Asscher Cut diamond

Gifting a Diamond or Gemstone for Her – The Stepping Stone

I would like to recommend some further gift ideas for both Him And Her. Let’s start off with Her.

Gifting A Diamond for Her

Gifting a diamond or gemstone for your partner has never been so popular with recent clients, all of whom still want to add the element of surprise and pleasure to the gesture. However, sometimes Men are not confident enough to choose the design or prefer to involve their partner so they can have what they really want for this bespoke piece of jewellery.

The Stepping Stone is a perfect solution. A diamond or gemstone of choice can be bought and presented to Her this Christmas or any other occasion. There is the element of surprise and seeing her lovely face light up with the presentation of a beautifully boxed gem. Then there is the opportunity for her or you both to be fully involved in the design at a convenient time where I will be delighted to help facilitate that perfect piece of jewellery which will last a lifetime.

I really look forward to hearing from you.

 

Gifting a Watch for Him

watches

 

Who wouldn’t be surprised and delighted to receive a branded watch this Christmas? If you are thinking of gifting a watch for your husband, partner, relative, special friend or even treating yourself, I have the perfect solution for you.

Most of my clients are aware that I provide a very discreet watch sourcing service and am able to supply all luxury brands within a two week period at significant discounts with the standard guarantees applying. Please contact me here for further information and I will explain the process.

The record breaking diamonds of 2014

With auction fever slowing down, the auction houses  can stand back and recover  from the staggering realised prices for rare fancy coloured diamonds throughout the year. The message is loud and clear that demand for exceptional rarity exceeds supply of these truly magnificent Collectors Gems.

I have collated in date order the fancy coloured record breaking diamonds that have smashed all records from my last blog in 2013. For further information visit Collectors Gems.

 

Fancy Pink Diamond
Record $7.2 million

British jeweller David Morris purchased a marquise-shaped 12.07-carat IF fancy pink diamond ring at Sotherby’s Geneva on 13th May. Selling for $7,239,758, it established a new world auction record for its price per carat for a fancy pink at $599,814.25.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Graff Yellow diamond
Record $16.3 million

The Graff Vivid Yellow, a sensational and rare 100.09-carat VS2 cushion-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond ring also set new records at the same auction. It sold to an anonymous private client who was present in the room for $16,309,420 , setting a world auction record for a yellow diamond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Diamond
Record $24.2 million

Harry Winston in Los Angeles bought the top lot of the evening at Christie’s in Geneva on 14th May, a pear-shaped blue diamond of 13.22 carats that, according to the GIA, is the largest flawless fancy vivid blue diamond in the World. It sold for a staggering $24,249,680, which, at $1834317.70 per carat, is a new world auction record price per carat for a blue diamond.

 

 

 

 

Vivid Pink Diamond
Record $17.,7 million

This breathtaking 8.41 ct, vivid purple-pink, pear diamond was estimated to fetch anywhere between $12,903,000 and $15,483,600 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on 7th October.  Sotheby’s stated that the previous world auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond and record price per carat for a pink diamond were both achieved by a 5.00-carat fancy vivid pink diamond, which sold for $10.8 million, in Hong Kong in November 2009.

The Sotheby’s Geneva November 2014 auction saw strong prices for fancy coloured diamonds and rare coloured stones.

 

 

Bulgari diamond ear-pendants estimated $12 million, sold $18 million

Strong prices for fancy coloured diamonds.

The item headlining the auction was a sparkling pair of Bulgari pear-shaped coloured diamond ear-pendants with a pre-sale estimate of $12 million to $15 million which sold for $16 million. They have marquise and pear-shaped diamond cluster tops weighing approximately 19.28 carats. Suspended from the clusters are 6.95-carat, pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond and a 6.79-carat, pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Zoe fancy blue diamond
Record $32.6 million

November 20th saw records broken when a whopping, 9.75 ct. fancy vivid blue pear-shaped fetched $3.3 million a carat at the Sotheby’s New York auction, setting a new high-water per-carat price for any diamond. That price tops by a full $1 million the per-carat record set just over one year ago, when a 14.82 ct. fancy vivid orange scored $2.3 million a carat ($35.3 million total) at a Christies Geneva auction.

The stone’s final price – $32.6 million – also set a record for the most expensive blue diamond ever, topping the celebrated Wittelsbach-Graff, which fetched $24.3 million in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Diamond
Record $5 Million

A heart-shaped fancy red diamond ring by Moussaieff set a world auction record at Christie’s Hong Kong on Wednesday 26th November. The 2.09 ct. ring sold for $5,095,872 ($2.44 million per carat) to a private Asian investor.

“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.”

Points to consider when buying fancy coloured diamonds

The following are some Points to consider when buying a fancy coloured diamond.

In terms of popularity and accessibility, fancy colour yellow diamonds are easily accessible in most colour saturations and sizes. Fancy pink and blue diamonds are popular and available in sizes up to 0.50ct and with limited availability in strong saturation colours up to 1.00 carat. These colours become very rare in stone sizes above 1.00 carat and pricing reflects the scarcity of these stones.

Green, orange, purple and red fancy colours are the rarest and pricing of these stones in sizes above 1.00 carat can reach several million dollars per carat.

The value of a fancy colour diamond is assessed by the rarity of the colour, the intensity of the colour and the size of the fancy coloured diamond. Clarity and Cut also factor in the value of a Fancy Coloured Diamond, but are not as important as the other three attributes.

The record breaking diamonds of 2013

It has been a truly remarkable year for diamond auctions and we look at the record breaking diamonds of 2013. Looking back to the beginning of 2013, could we have predicted that, in just 12 months, so many record-breaking diamonds would go under the hammer?

It was clear from the sale of the Beau Sancy diamond in spring 2012 and the legendary Archduke Joseph diamond in October 2012 that the market was buoyant. But to end 2013 already littered with record-breaking diamond auctions with the sale of the ‘Pink Star’ for a historic US$83,187,381 – the world record for highest price ever paid for a diamond at auction – is unprecedented. Buyers’ appetites for extraordinary diamonds has reached fever pitch.

Read more

What you need to know when buying Fancy Coloured Diamonds

For every 10,000 carats of all diamonds that are cut, a mere one carat may possess a fancy colour. The rarity of fancy colour diamonds coupled with their resilience to adverse economic climates has seen demand increase for private collectors for asset accumulation and institutional investors for mid/long term appreciation.

Since price tracking began 35 years ago, the rarer fancy colour diamonds have not decreased in value at dealer level. This differentiates from their colourless counterpart which have been subject to varying pricing fluctuations in adverse economic conditions.

The individual colours in all natural diamonds whether colourless or faint yellow to fancy colour originates with the absorption of white light entering a diamond. White light is composed of varying spectral colours and are absorbed in diamonds owing to the atomic structure and inclusion of trace elements within a diamond.

There are four types of atomic structure of diamond and the most predominant is Type 1a which is composed of nitrogen atoms and constitute up to 98% of all colourless to faint yellow diamonds on the market. The remaining 2% include Type 1b diamonds which have isolated nitrogen atoms and are brown, yellow  and orange in colour.  Type 11a diamonds are nitrogen free and colourless and include some of the rarest pink diamonds and Type 11b are blue and very rare due to trace elements of boron.

The colour in pink, purple and red diamonds are caused by high temperature and pressure during diamond growth which caused tensions and deformation within the lattice, the arrangement of atoms within a diamond crystal. The green colour comes from the presence of uranium in the immediate vicinity during diamond growth.

The grading of fancy colours are very different to grading colourless to faint yellow diamonds. Fancy colour grading begins beyond the grade Z on the colour grading scale. While colourless, near colourless, faint and light diamond colours are graded from the face-down position. Grading laboratories assess fancy colour diamonds from the face-up or top view of the diamond. Graders evaluate the hue, tone, and saturation of each diamond.

Hue refers to the primary colour of the diamond such as brown, Blue, Yellow, Pink or Blue. Secondary or modifying colours are also assessed, as they impact on the overall hue of the fancy colour. Tone defines how light or dark the hue of the diamond actually is.  Saturation refers to the strength of colour or how much colour is present and the colour’s intensity. There are six categories to grade saturation of fancy colour diamonds: Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, Fancy Dark, Fancy Deep and Fancy Vivid. See illustration below for Yellow hue.

Fancy colour diamonds, unlike their colourless counterparts are cut to maximize colour. Certain shapes will intensify fancy colour and typically, the deeper the pavilion of diamond the more colour is returned to the eye. Clarity of fancy colour diamonds are also not as critical as their colourless counterpart. The most important variable is intensity of colour and in general, the richer the saturation of colour, the higher the diamond value.

The Impact of Fluorescence in Diamonds

If you have bought a diamond or are considering buying a diamond for the first time, you may have read varying reports that fluorescence can either enhance or devalue the diamond. Fluorescence is defined as the visible light some diamonds emit when exposed to long wave ultraviolet lighting (UV). The colour emitted with a diamond under UV lighting can be a variance of blue to no colour at all. With fancy colour diamonds such as the pinks, blues, yellows, the fluorescence colour emitted can vary and I will address this in another blog. The photos below of fluorescent diamonds illustrate the variance in strength of blue colour fluorescence under UV lighting.

Fluorescence in a diamond is not unusual and typically between 25 and 30% of colourless diamonds sent to a grading laboratory may manifest some degree of fluorescence. On a GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) Certificate and other laboratory certificates, the strengths of fluorescence are noted as none, faint, medium, strong or very strong blue.

Fluorescence is a natural characteristic within a diamond and there are varying opinions as to how this impacts on appearance of a diamond. For example colourless diamonds with high colours D-F that have medium, strong, very strong fluorescence may appear oily, hazy or milky. Faint or medium fluorescence may have no impact at all on appearance of high colour diamonds. The near colourless diamonds colours G-J that have medium, strong or very strong  fluorescence can improve the appearance of diamond and may look whiter and brighter. With faint yellow diamonds K-M, strong or very strong fluorescence can significantly impact on appearance of diamond and look much whiter and brighter .According to the GIA, only 10% of 30% of diamonds that exhibit fluorescence actually impact on appearance. It is essential that every diamond that has fluorescence should be judged on its own merits. If you are offered a fluorescent diamond I would recommend you apply the following guidelines.

  • Certificate – Ensure the diamond is accompanied by a reputable certificate from a recognised laboratory, for example on a GIA Report or Dossier. Make a note of the colour (say from D to J colour) and note strength of fluorescence (say from Faint to Very Strong). Ask your jeweller to explain how the fluorescence impacts on the fire and dispersive brilliance of the diamond.
  • Pricing – Colourless and near colourless diamonds that have fluorescence can be bought with varying discounts off market prices. Fluorescence in faint yellow diamonds can actually carry a premium on market pricing. Again, ask your jeweller for advice.
  • Selling a fluorescent diamond – If you want to sell your fluorescent diamond at a later date, even with a very good certificate, it may not be an easy to sell stone. You need to weigh up and decide if buying a fluorescent diamond at a reduced price offers you long term value.

To summarise, you need to decide what variables of a diamond are important to you. If the benefits of your partner wearing a G-J colour fluorescent diamond with a  brighter, whiter appearance outweighing the more expensive price of a similar sized diamond with no fluorescence and she is happy then you really have true value!

Rare Pink and Blue Diamonds..the next asset class for investment portfolios?

The financial collapse in 2008 significantly reduced the value of investment portfolios and with the downturn, the equity, bonds and housing markets plummeted and certain commodities started to fall out of favour with the savvy investor. I have witnessed clients turning to alternative investment platforms such as Historical Artefacts, Fine Wines and Gold included in their portfolios. With the recent publicity generated  by auction houses in Hong Kong, Geneva and New York, financial institutions, wealth managers serving HNW and UHNW individuals from emerging markets are seriously taking an interest in Fancy Colour Diamonds (FCD) especially the rarer Pinks and Blue diamonds. Why?

To give an explanation of these truly magnificent colours from source to the diamond cutter merits an educational blog which I will post at later date. To summarise, the drivers for investment include:

 

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Colour: The colour of Blue in diamond is caused by trace elements of boron during the crystallisation process of rough diamond. The Pink colour is not caused by trace elements but through deformation of the crystal lattice under intense heat and pressure. The more intensity of colour of FCD determined by hue, tone and saturation, the more valuable the diamond. The investment buyer should buy into a primary colour e.g Fancy Vivid Blue than hybrid colours e.g Fancy Vivid Greyish Blue.

Rarity: Unlike the FCD colourless diamond counterpart, the pinks and blues are incredibly scarce. To give you some idea, the Argyle mine in Australia, a primary source for  pinks yield an annual tender of approximately 60 diamonds from an 18 million annual mine production and the sizes of these diamonds only range from 0.50 carat to 1.50 carat. There is talk that the Argyle mine will cease production by 2019 and unless a new source is discovered factoring in a 10 year timescale to full production, these FCD colours will dramatically increase in price. The larger pinks and blues only surface at auction and currently are realising record prices per carat.

Resilience to adverse economic climate: Since tracking began over 35 years ago the rarer colour FCD’s have never decreased in value unlike their colourless diamond counterpart. Global demand from Asia, Russia, North America and Europe quite simply exceeds supply for HNW looking for a tangible asset class with a great portable store of value.

Price discovery: Is essential for investment. Transparency of FCD pricing has previously been gauged with sales pricing at auctions as FCD’s are not tied in with a globally priced market like their natural colourless counterpart. This can be misleading as estimates can be so far away from realised pricing and gives no indication of buyers and sellers premiums paid on top of hammer price. Price discovery can be sought with experts within the industry who can offer a niche service.

To conclude this blog, if you are considering investing in pink and blue FCD, then I would recommend a significant entry level and ensure you have to hand an expert that can advise best choice of primary FCD to meet brief, authenticate certification and facilitate market access for resale over a reasonable timescale. Please note the diamond market in the United Kingdom is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). I advise you perform due diligence with any party selling fancy colour diamonds for investment.

Or more importantly, why not give your partner a celebration piece of jewellery set with a rare FCD.  With investment aside, what better way for your partner to wear, partake and experience one of nature’s rarest creations?

Are Diamonds becoming a Commodity?

The increase in transparency of diamond pricing offered on varying diamond trading platforms, the increase in demand for diamonds for bridal jewellery and investment from High Net Worth individuals from China, Russia and India coupled with a definitive decline in mining production,  may lead you to believe that diamonds are turning into a hard commodity.

 

A commodity is a product, which should be homogenous, fungible and traded across various markets. These commodities in short have to be similar and interchangeable. For example, gold in one country should be of the same purity as gold from another. Commodities are traded across terminal markets situated in different corners of the world  e.g the London Metal Exchange. These exchanges consist of traders who either spot trade or trade by way of futures contracts.

 

Martin Rappaport, an entrepreneurial maverick within the diamond industry has attempted to create a futures market in diamonds. He argues that diamonds are bought and sold for cash and is a natural resource with a limited supply, defined, certified and traded worldwide. Other similar platforms have also been established with a similar business model and various Diamond funds have been created to offer returns to investors. Is this sufficient to grant diamond status as a commodity?

De Beers along with other mining consortiums and the diamond community argue that diamond is not a commodity as each diamond is unique and is not consistently the same. Diamonds are not standardised as grading laboratories can vary in grading of polished diamonds. You can have a similar cut and carat weight of diamond yet differing colour and clarity resulting in a significant price difference. There is also the difficulty to exchange different sizes of diamond unlike gold whose quality can be exchanged easily.

The Diamond trading platforms can show up to 30% variance in pricing for a particular diamond with like for like Carat weight, Colour, Clarity and Cut. In addition, the buy/sell model of the diamond funds have historically failed to achieve significant returns for investors.

Where diamonds significantly differ from all commodities are their symbolic properties of love and emotion and the concept that diamond is not a necessity but a luxury. Throughout  the early stages of the rough diamond supply chain from mining, assortment, distribution you could argue diamonds are a commodity but once arrived at the Diamond manufacturers where the stone is cut and polished, certificated and then offered to jewellery retailers the diamond is sold to consumers as as symbol of love. There is no room for a commodity and symbol of love to coexist together.

What better way to enjoy the buying experience of your emotional purchase than with the expertise of a jeweller to explain the uniqueness of diamond from rough to polished and then have craftsmen create your bespoke piece of jewellery set with your symbol of love. Absolutely priceless.