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June 2007

We hear a lot about synthetic diamonds in the media, with predictions that they are going to take over the diamond industry and mean the end of consumer demand for natural diamonds. Well, fortunately, people in the world at large don’t seem to be listening.

The Gemesis company in Florida recently announced it will start manufacturing pinks and blue synthetics in its factory, according to an article in the South Florida Herald Tribune. The company says they will sell pinks this year and blues in 2009, in addition to the greens and yellows they currently sell.

Does this mean that it won’t pay to own fancy colored diamonds in the future? Well, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Smart businessmen are still paying high prices— sometimes record high prices —for natural colored diamonds and rare colorless stones, as evidenced by the latest auction results from Christies and Sothebys. And we think they will continue to do that next year, as well as ten years and probably even ten centuries from now.

Why? Because natural diamonds, particularly the fancy-colored and larger ones, are extremely rare and extremely difficult to find (in addition to being beautiful.) That’s why celebrities like them—because they are special. They have a cache and value that can’t be matched by a machine that cranks out diamonds like they were shirts or children’s toys. It’s just like an original Picasso and a reproduction may look the same, but the first has far more value than the second.

For example, Sotheby’s Geneva sale of magnificent and noble jewels recently brought in $46.4 million. It was Sotheby’s best jewelry sale since the year 2000.

Among the highlights were sales of the Donnersmarck Diamonds —one a magnificent pear-shaped diamond weighing 82.48 carats, the other a magnificent cushion-shaped diamond weighing 102.54 carats. The successful bidder eventually paid $7.9 million, more than three times its high estimate.

Among the other notable sales from Sotheby’s:

A superb diamond necklace sold for $790,583, nearly double its pre-sale low estimate.

A mid-19th century Latin cross of five old-mine cut diamonds with a pearl chain sold for $662,309, more than three times its low estimate.

An important pendant necklace/ring, weighing 24.57 carats sold for $2.05 million.

A diamond ring weighing 16.26 carats, sold for $1.26 million.

Meanwhile, another diamond ring, set with an oval diamond weighing 16.11 carats, sold well above expectations for $607,000, more than doubling its pre-sale high estimate.

At Christie’s recent auction, there were also good results:

A cushion-cut fancy grayish blue diamond of 9.39cts sold for $2.4 million, or $255,000 per carat.

A rectangular cut D color, potentially flawless 24.65-carat diamonds, sold for $2.06 million, or $83,000 per carat.

Three pear-shaped fancy deep brownish yellow diamonds of 38.28, 32.15 and 29.60 carats sold for a total of $1.7 million, or $17,200 per carat.

A pear-shaped H color, VVS2 diamond of 40.12 carats, sold $1.66 million, or $41,500 per carat.

A pair of Asscher-cut diamond ear pendants of 25.05 cts each went for $1.01 million, or $20,250 per ct.

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