On May 16 in Geneva, Sotheby’s magnificent gems and jewelry auction will feature an unusually mismatched pair of diamonds, which are centerpieces of what has been described the “most valuable” earrings ever to have been put on the block at public sale. What makes them unusual as that the one stone is blue and the other pink, and, although they are a set, they will be sold as separate lots.
The diamonds involved are both pear-shaped, with the one being the “Apollo Blue,” a 14.54-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless diamond. Its pre-sale estimate is set at $38 million to $50 million, meaning it could fetch $3.4 million per carat. The second stone is the “Artemis Pink,” a 16-carat, fancy intense pink, VVS2-clarity diamond. Its pre-sale estimate is $12.5 million to $18 million, meaning it could get $1.1 million per carat. In Greek mythology Apollo and Artemis were twins born to the king of the gods Zeus, and his wife Leto.
LEFT: The set of earrings scheduled to be sold at Sotheby’s in Geneva on May 14, including the 14.54-carat Apollo Blue and the 16-carat Artemis Pink. RIGHT: The 59.6-carat Pink Star, which broke a world record in April when it sold for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, for the highest price ever paid for any jewel.
Sotheby’s Geneva auction will be latest in a series of high-profile jewelry sales this spring featuring spectacular fancy-colored diamonds. On April 4, the “Pink Star,” a 59.6-carat fancy pink colored diamond, sold for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, setting a new world record price for any diamond or jewel purchased at auction. The oval mixed-cut stone was the largest flawless fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and it beat the high-end of its pre-sale estimate, which had been set at $60 million.
Before the “Pink Star” sale, the highest price ever received for a diamond at auction was the $57.6 million received for the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” in May 2016. Before then the record was held by the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, which sold for $46.2 million in 2010.
The publicity surrounding the Geneva and Hong Kong sales is once again raising the profile of fancy-color diamonds, and is likely to generated additional demand in what already is a buoyant market.
The Fancy Color Diamond Index, which is published by the non-profit Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF), tracking pricing data for yellow, pink and blue fancy color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York and Ramat Gan, Israel, said that prices rose moderately across most fancy color diamond categories during the first quarter, with the strongest performer being blue fancy color diamonds, which rose a 1.9 percent price increase during first three months of the year. The index for yellow fancy color diamonds increased by 0.2 percent during the period, while index for pink fancy color diamonds was down by 0.2 percent, but registered a nominal 0.8 percent increase year on year.
MID House of Diamonds has been preparing to meet the expected increase in demand. The company already holds one of the most extensive inventories of natural fancy-colored diamonds in the world, in yellow, pink and blue hues, and is able to service its clients from all eight of its global offices, as well as the numerous trade fairs it attends. Its stock ranges from large individual stones, some in vivid and intense fancy colors, and smaller stones that can be matched for complex jewelry designs.
Fancy-colored diamonds from MID House of Diamonds.