The Archduke Joseph
2012 SOLD 20.4 MCHF including premium
In Geneva in November 1993, Christie's sold CHF 9.7 million the Archduke Joseph diamond. It was a fabulous price for the time even after considering that the Swiss currency was at one third below the U.S. dollar.
This is one of the largest perfect diamonds of Golconda type : D color and internally flawless. Being now at 76.02 carats, it achieves a weight equal to 72% of the Koh-i-Noor, a remarkable performance that makes it one of the most desirable gems available on the market.
Its antique cut is cushion-like, although for such big diamonds it is not quite possible to fully meet a standardized shape classification. Like many old diamonds, it has been reworked in the last century to improve its clarity and symmetry.
Previously owned by the Habsburgs, it bears the name of a prince who was briefly regent of Hungary at the time of the fall of his dynasty.
It is now presented by Christie's in Geneva on November 13.
Considering that bigger diamonds appeal to a higher price per carat, Christie's has calculated for this perfect diamond an estimate range of U.S. $ 15M to 25M. The upper estimate is an attempt to exceed the record for the highest price per carat registered at auction for a colorless diamond.
It is illustrated in the article shared by Professional Jeweller.
POST SALE COMMENT
The result meets the expectations of Christie's: Archduke Joseph was sold CHF 20.4 million including premium.
For a comparable quality, when the diamond is bigger, the price per carat is higher. This one went to US $ 280K, the highest recorded price per carat at auction for a colourless diamond.
It is indeed a great result for that diamond which I described as nearly comparable to the Koh-i-Noor.
I invite you to play the Gallery Talk video prepared by Christie's :
1912 Serti Muguet by Cartier
2014 SOLD for CHF 16M including premium by Christie's
2019 SOLD for $ 10.6M including premium
At the turn of the 20th century, Paris is the capital of luxury. Located in rue de la Paix, the Cartier brand develops its expertise in jewelry and watchmaking and organizes a network of subcontractors including Henri Picq. One of its main innovations is the use of platinum for the high end.
France does not produce diamonds. The Cartier brothers visit India. The Maharajas choose the most beautiful gems in their collections for Cartier to assemble magnificent jewels matching their taste. This practice inspires some exotic designs later offered to all customers.
This well managed international reputation includes Southern Africa. Solomon Barnato Joel, who made a fortune with his family in the gold and diamond mines, ships four beautiful diamonds for making a jewel.
Cartier assembles a brooch in platinum and white gold for use as a devant de corsage, whose 9.2 cm high pendant aligns the four diamonds. The pendant is surrounded by four hanging sprigs of lily of the valley whose flowers are small diamonds set on platinum, a specialty of Picq. This jewel dated 1912 was later expanded by a necklace with a similar 'serti muguet'.
The four main diamonds were certified by the GIA in 2013. The largest is a pear-shaped of 34.08 carats in E color. The best is an oval-shaped type IIa D color of 23.55 carats with a VVS2 clarity potentially Internally Flawless.
This brooch was sold for CHF 16M including premium by Christie's on May 14, 2014 over a lower estimate of CHF 6.5M. It is estimated $ 10M for sale by Christie's in New York on June 19, lot 277.
Other Diamonds SOLD by Sotheby's
- The Mouawad Splendour, modified pear-shape, 101.84 carats, sold for CHF 16M (US$ 125K per carat), Sotheby’s Geneva, 1990
- The Star of Happiness, rectangular-shape, 100.36 carats, sold for CHF 18M (US$ 118K per carat), Sotheby’s Geneva, 1993
- The Star of the Season, pear-shape, 100.10 carats, sold for CHF 20M (US$ 165K per carat), Sotheby’s Geneva, 1995
2011 - 118 Carats Flawless
2013 SOLD 240 MHK$ including premium
On May 15, 2013, Christie's sold for CHF 26M including premium a white diamond, D color and Flawless. Pear shaped and weighing 101.73 carats, it came from a rough stone of 236 carats of the Jwaneng mine in Botswana. It was named The Winston Legacy after the sale.
The diamond for sale by Sotheby's in Hong Kong on October 7 is also D and Flawless, but bigger: 118.28 carats. Here is the link to the catalog.
It is oval cut from a 299 carat rough stone discovered in 2011 in a deep mine of southern Africa whose detailed location is not revealed. Its polishing and symmetry are considered excellent by the gemological laboratories.
The press release announces a lower estimate of HK$ 220M.
POST SALE COMMENT
The price, HK$ 240M including premium, is extraordinary but in line with the expectation.
2010s The Great Star of Botswana
2013 SOLD 26 MCHF including premium
Botswana's mines are operated jointly by the government and by De Beers, with all the precautions that you can imagine. Indeed the small town of Jwaneng was founded in 1982 as a closed community only accessible by permission of the government.
Because of this relatively recent operation, fabulous gems are still waiting to be discovered. The modern art of diamond will do the rest, as technological advances now enable to cut diamonds of perfect shape and symmetry.
Consider an example from the past. The Cullinan, extracted in Transvaal in 1905, was a gem of 3106 carats. Nine major diamonds were cut from it, including the Great Star of Africa achieved at 530.2 carats after eight months of preparation.
On May 15 in Geneva, Christie's sells a perfect diamond (type IIa, D color, flawless). It is pear shaped at 101.73 carats representing an outstanding yield for that rough stone of 236 carats extracted in Jwaneng. Its polishing required 21 months of work.
The price per carat increases for bigger diamonds. Thus, the Archduke Joseph, sold by Christie's in Geneva on November 13, 2012, was recorded at $ 280K per carat (total price CHF 20.3 million including premium for 76.02 carats).
The new wonder from Jwaneng is the biggest perfect diamond ever presented at auction. Although having no other history than its discovery and preparation, it may certainly exceed the Archduke Joseph.
POST SALE COMMENT
This exceptional diamond has been sold CHF 26M including premium. The price per carat, U.S. $ 270K, is consistent with the price obtained on the Archduke Joseph.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's:
The Perfect Emerald Cut White Diamond
2015 SOLD for $ 22M including premium
From the mineralogical point of view, it is perfect : Type IIa, D color and internally flawless despite its large size.
Compared to other diamonds of same quality and comparable weight, it has the unique feature of being emerald cut, offering one of the best possible shine. It is estimated $ 19M, lot 357, and was the subject of a detailed press release.
I remind for references two white diamonds also of recent African origin previously discussed in this column.
On May 15, 2013, Christie's sold for CHF 26M including premium a pear shaped diamond weighing 101.73 carats. On October 7, 2013, Sotheby's sold for HK $ 240M including premium an oval diamond weighing 118.28 carats.
I invite you to play the video shared by Sotheby's :
2016 Three Continents for a Stone
2017 SOLD for CHF 33.5M including premium
The steps are told in detail by Christie's in the featured post.
The rough stone is extracted in Angola in February 2016. Weighing 404 carats, it is promising while being far from the records. Its quality is confirmed in New York by spectrography. For several weeks a team of experts researches the defects of the crystal.
Its bean form is not directly usable. In June, the world's best diamond cleaver with more than 50 years of experience cuts the stone in two halves from the middle. The polishing in emerald cut lasts six months, facet after facet.
They must now design a piece of jewelry highlighting this unprecedented wonder. The diamond is brought in December 2016 to De Grisogono in Geneva, which designs an asymmetrical necklace of emeralds and diamonds in 44 cm length. The jewel entrusted to Christie's then travels around the world before returning to Geneva for its auction sale
2016 A New Signature in Paris
2016 SOLD for CHF 17.6M including premium
Diamonds are forever and elegance too. These newcomers connect with the past by taking the name Boehmer et Bassenge.
This double name that had gone into the oblivion of history was that of the jewelers entrusted by Louis XV in 1772 to create the most stunning necklace of all time for a presentation to his mistress Madame du Barry. The necklace totaling 2,840 carats of diamonds was assembled but not delivered because of the king's death. It was dismantled in 1785 in the most sensational scam case of the Ancien Régime : l'Affaire du collier de la Reine.
The new Boehmer et Bassenge company targets an extreme quality and their outputs will be of an utmost rarity. They chose Christie's for selling two of their earliest masterpieces. The auction takes place in Geneva on November 15 without a reserve price on these lots.
Miroir de l'Amour is a pair of earrings 7 cm long, lot 188 estimated CHF 20M. Each element consists of a pear-shaped diamond of over 50 carats, namely 52.55 and 50.47 carats, topped with a rich cluster of smaller diamonds.
Le Jardin d'Isabelle is a necklace, lot 187 estimated CHF 8M. This jewel consists of two lines centered on diamonds respectively weighing 31.38 carats and 12.11 carats.
RESULTS INCLUDING PREMIUM :
Earrings SOLD for CHF 17.6M
Necklace SOLD for CHF 8M
2017 Heart and Pearls
2017 SOLD for CHF 14.8M including premium
The difficulty consists in achieving a geometric balance without disparity between the two halves of the heart while maintaining a perfect sharpness in the cleft. Any mistake appears ridiculous to a demanding user.
A heart shaped diamond type IIa, D color, Internally flawless clarity, weighing 56.15 carats was sold for CHF 9.6M including premium by Christie's on May 18, 2011.
Boehmer et Bassenge, the Maison de Haute Joaillerie founded in 2016 in Paris, is not afraid of the challenge to assemble the most exceptional jewels around the biggest diamonds. Their high quality production is limited to a few items per year.
On November 15, 2016, Christie's sold for CHF 17.6M including premium one of their first realizations : a pair of earrings with matched pear cut diamonds weighing 52.55 and 50.47 carats in a surrounding of small diamonds.
On May 17 in Geneva, Christie's sells La Légende by Boehmer et Bassenge, lot 228 estimated CHF 14M.
This jewel is centered on a heart shaped diamond D, IIa, Flawless weighing 92.15 carats. The GIA recognized its excellent symmetry and polish. It is hanging through two small circular diamonds to a 93 cm long sautoir necklace of cultured pearls mounted in platinum.
2017 The Canadian Diamond
2020 SOLD for HK$ 122M including premium
Prospecting is no longer the result of chance. The diamond rises in the magma during a volcanic eruption. Its possible presence is revealed by the kimberlite, an igneous rock which serves to it as a gangue in the volcanic pipe after cooling.
Since the 1960s, De Beers has searched for kimberlite in Canada. From 2008 to 2019, they operated the open pit Victor Mine on the territory of the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario. On October 5 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells a perfect diamond named Victor 10239 at lot 1818 without a reserve price. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The rough stone, mined in 2017, weighed 217 carats, possibly the largest pure diamond found at Victor. Diacore cut an oval brilliant with an excellent symmetry without going below the mythical threshold of 100 carats. It weighs 102.39 carats with the highest possible clarity and the D color of the highest transparency, and its chemical purity is the best, the Type IIa. The oval brilliant cut intensifies the transparency just like the round brilliant for smaller diamonds.
The perfect clarity is the Flawless, with no visible inclusion at x60 magnification. Internally Flawless represents the same inner clarity but admits some slight blemish on the surface.
We will compare it to an African diamond of the same brilliant oval shape, also Flawless, weighing 118.28 carats with the same certification of excellent polishing and excellent symmetry. It was sold for HK $ 240M including premium by Sotheby's on October 7, 2013, which is HK $ 2M per carat.
BID NOW! In an unprecedented move, this Highly Important 102.39 Carat D Colour Flawless Oval Diamond will be offered without reserve. Online bidding opens today and will culminate in a single-lot live auction at #SothebysHongKong on 5 Oct. Read more: https://t.co/tU1x8hoJan pic.twitter.com/XVTAhpCFsm— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) September 15, 2020
The Underground of Botswana
2019 SOLD for HK$ 108M including premium
The most resplendent is the round brilliant. This cut is rarely practiced from large gems because the perfect shape is obtained at the expense of a loss of material. An oval with perfect facets can approach the quality of a round diamond. Some other elongated shapes such as pear or emerald also offer very satisfactory results.
In 2018 Sotheby's Diamonds privately sold a magnificent round diamond weighing 102.34 carats, extracted from a 425 carat rough stone mined by De Beers in Botswana. The price of the transaction was not disclosed.
On May 15, 2013, Christie's sold for CHF 26M including premium a 101.73 carat pear diamond obtained from a 236 carat gem unearthed at Jwaneng, a mine owned in partnership by De Beers and by the Government of Botswana.
On April 2 in Hong Kong, Sotheby's sells as lot 1801 an oval diamond of 88.22 carats. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
The GIA report accompanying its certification includes a rare laudatory comment : "Though its GIA Grading Report reveals a thorough description of its characteristics, it cannot quite capture its splendor - one must see the gem to comprehend its magnificence."
This diamond comes from a 242 carat rough stone also mined in Jwaneng. Its lower estimate at HK $ 88M responds to its weight in carats by using the double 8 which is in China a homophony with an augur of joy and wealth. This amount corresponds to US $ 127K before fees per carat.
An oval diamond weighing 118.28 carats worked from a 299 carat rough stone discovered in 2011 in southern Africa was sold for HK $ 240M including premium by Sotheby's on October 7, 2013, corresponding to US $ 260K including premium per carat.