The headlines of the news in the diamond industry, as you might have noticed, have been filled with blue diamond sales or announcements. A trio of blue diamonds with very rare diamond characteristics is mainly dominating the news and will be fighting for a place in the record books. These three “potential” record breakers are the Shirley Temple Blue, De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 and Oppenheimer Blue. But why are we so interested in blue diamonds and are the prices through the roof?
In November 2014, Sotheby’s in New York had increased the interest for blue diamonds drastically by setting auction records for blue diamonds when the Zoe diamond garnered $32.6 million. A year later the blue diamond interest kept rising due to the sale of the mind-blowing 12.03-carat Blue Moon that broke the auction record for any gemstone in the market with a diamond price of $48.5 million. These blue diamonds clearly triggered and boosted the blue diamond market and this spring the interest in blue diamonds is clearly noticeable. Most obviously noticeable because blue diamonds this spring were estimated to fetch amazing diamond prices and could once again break records. Another reason why blue diamond prices are pushed so high is partly that of the awareness of the gem being so rare. From all the diamonds in the world, only 0.1% is a blue diamond and rarer is that from this small pool only 1% is graded with the color fancy vivid. Not even mentioning the fact that blue diamonds are mostly found in carat size below 1 carat. Therefore blue diamonds with higher carat sizes are extremely rare!
These factors could explain the reason why one of the trios that dominated the spring news was sold earlier this month in Hong Kong for a record price. This diamond was the 10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, which broke the Asian Auction Price Record by fetching $31.8 million! The second appreciated lot in spring is the Shirley Temple Blue Diamond ring with a 9.54-carat blue diamond that will go under the hammer soon. It is graded fancy deep blue, potentially internally flawless, VVS2 and was owned by popular child actress and American diplomat throughout her life after receiving it as a birthday gift from her father. Back then on Shirley her 12th birthday, the ring was purchased for $7,210 USD while experts are now estimating it to fetch up to $35 million on the Sotheby auction. While this price is high and definitely an example of blue diamond prices appreciating in value over the years, you will be amazed by the last of the trio called the Oppenheimer Blue. This Oppenheimer Blue is 14.62-carat and is promoted as the largest and finest vivid blue diamond being auctioned, raising the estimated price to $45 million!
While blue diamonds dominate the headlines of the diamond industry newspapers it does not mean there are suddenly more blue diamonds on the market. It only proves that there is more interest in them and people have learned to appreciate them more. This being one of the factors that make the blue diamond market go skyrocketing. A colored diamond specialist said “Now it seems like the average person I see comes in with more knowledge than even a decade ago. It contributes to the prices going up”.