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Blue was most definitely a dominant theme, as New York’s two leading auction houses closed out the 2017 season with magnificent jewelry sales, and fancy colored diamonds garnered prices that were sometimes well in excess of the high end of their pre-sale estimates.

First up was Sotheby’s, which held its Magnificent Jewels sale on December 5. The highest price paid for any item at the event was $15.1 million, or $2.7 million per carat, which was the final bid made by an unnamed buyer for an emerald-cut 5.69-carat diamond, set in a ring with two white baguette-cut diamonds as side-stones. The accompanying GIA report stated that the diamond was a fancy vivid blue, naturally colored stone with VVS1 clarity. The pre-sale estimate had been $12 million to $15 million.

Two fancy vivid blue diamonds by Graff Diamonds, weighing approximately 3.36 and 2.71 carats, which sold for $12.6 million at Christie’s in New York on December 6, 2017. (Photo Credit: Christie’s)

Also sold at the Sotheby’s auction was a pear-shaped, 2.05-carat, fancy intense blue, internally flawless diamond ring, which was bought by a member of the trade for $2.7 million, or $1.3 million per carat. It beat its high pre-sale estimate by $1.2 million.

Another highlight of the Sotheby’s sale was meant to be a 110.92-carat, L-color, VS1-clarity diamond, which was billed as the largest round diamond in auction history. But it failed to meet its reserve price of $4.2 million and was withdrawn from the auction.

The following day, December 6, was the turn of Christie’s, where the top lot was a ring set with two fancy vivid blue diamonds by Graff Diamonds. The diamonds, which were both pear modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid blue diamonds, weighing approximately 3.36 and 2.71 carats, were accompanied by a GIA report stating that they were fancy vivid blue, natural color, of VVS2 and VS1 clarity respectively. The ring sold for $12.6 million, which well above the pre-sale estimate of $6.5 million to $8.5 million.

The prices received at both auctions, while spectacular, were still well below those paid for the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold at Christie’s in May 2016 for $57.6 million, setting what at the time was a world record for any gem at auction, or the previous record holder, the 29.6-carat “Blue Moon Diamond,” which had sold at Sotheby’s for $48.6 million in November 2015.

MID House of Diamonds is of the world’s preeminent suppliers of loose fancy-colored diamonds, with a large and varied stock that includes blue stones. Because it is a world of which many diamond buyers are less familiar, with different pricing patterns and grading standards, MID invites you to speak with one of the fancy color experts on its team.

Emerald-cut 5.69-carat fancy blue diamond, set in a ring with two white baguette-cut diamonds, which sold at in New York on December 5, 2017, at Sotheby’s for $15.1 million. (Photo Credit: Sotheby’s)