CANVASES, CARATS AND CURIOSITIES

Forbes

2 minute read

Is This Blue Diamond Worth $9.8 million?

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FORBES, August 26, 2013-- Even in the rarefied world of fancy colored diamonds, large blue diamonds stand out for being notably uncommon. So it is unusual that two such diamonds have appeared on the market at the same time. The most recent example is the 10.6-carat “Royal Blue” diamond available through M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans. The asking price is $9.8 million.

The Royal Blue Diamond, a natural fancy blue diamond weighing 10.06 carats. Due to it's rarity, blue diamonds cost 10 to 50 times as much as a comparable colorless diamond.

The Royal Blue Diamond, a natural fancy blue diamond weighing 10.06 carats. Due to it's rarity, blue diamonds cost 10 to 50 times as much as a comparable colorless diamond.

This cut-corned, modified brilliant cut, natural fancy blue diamond has a VVS1 clarity grade, notable for having “very, very slight” inclusions, according to the report from the Gemological Institute of America. It is one step away from being graded as “internally flawless” under the GIA scale. The magic ingredient in natural blue diamonds is the chemical boron, which this gem has.

The diamond is set on a platinum and rose gold ring surrounded by vivid pink and colorless diamonds.

Fewer than 0.3 percent of all colored diamonds graded by GIA were predominately blue. World-renowned gem expert Robert Procop, also the co-designer of Style of Jolie jewels with Angelina Jolie, knows as much as anyone when it comes to the rarity and historical significance of these gems.

“Blue diamonds are rarely discovered and only a few have been found over centuries of mining, making it one of the rarest gems of the world,” he said. “(They) have also been the most gifted by royalty and historical figures making them the most mysterious and precious of jewels. I rarely see a blue diamond that I do not admire.”

This is the second significant blue diamond that has appeared for sale recently. A week earlier, Sotheby’s Hong Kong announced that it is offering a 7.59-carat round fancy vivid blue diamond that is estimated to fetch $19 million.

Large fancy blue diamonds have been sold for record-breaking figures at auctions and other sales, several have had illustrious provenance through its mine origins and ownership. The most famous blue is the Hope Diamond, last purchased by famed luxury jeweler, Harry Winston, who donated it to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in 1958.

The asking price for the “Royal Blue” ring is more than $924,500 per carat, which seems a bit steep, particularly since it has no known provenance. However, it is only about half of the per-carat price of a 5.30 blue diamond purchased by another famed jeweler, Laurence Graff, at a Bonhams auction in London in April 2013. The final price was $9.6 million or $1.8 million per carat.

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