Big, Blue Diamonds

If 10 is pretty perfect for you and you consider yourself, your better half or your relationship a perfect 10, here’s an item worth considering for a ten-upon-ten investment.

Up for auction is a 10.10 carat Blue Diamond that’s been classified as “rare and superb”. This is an oval, internally flawless, vivid blue diamond, the highest possible colour grading for colour diamonds. It is also the largest such diamond to ever appear at an auction.

The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 , an oval-shaped, internally flawless, fancy vivid blue diamond weighing 10.10 carats (photo: Sotheby's )

With an estimated value of between US$30 and US$35 million, the gem itemised as ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4’ is part of the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale by Sotheby’s that’s set to take place in Hong Kong.

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Sotheby’s photo from Facebook on some of the exquisite items to be sold

The diamond made its preview rounds in New York, Europe, Singapore and Taipei in March and can still be viewed in Hong Kong from 1 April right up to the day before it goes under the hammer on 5 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

This is an auction and investment worth taking a closer look at, as the blue diamond which is classed as a ‘fancy diamond’ is just as significant as the more popular, and dare we say generic, clear diamond.

The usual 5Cs to evaluate a diamond always apply, even when buying a diamond for investment.

However, when looking at a coloured diamond, the colour saturation is a key point to note, explains local expert Kelvin Tan, who is Group Executive Chairman of the Genesis-Global Group that deals in ultra-luxury gems and jewelry. “When selecting a colour diamond, the saturation of the colour is the most important factor, followed by clarity, cut and polish. The more vivid or intense the colour saturation is for a colour diamond, the higher the value would be.”

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The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond which used to belong to the child actress of the 1940’s will be on sale at Sotheby’s (Sotheby’s Facebook photo)

Tan, whose company offers exquisite gems as investment instruments, adds that while clarity could be a secondary factor with colour diamonds, “nonetheless, all factors being equal, a flawless piece would surely fetch a premium in price over and above the rest.”

In the case of Sotheby’s ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4’ (view Sotheby’s video) it has much weighing in its favour.

“Highly saturated blue diamonds over ten carats combined with an internally flawless clarity grade are extremely rare” says GIA’s Executive Vice President, Moses. “There have been fewer and fewer new rough diamonds discovered over the last decade that produce this colour. Most of the recent diamonds offered for sale in this category are coming from private collections, not diamond mines.”

In fact, this gem comes from a private Asian collection. Another sparkle in its favour is the fact that it is the only oval-shaped stone (video) among 12 rare diamonds that make up the world-renowned De Beers Millennium Jewels collection.

This collection includes one colourless diamond known as the ‘Millennium Star’ that weighs 203.04-carats along with 11 other blue diamonds that total 118 carats.

While pretty to look at, the blue diamond and other fancy diamonds, make sound investment pieces.

The standard was set in November when a cushion-shaped, flawless, fancy vivid, 12.03 carat blue diamond known as the Blue Moon fetched close to US$50m at Sotheby’s when Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung, bought the gem and named it after his seven-year-old daughter, Josephine. A day earlier, he shopped at a Christie’s auction and paid a record $28.5m for a pink diamond of 16.08 carats that he named Sweet Josephine.

It remains to be seen whether the ‘De Beers Millennium Jewel 4’,  will eclipse the Blue Moon of Josephine. Or maybe, it could join Lau’s collection of mostly blue diamonds, including the 9.75 carat Zoe Diamond (formerly the Bunny Mellon Diamond) purchased in 2014 for US$32.6m and the 7.03 carat Star of Josephine (formerly the Cullinan Diamond) purchased for US$9.5m in 2009.

(full story & images at: http://bit.ly/1SvzQx3 )
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