By: Emily Duke
Finesse Diamonds Corp.
NCDIA Co-chair Marketing Committee
Blue diamonds have been making and breaking records at auction for a few years now. In November 2014, Sotheby’s New York set an auction record for a blue diamond when the Zoe Diamond garnered $32.6 million. Then, in November 2015, the 12.03-carat Blue Moon (a fancy vivid blue) sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for $48.5 million, setting an auction record for any gemstone.
This auction season we saw some spectacular natural blue diamonds sell for incredible sums.
In April, Sotheby’s Hong Kong offered the 10.10 carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, an internally flawless fancy vivid blue oval, and saw it sell for $31.8 million.
The 24.18-carat fancy intense blue diamond nicknamed the “Cullinan Dream” sold for $25.4 million at Christie’s in June and is now the largest, most expensive fancy intense blue diamond ever offered at auction.
The largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever seen at auction, the Oppenheimer Blue, is also now a record-setter. The emerald cut, 14.62-carat stone sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva, setting a new world record price for any jewel sold at auction, surpassing the Blue Moon.
Jewelry loving consumers are paying attention. They’re curious, intrigued by the staggering price tags and the history of the stones. So what do you do when they come to your store looking for a blue diamond?
I doubt they’re coming to spend millions. Maybe a 5-figure budget, if you’re lucky. Fortunately, not all colored diamonds are crazy expensive. It’s smart to stock an assortment of colors and price points so you can satisfy each unique customer.
When it comes to blues, there’s a modifier that will bring the price down but not the beauty. Gray. It’s more common for blues to have a gray tint so it tends to make the diamond much more budget friendly. A grayish-blue, gray-blue, or blue-gray could be a really lovely alternative to a straight blue without sacrificing attractiveness. Remember, whatever color is at the end of the grade is the dominant hue. So a grayish-blue or gray-blue will be more expensive than a blue-gray or blueish gray.
Keep in mind, like all colored diamonds, blues are not created equal. Two stones could have the same color grade on the cert, but one could be much nicer than another so reviewing them in person is ideal. It’s also important to consider the setting. Rose gold and pink diamond accents will bring out the blue in the diamond, strengthening the color. If you aren’t familiar with color theory, you should check this out and pay attention to complementary colors.
Modifying colors are your best friend. You just have to make sure you appreciate the beauty of the stone, not the grade on the certificate. If you fall in love with the diamond, so will your customer.
(Cover Photo: Leibish & Co.)