise in the number of retailers accepting mobile payment options means further growth of mobile pay adoption is inevitable. Consumers are poised to want to experiment more with this form of payment this year, and credit card companies can be expected to fight back with various discount schemes in a bid to retain market share.

Same-day delivery

Another increasingly important feature of modern-day shopping is same-day delivery. The desire of consumers to be able to look, reserve and buy something from phone or laptop and have it delivered that same day is becoming a standard feture of purchasing goods. However, it is a hugely complex logistical operation.

It involves building additional distribution centers, learning how to manage pulling from store stock, partnering with third-party delivery firms and even launching a drone force, as Amazon said it planned to do for the delivery smaller items. It seems clear that this will a focus for companies in 2015.

If there is one trend that is becoming clearer ever year, it is that sales seasons are increasingly difficult to hold. Customers want to shop when they see a great deal and not just when a retailer or the retail industry says it is a great deal. In 2014, retailers increasingly experimented with start dates and sales periods and launched many flash sales as well as daily deals and shifting promotional calendar events in a bid to bring in business.

Head  in the direction of consolidation

Is the American retail environment becoming over-populated? There is little doubt that there is saturation where store numbers are concerned. Consequently, retailers who overbuilt in recent years and over-opened regarding stores will have little choice but to close underperforming stores and head in the direction of consolidation.

American retail operations have a deep affinity to data and statistics, but is that information being wisely and effectively used? Retailers continuously collect, analyze and attempt to optimize data. Their specific challenge will be to act on that data to improve their business operations and to gain meaningful and actionable customer insight.

Buy Diamond Jewelry

Can ‘Millenials’ Be Persuaded to Buy Diamond Jewelry?


Buy Diamond JewelryIt’s been more than 60 years since De Beers persuaded young consumers to mark the milestone of their engagement or marriage with a diamond.  Time has moved on and the ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ advertising line is showing its age. It is not entirely clear to the diamond jewelry marketing executives whether a new generation called the ‘Millennials’, born from the early 1980s onwards, is interested in buying their products.

The Millennials are not following in the footsteps of previous generations when it comes to the rights of passage into adulthood.  For one, they are delaying marriage, or doing away with it all together.  For those who choose to marry, they are dispensing with many of the well-known wedding traditions.

“The problem for jewelry marketers isn’t that Millennials are rejecting diamond engagement rings, but marketers need to talk with the next generation in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their lifestyles.  That ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ tagline has lost meaning for a generation that has heard the widely-quoted ’50 percent of all marriages end in divorce’ statistics and often times has experienced it in their families growing up,” says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and author of a new study, Marketing Jewelry to Millennials: How to sell luxury jewelry to the next generation of affluents.

Millennials, it seems, get a greater thrill from buying technology than they do jewelry. It’s not just the need to mark an engagement with the purchase of a diamond ring that Millennials are questioning.  A recent survey among 1,335 affluents, 18 percent of whom are Millennials, discovered that affluent Millennials (aged 24-34 years and incomes of $100k and above) get more pleasure from their technology purchases than they do from buying fine jewelry.

For example, some 46 percent of Millennials said buying technology is a category that gives them great pleasure, as compared with 25 percent who felt the same about jewelry.  This finding is particularly relevant to jewelers since the commitment to pre-purchase research and spending levels are very similar for technology and jewelry.

Danziger says, “These Millennials would much rather drop $700 on the latest phone or tablet computer, than on a new pair of earrings or cuff links.  Marketers and retailers need to discover how to change the conversation, so that buying jewelry is as fresh and exciting as the latest iPhone. The problem facing jewelers is how to communicate with Millennials to reassure them they already have the skills needed to buy fine jewelry and that doing so is just as cool as buying the latest techno-gadget.”

Creating a New ‘Buying Experience’

Hearts On Fire has found a new way to make shopping for jewelry cool, and the jeweler may have found a way to bridge the generation gap.  The company has designed a whole new jewelry buying experience in a store that evokes some of the subtle design aesthetics and high-tech vibe one finds in an Apple store.  Today there are two HOF stores in Las Vegas and King of Prussia, PA, with more to be opened.

Explaining the new ideas around displaying and selling diamond jewelry, Glenn Rothman, CEO of Hearts On Fire, said, “With all of the technology and digital innovation in our lives today, consumer expectations have changed when it comes to how they want to shop.  Especially when it comes to highly considered purchases, such as diamond jewelry, consumers no longer want a traditional feel and are searching for a more unique, personal experience. That is why we are excited to continue to refine and expand our retail concept – breaking conventional shopping barriers and making the diamond jewelry retail experience enjoyable and interactive fun again.”

The different jewelry store experience starts with the sheer curtains that hang on the inside windows and the studied use of shade and lighting to create a mood inside the store.  There are no overhead florescent lights inside, but area lighting that the store’s staff can control depending upon the lighting needs and feelings they want to create.  The store features several full length mirrors that catch light and give customers the chance to experience the jewelry they try from head-to-toe.

There are eye-level ‘Jewel Boxes’ display cases that spotlight a carefully curated selection of designs and replace long display cases you have to bend over and that are filled with row-after-row of look-alike jewelry.  Finally the store has a high-tech edge with keyless access to the Jewel Box cases and a ‘Knowledge Wall’ that digitally displays information about the brand, the diamond cutting process that creates the brilliance in the Hearts On Fire diamonds, and models and celebrities wearing beautifully designed pieces.

Danziger says: “Jewelers need to learn a whole new language to connect with the next generation of jewelry customers – the Millennials.  That language has to communicate not just in words and pictures, but in emotion and experience.  It has to have the cool sophistication of high tech, but also the back-to-basics values of fine design and quality.”

Millennials: The Boomerang Generation

Millennials are being called the boomerang generation since many are unable or unwilling to leave their parents’ home. Sometimes, they are called the Peter Pan generation because they supposedly don’t want to grow up.

But now marketers, manufacturers and retailers are recognizing the group’s potential as something important to their bottom line: the consumers who will drive the economy in the decades ahead.
“Our whole consumer model is based on the baby boom,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial. Now, the coming generation is “setting up a whole new consumer model.”

Perhaps the biggest change is that today’s young adults — in part because they came of age in a harsher economic climate, in part because they have many more choices — are putting off major life decisions as well as the big purchases that typically go with them. As a result, their consumer behavior is unpredictable. “They’ve learned to live life in a different way,” says one expert.

There are more 23-year-olds — 4.7 million of them — than any other age, according to U.S. census data from June 2014. The second most populous age group was 24, and the third was 22. Millennials will account for one-third of the adult population by 2020.

The generation is also the most educated generation in American history. Far more are going to college than in past times. The largest slice is now graduating and emerging in a post-recession landscape where the job market is still troubled but starting to show signs of improving. Many of the new college graduates have student debt to pay off. And wage growth for younger college graduates has risen slowly since the recession, lagging that of all full-time workers and making expensive purchases more difficult.

But they also have significant earning potential in the years to come and, because of the sheer size of the group, have the ability to reshape the economy in ways that haven’t happened since the huge baby boom generation was hitting the job market and moving into first homes.

Mortgage lenders and automobile manufacturers, who deal with the largest purchases most people make, have yet to figure out how to successfully tap this group of consumers.

This is a group of consumers which represents $1.3 trillion in consumer spending, out of total spending of nearly $11 trillion, according to a study by Moosylvania, a digital marketing company in St. Louis.

By 2020 Millennials are projected to be 50% of the workforce and by 2025  this number is expected to reach 75%. This is a group of people that grew up as digital natives meaning they had access to social networks, smart phones, tablets, and pretty much all of the other pieces of technology that we use today and the new behaviors that go along with them. This is a generation that doesn’t know what it’s like to get 200 emails a day, sit in cubicles, or use many of the legacy technology platforms that most organizations use today. In additional, Millennials are also bringing new attitudes, values, and approaches to getting work done. It’s no wonder why organizations around the world are so concerned with this new generation of worker.

pink diamond

Choosing and selecting color diamonds


Selecting Color Diamonds – Beware of Pitfalls

How do you go about choosing and selecting a color diamond? It’s not as easy as it may seem and there are many hurdles that can trip up the innocent buyer who is unaware of what to look for.
It is not just a case of selecting a colored diamond that appears good in a picture or even in real life as you hold it between your fingers. Images may not always present a comprehensive and true view of the stone. In reality, it may be lighter or darker; it may have more sparkle or less.
That means that in order to determine what the gem really does look like up close, you have to be aware of identification tips.

Color Quality

pink diamond The hue of a diamond may vary in its richness whatever the color: pink, blue, brown, or any other. And if a diamond has been color enhanced in a lab, it will as often as not have a more vibrant color. Be aware that the majority of natural colored stones do not have very vibrant colors. And if they do, they are usually more expensive.
When selecting a color diamond, buyers should also take into account the setting for the stone. Smaller colored diamonds can also emphasize a larger white diamond. The color of the type of setting is also important to consider. Some types of metal may complement certain colors better. Whenever possible, it is best to choose a diamond before selecting the setting.

Colored Diamond Grade

Colored diamonds are given a specific grade, which is different than the famous ‘4 Cs’ of regular white diamonds. The color grade refers to the depth of the hue of the gem. These color grades are well known and are provided in grading reports by famous labs such as the GIA, IGI, HRD and others.
Buyers should be aware, however, that not all gems are sent to labs for evaluation, and that in cases where a diamond has been certified by one of these grading institutes and been graded, it will inevitably cost more than similar uncertified diamonds.
If a non-certified diamond is being offered for sale, another way to see a better picture of the stone’s color quality is to ask for a multi-angle video rather than several simple still shots.

A Dealer Gives His Advice

A well-known dealer in colored stones says a buyer has to know the sector inside out. “You have to know the business very well to be able to place a price on a stone,” he explained. “A poor hue can reduce the price of a diamond by 50-70 percent. You need a well-trained eye to see the imperfections in the stone because if they are missed you can get it very wrong.

“The risk involved in colored diamonds is much higher than for white diamonds. A colored diamond can sell for $10,00 per carat or $1 million per carat. Is the stone going to turn brownish? What is written on the certificate? One prefers straight descriptions on the certificate, such as ‘fancy pink’, and not something like ‘orangey-pink’ since that can affect the price tremendously.

“If the rough stone is not a straight color, then you need an extremely experienced and trained eye to understand it and its potential.” As for setting the price of the colored diamond, that is determined by the quality and scarcity of such goods, he said.

“A pricelist has no relevance because there are not that many colored diamonds available. The price of pink and blue diamonds is set by auctions, while the price of yellow diamonds is according to the quality of the goods and what is available on the market,” he added.

The Hope Diamond

Famous Color Diamonds


The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond
The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond, an exceptional blue gem, is possibly the most famous fancy color diamond in the world, with a rich history and interesting story behind it. French diamond merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier brought it back from India to present to King Louis XIV. It was originally cut into a 69 carat triangle shape stone and was passed down by several French kings until it ended up as a 45.5-carat dark blue diamond that was bought by London banker Henry Philip Hope in 1824.

Later it was bought by an American, and finally ended up belonging to famous jeweler Harry Winston in 1949, who presented it to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. nine years later where it is on permanent display.

The Wittelsbach diamond

Among the most famous blue diamonds is the 35.5-carat Wittelsbach diamond for which Laurence Graff paid $24 million. He recut the diamond to remove imperfections, and then sold the Wittelsbach Graff for an undisclosed amount.

The Bulgari Blue Diamond

Auction house Christies sold The Bulgari Blue Diamond in 2010 for $15.7 million, a record for a blue diamond sold at auction. This is a ring featuring a 10.95-carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond cut into a triangular shape.

The Dresden Green

In the middle of the18th century, the Dresden Green, a 41-carat pear-shaped green diamond emerged and is the largest natural green diamond in existence.

A record was set for a green diamond sold at auction in 2008 when Sotheby’s achieved $1,222,222 per carat for a 3.08-carat green diamond at auction in Geneva.

Fancy yellow diamonds

As diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa in the 1860s, fancy yellow diamonds were increasingly found. A 21-carat rough yellow diamond was put on display at the Paris World Exposition in 1867 and was later cut into the 10.73-carat round brilliant, ‘Eureka’. .
The Sun Drop, a 110.3-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond, was auctioned by Sotheby’s for more than $11 million in 2011. The 616-carat Kimberley Octahedron, the largest diamond in the world, is a yellow diamond.

Fancy color diamonds

Most pink diamonds originate in Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Northwest Australia. British jeweler Laurence Graff paid more than $46 million for a 24.78-carat Fancy Intense Pink in 2010, setting a record for a diamond sold at auction.
In 2011, a 4.19 carat Fancy Vivid Orange cushion shape diamond was bought for almost $3 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong. A champagne color diamond once owned by Elizabeth Taylor was sold at auction in 2011 for around $2.3 million.
Natural red diamonds are the rarest stones in the world. Perhaps the most famous is the 5.11 carat Mousaieff Red, the largest pure red diamond ever graded. Christie’s sold a 10.67-carat grey diamond for nearly $1.2 million at an auction In 2011.
Fancy color diamonds

Colored diamond prices rising


Pink, Red Yellow and blue – colored diamond prices keep rising

Fancy color diamonds
Fancy color diamonds

The colored diamond sector is the most spectacular part of the diamond industry since they are less than 1 percent of the entire diamond market which is largely comprised of regular, white, diamonds. And that is one of the main reasons for the continuous rise in the price of colored diamonds, thus making them an excellent investment opportunity.

Over the past 40 years, wholesale prices of fancy color diamonds have never decreased. Certain color classes, like reds, blues and pinks, have seen annualized returns in the double and triple digits during this time. Investment grade blue and pink diamonds have seen their price per carat leap 40-fold over the past four decades. As an asset class, fancy color diamonds have seen clear long-term appreciation.

Supply is falling while demand is rising

According to industry estimates, there is one carat of colored diamonds for every 100,000 carats of white stones. And if that was not enough to make colored diamond prices continuously soar higher, supply is falling while demand, particularly from collectors and investors, is rising.

Given that colored diamonds are so much rarer than white diamonds, they naturally cost more than their transparent counterparts. That also means that factors affecting diamond prices and sales are different than those for the white diamond market.

Indeed, the colored diamond market is such a nice sector that the number of specialists is very small. There are very few people in Israel who have deep experience in colored diamonds. And there are very few polishers who have the experience to work with such diamonds.”

The Cullinan mine in South Africa is the best-known source of blue stones, while rare pink diamonds most usually come from the Rio Tinto Argyle operation in Western Australia. However, neither of these mines is getting any younger, and the supply of rare diamonds is declining – thus making them even more attractive as an investment.

Fancy yellow round diamond
Fancy yellow round diamond

A few years ago British jewelry dealer Laurence Graff paid a record-breaking $46 million for a 24.78-carat fancy intense pink diamond at an auction in Geneva. As if to illustrate the extraordinary and unpredictable demand for such colored stones, the sale price was well beyond pre-sale expectations of around $1 million per carat. As a world-renowned diamond and jewelry expert, it can be assumed that Graff paid the huge price believing prices will rise higher.

“What makes colored diamonds so popular and leads people to pay such high prices for them?” asks a diamond dealer. “Perhaps the most important is that, unlike transparent diamonds, color gives warmth and character. It makes the gem even more irresistible. In addition to that, as with precious gemstones, jewelry set with colored stones can be more effectively worn in a fashion sense. The right color of clothing can be set effectively with colored diamonds.”

Colored diamonds as an investment opportunity

Colored diamonds as an investment opportunity is clear against the background of a supply shortage in the coming years due to rising demand from China and the Far East. Collectors and investors are looking at white diamonds as an investment for the future due to the shortfall that we know is coming, which means that colored diamonds are an even clearer investment prospect given their extraordinary rarity.

Pink diamonds, since being launched onto the jewelry industry more than 30 years ago, have seen their value almost double every five years. High-profile purchases by celebrities of such diamonds has boosted demand further. These include the purchase by actor Ben Affleck in 2003 of a six-carat pink diamond ring worth a reported $1.2 million which he gave to then-fiancée Jennifer Lopez.

10 Carat yellow diamondFootballer David Beckham reportedly bought his wife Victoria a $1.8 million, 10-carat pink diamond. And American basketball star Kobe Bryant bought her an eight-carat purple diamond ring worth around $4 million. However, demand for pinks, in what might be described as the non-celebrity market, is generally in the range of 1 to 2 carats, while the deeper the saturation of color the higher the cost.
If pink diamonds are rare, then blue, orange, green and red diamonds define an even greater degree of rarity, and thus have never seen a fall in value. Indeed, many of them have been sold a number of times, setting new records with every transaction.

As with Graff’s purchase of the Graff Pink diamond, and the record prices regularly being recorded at major auctions by Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and other auctioneers in the past two years, there does not appear to be a pricelist to work from.

A long-term investment

Colored diamonds are bought as a long-term investment, meaning they are kept out of the market for lengthy periods. That in itself makes them even rarer, ensuring that the diamonds, when they are put up for sale – sometimes only once in 20 years – will command extraordinarily high prices. “We are talking about portable, wearable, fashionable, high-profile forms of wealth,” said a dealer. “It’s not like gold or cash that is under lock and key in a bank vault – although many diamonds are similarly locked away – they are worn for pleasure as well as being an investment.”

The huge amounts paid for colored diamonds also points to another reason for their meteoric rise in price. Despite the advertising and promotional work done by diamond producers and other elements of the pipeline over the years to counter the claims by some that diamonds are a commodity, there is nonetheless a feeling that white diamonds are very similar and a mass market exists for them, said a dealer.

“You can buy a diamond ring or bracelet or necklace just about anywhere in the world where the diamond cuts are similar and the diamonds look alike. Compare that with colored diamonds which are so very rare. There is no way you could class them as a category. Bear in mind that the wealthy always want something that others do not have, and rare colored diamonds fit the bill.

“There are diamantaires who have gone into the niche market for colored diamonds because they see that they are able to distinguish their goods from the rest of the market. That makes good business sense, although it also means you have to have an exceptional understanding of the market. They can also offer items that fit in with a trend of recent years among consumers, along with the movement for environmentally conscious and fair trade goods, to acquire “natural” goods. “What can be more ‘natural’ than a colored diamond? A certain color diamond can fit in with consumers’ personal favorites and play to their emotions.”

Zoe Diamond

Fancy color diamonds for sale

December 8, 2014

Sale of Blue and Red Diamonds Show Ongoing Demand For Colored Gemstones

Zoe Diamond
The blue Zoe Diamond – image courtesy of Sotheby’s

The sale last month of two spectacular diamonds show the continuing demand for colored gemstones in general – and spectacular gems in particular. The sales also served to keep the spot light on colored diamonds and the advantages they bring in bringing not just sparkle, but deep and intense color that also offer fashion options.

The Zoe Diamond

A 9.75-carat, pear-shaped diamond, sold at Sotheby’s in New York in November, for $32,645,000 ($3,348,205 per carat) set two new world auction records: for the price for any blue diamond, and for the price-per-carat for any diamond.The diamond was the center of attention of seven bidders who competed for it for 20 minutes, before finally being sold to a Hong Kong private collector who named it The Zoe Diamond. The diamond is accompanied by a GIA report stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Blue, natural color, VVS2 clarity, potentially internally flawless.

The previous per-carat auction record for any diamond was $2,398,152, set by a 14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond at Christie’s in Geneva in November 2013.

The previous auction record for any blue diamond was $24,311,191, or $683,000 per carat, set by the Wittelsbach diamond at Christie’s London in December 2008. Weighing 35.56 carats, the famous stone has a GIA report stating that it is Fancy Deep Greyish Blue color, VS2 clarity and a Type IIb exceptional stone.

Red diamond sold for $5.1 Million
The 2.09-carat, heart-shaped fancy red diamond ring – image courtesy of Christie’s

All but one of the 42 lots on offer were sold, with 93 percent of sold lots achieving prices in excess of their high pre-sale estimates.

The sale also saw a fancy blue diamond pendant, with a pear-shaped diamond weighing 9.15 carats, VS1 clarity, sell for $2,965,000, double its high pre-sale estimate of $1.5 million.

Meanwhile, a gold and diamond Rivière by Cartier circa 1948, set with 29 old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 111.00 carats and completed with a clasp set with a round fancy deep yellow diamond weighing 4.20 carats, sold for $2,797,00, nearly double its $1.5 million pre-sale high estimate

An Important Fancy Blue Diamond Pendant, the pear-shaped diamond weighing 9.15 carats, VS1 clarity, which sold for $2,965,000, double its high estimate of $1.5 million

Sold for $5.1 million

The 13.88-carat fancy intense yellow diamond and white diamond ring - image courtesy of Sotheby's
The 13.88-carat fancy intense yellow diamond and white diamond ring – image courtesy of Sotheby’s

In addition, two new world records were also set at a Christie’s auction in late November with the sale of a red diamond ring designed by London-based Moussaieff Jewellers. The 2.09-carat, heart-shaped fancy red diamond was set in the center of six petal-shaped white diamonds in an 18K white gold ring.The red diamond ring was sold as part of Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction for $5.1 million.Vickie Sek, deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia and director of Christie’s jewelry and jadeite department, commented, “One of the finest red diamonds ever offered for sale achieved a world record price of well over $2 million per carat. It is also the most expensive red diamond ever sold at auction.”

And at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, a 13.88-carat fancy intense yellow diamond and white diamond ring sold for almost $470,000. The yellow diamond is set between two trapeze-shaped diamonds together weighing around three carats, mounted in platinum and 18K yellow gold.