Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Best of Sotheby's Fancy Colored Diamonds at Auction

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 4/18/16 8:30 AM

Sotheby’s is one of the world’s largest brokers of fine art, wine, and diamonds, among many other collectibles. It was established in London in 1744 as a book dealership, but it wasn’t until 1913 when Sotheby’s became known for the sale of famous art pieces, such as a Frans Hals painting. With the success of those early sales and the rise of fine art auctions worldwide, it opened offices in Paris, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and Moscow. Sotheby’s has become a global auction house with over 90 locations and 250 auctions held each year in various categories.


Fancy Colored Diamonds at Auction

Each April Sotheby’s opens up auction season with its most famous fine jewelry auction, Magnificent Jewels. The Magnificent Jewels auction has set record selling prices for fancy colored diamonds among other jewels. 

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond 

This year’s auction headliner is the Shirley Temple Blue Diamond, a 9.54-carat cushion cut fancy deep blue diamond. This massive stone was a personal treasure of the child star and was cherished for years until her passing in 2014. Shirley’s Temple’s father originally purchased the diamond, which is mounted on a diamond ring, for her 12th birthday in the 1940s for just $7,210.  This precious gem has gained value at an astonishing rate. It is expected to bring in at auction anywhere between $25 and $35 million. The diamond is certainly a relic of Hollywood history, but its monetary value won't be revealed until the diamond goes on the block on April 19th. 

Famous Blue Colored Diamond

In November 2015 at Sotheby’s in Geneva, a 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $48.5 million, setting a world record for any diamond of any color. The gorgeous stone that goes by the name “Blue Moon” has flawless clarity and is now the world’s largest known fancy vivid blue diamond.

Famous Pink Colored Diamond

The Graff Pink was the previous record holder for most valuable diamond at auction. The 24.78- carat fancy intense pink sold for $46.2 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 2010. This stone was classified as a type lla pink diamond by the Gemological Institute Of America, meaning it has very few inclusions and is an extreme rarity of nature.

Famous Yellow Colored Diamond

The Graff Vivid Yellow holds the world record of highest price for a yellow diamond. A massive 100.09 carats vivid yellow diamond sold at Sotheby’s in May 2014 for an astonishing $16.3 million.


Famous Orange Colored Diamond

Among the many famous diamonds sold at Sotheby’s is “The Mandarin Orange”, a 4.19-carat cushion-shaped fancy vivid orange diamond.  This diamond sold at auction in 2011 for $2.9 million, setting the record for any fancy vivid orange diamond that year.   

Famous Brown Colored Diamond

“The Golden Maharaja” a 65.57-carat fancy dark orange-brown of South African origin sold for $1.4 million at Sotheby’s. As known, brown is the most common color in natural diamonds but what made this specific one so special is its extra facet pattern. 

Once in a blue moon is when these extravagant and historic gems hit the auction block bringing in millions of dollars as these diamonds are the true symbol of wealth and power. At Sotheby’s auction house, fancy colored diamonds are vying for a part of history, quality, and rarity.

For more readings on fancy colored diamond auctions, click the link below: 

Naturally Colored Diamonds

Topics: History


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