The April birthstone is the diamond. When you think of a diamond, most likely you envision a beautiful white glistening gem flawlessly reflecting hues of the rainbow. But a diamond is not just white, there are variations of natural color in diamonds that make this one of the most sought after precious gems in the world. This month, I want to share some of those famous, bold and beautiful natural colored diamonds with you.
Pictured above and weighing 14.62 carats, is the breathtaking Oppenheimer Blue. Named after Sir Philip Oppenheimer of De Beers fame, this gem is the largest Fancy Vivid Blue ever to come to auction. It is the latest in a line of historic blue diamonds to have been auctioned at Christie’s which includes the Tereshchenko in 1984 and the Wittelsbach Blue in 2008.
François Curiel, Chairman of Christie's Asia Pacific and China, observes: ‘Blue diamonds have gained a wider following, not only because they are stunning, but because there are so few of them available in the world. The Oppenheimer Blue is one of the rarest gems in the world. It is the gem of gems.’
The Blue was sold as the largest Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond in the world. Set in a ring, the pear-shaped stone came flanked by two pear-shaped white diamonds, weighing approximately 1.00 and 0.96 carats. It was purchased by Harry Winston in Geneva in 2014 for a sum equating to just over $24 million.
Since they were first discovered in India, pink diamonds have been considered among the most beautiful of gemstones. At 14.23 carats, The Perfect Pink is particularly rare, with polished pink diamonds of its size and colour virtually unheard of — fewer than 10 per cent of all pink diamonds weigh more than 0.20 carats.
While most pink diamonds show some elements of purple, orange or grey, The Perfect Pink is just that, showing absolutely no trace of secondary colour. Completely devoid of inclusions, the diamond was sold in Hong Kong in 2010 for $23,274,064.
This exceptional gem possesses a soft cushion-shaped silhouette with modified cutting style, and is a sensational example of a Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond. Simply set as a ring within a streamlined yellow gold setting, the Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond requires no further ornamentation. To find a stone of approximately 75.56 carats graded a Fancy Vivid Yellow by the GIA is a rare occurrence in today’s marketplace.
In 2013, Christie’s auctioned one of the world’s most perfect diamonds, and one of the largest pear-shaped diamonds known to date — weighing in at an extraordinary 101.73 carats. Awarded the highest ‘D’ colour grade by the Gemological Institute of America, the stone came with the coveted ‘Flawless’ clarity, and was bought for $26,746,541.
Perfectly symmetrical, the finished diamond was produced from a rough diamond of 236 carats sourced in Botswana, and took 21 months to polish. ‘Just as a great artist is able to “see” a masterpiece in a block of marble, a perfect diamond is the result of the skill and vision of a master cutter who is able to uncover beauty from a rough gem,’ explains International Head of Jewellery Rahul Kadakia.
When it was auctioned in 2013, The Orange was the largest Fancy Vivid Orange diamond ever to have been discovered, weighing approximately 14.82 carats. The GIA commented: ‘In the laboratory’s experience, strongly coloured diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three of four carats in size when polished. This diamond is almost four times larger.’
Termed ‘fire diamonds’ by famous gemologist Edwin Streeter, pure orange diamonds remain incredibly rare, with so few having been graded that the exact cause of their colour remains a mystery. The diamond’s unique nature was reflected in its price, selling for $35,543,804 — more than $15 million above its high estimate.
Sold in Geneva on 10 November 2015, this cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond is the largest of its kind ever to come to auction, weighing in at 16.08 carats. The stone is set in a ring, and is surrounded by a double row of pavé white diamonds, a third row of small pink diamonds nestled underneath.
‘As large and rare coloured diamonds of this calibre become increasingly hard to locate, this 16.08 carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond comes to market at a time when great gems are mirroring prices achieved for masterpieces in the world of fine art,’ comments Kadakia. Awarded to just one in 100,000 diamonds, the ‘Fancy Vivid’ status is exceptionally rare, reflecting the depth of the diamond’s straight pink hue.