Naturally Colored Diamond Blog

Colored Diamond Auctions: The Best of Sotheby’s

Posted by Tony Cathaway on 9/23/16 8:00 AM

Sotheby’s is one of the most recognizable names in auction houses. Each year, Sotheby’s hosts a number of auctions, often featuring prized colored diamonds as the main attraction. Throughout the years, Sotheby’s has broken record after record when it comes to these colored diamond sales. In this article, we will feature a few of these notable sales.


Record Sales

In 2015 at a Geneva sale, a Fancy Vivid Blue 12.03 carat diamond named the Blue Moon sold for $48.5 million. This set a world record for price per carat of a diamond sold of any color.

Prior to the sale of the Blue Moon, The Graff Pink held the previous record for the most valuable diamond sold at auction. The Fancy Intense Pink 24.78 carat diamond sold in Geneva in 2010 for a jaw-dropping $46.2 million.

The record for yellow diamond sales goes to The Graff Vivid Yellow. The enormous 100.09 carat diamond sold in May of 2014 for $16.3 million.

The Mandarin Orange is a Fancy Vivid Orange 4.19-carat diamond.  It sold in 2011 for $2.9 million, which set the record for orange diamond sales that year. While orange diamonds are not the most sought after in the color spectrum, their rarity gives them an inherent value which drives their price up when they make it to auction.

Brown diamonds are much more common in the colored diamond world. A 65.57 carat dark orange-brown diamond named The Golden Maharaja sold at Sotheby’s for $1.4 million. Despite being frequently discovered, the extra facet pattern in this particular diamond drove its value up above the $1 million mark.

The Unique Pink is a Fancy Vivid Pink diamond weighing in at 15.38 carats. The diamond was sold in May of 2016 at a Sotheby’s auction and brought in more than $2 million per carat, with a final sale price of $31.6 million.

Smaller Sales

A Fancy Purplish Pink brilliant cut diamond set in a platinum ring weighing 12.45 carats sold for $4.56 million at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in early 2016. 

At the same auction, a pear-shaped Fancy Light Blue diamond weighing 5.06 carats sold for $1.45 million. The stunning blue diamond was set in a platinum ring and was surrounded by white diamonds.

A Fancy Pink heart-shaped diamond weighing in at 2.72 carats sold for $430,000 at the 2016 Magnificent Jewels Auction. The one of a kind diamond was surrounded by smaller pink and white diamonds and set on a rose gold diamond ring.

A 23.98 carat Fancy Yellow diamond flanked by white diamonds and set in a gold ring sold for $418,000 when it crossed the Sotheby’s auction block.

Surprising Results 

The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond is a 9.54-carat Fancy Deep Blue diamond that was once owned by the famous actress of the same name. The diamond was given to the then 12-year-old Temple as a present from her father and mounted in a gold and platinum ring with two white diamond bands. At auction in 2016, the bidding opened at $19 million before closing at $22 million, but it failed to meet the reserve and went unsold.

For more auction results and colored diamond news, read the links below:


Topics: Things to Know


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