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Due to market fluctuations and sub-par performance during recent years, investors have started turning their attention towards more tangible assets to diversify their portfolio. More specifically they have been turning towards “passion investments” which include works of art, antique cars, and of course fancy colored diamonds.

diamond real test

While market insecurities play a significant role, passion assets have been increasing in popularity for another reason; and that has to do with emotion. Investing in stocks and bonds might spark a certain “thrill” for investors, but at the end of the day it boils down to numbers on a chart.

On the other hand, passion investments also have a significant emotional appeal. You can see them, hold them, and enjoy them; at the end of the day they are also something you “own”.

price of colored diamonds

Passion Investment Comparison Analysis

One of the best ways to monitor and quantify the value of a fancy color diamond investment is to keep track of diamond prices while also looking at how other assets are performing as well.

For more information on this you could check out the links below

Quick disclaimer before beginning: The data for the prices mentioned below has been accumulated from official auction houses such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Phillips and Bonham’s.

So without further adieu, let’s take a look at the record holders for each category:


The Most Expensive Work of Art Ever Sold at Auction

On November 15th, 2017 Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi managed to amaze the world with the astronomical price it sold for. Being the last Leonardo da Vinci painting to be privately owned, the piece was sold for a jaw dropping $450.3 million at the Christie’s New York Art auction. Initially, bidding had started at a still staggering $90 million and in less than 20 minutes it had reached over 4X that amount.

The Salvator Mundi shattered the previous record for highest price paid for a work of art at public auction which was set in May 11, 2015. $179 million by Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger.

 “Salvator Mundi”, painted by Leonardo da Vinci.png

Image credit: Christie’s


The Most Expensive Diamond Ever Sold at Auction

2017 was an exceptional year as we saw multiple record breaking pieces, and fancy colored diamond market was no exception.

The beautiful 59.6 carat, oval cut, Fancy Vivid Pink diamond known as the Pink Star sold during Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in April of last year. The stone was bought for a truly massive $71.2 million, and managed to shatter not one, but two records.

The first record was in the pink diamond category where it broke the record for most expensive pink diamond to be sold at a public auction (previously held by the Graff Pink at $46 million).

The Pink Star did not stop there, it also managed to shatter the record for most expensive fancy colored diamond ever to be sold at a public auction dethroning the Oppenheimer Blue which held the record for 2 years at $57.6 million.

 pink star.png

Image credit: Sotheby’s

 The Most Expensive Collectible Car Ever Sold at Auction

For many people, cars are not just a means of transportation, they are works of art, and no less can be said about the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. This car shattered all previous records when it was sold for $38.1 million during Bonham’s California auction, The Quail, on August 14, 2014.

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO.png

Image credit: Bonham’s

Previously, the record was held by another amazing vehicle, the 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 which sold for $29.6 million at Bonham’s Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013.

During 2016, the GTO’s record came close to being broken by another car from the same manufacturer, a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti which sold for an amazing $35.7 million.

Despite not taking the crown for most expensive car ever to be sold, it certainly dethroned the  runner up W196.

The Most Expensive Watch Ever Sold at Auction

Again with another 2017 record breaking sale, the  Paul Newman Rolex Daytona, managed to set a new record at the Phillips auction in New York on October 26. While bidding started at a very modest $1 million, it only took 12 minutes for the price to skyrocket, ultimately achieving $17.8 million.

Paul Newman Rolex Daytona.png

Image credit: Phillips

The previous record holder was a 1518 Patek Philip steel watch that had been sold for $11.1 million in November of 2016, during a Geneva Philips auction.

The Verdict

Alternative, tangible assets are gaining significant traction and 2017 was a prime example of investors turning their heads to “passion investments” which in turn have begun to surpass the more traditional investments in debt and equity.

So what does this mean for the fancy colored diamonds?

During the past 2 decades, colored diamond value has been soaring to heights it has never seen before, and as demand continues to increase with supply being low, or even diminishing, prices can be expected to rise even more.

From the above assets (as well as previous articles we’ve written) we can see that the only “real” rival to fancy colored diamonds are pieces of fine art. However, this is only natural; just like diamonds, privately owned pieces by famous painters are finite and investors have been cognizant about their value for the longest time.

Conversely, the fancy colored diamond investment market is still in its infancy, with more and more investors only now beginning to understand the value hidden in this market.

Of course, it is impossible to predict how each market is going to evolve, only time will tell, but one thing is for certain. While the enjoyment one receives from a “passion investment” cannot be quantified, the ROI can, and in the case of fancy colored diamonds (and the rest of the items on this list), it will indeed be massive.

Do you have any questions about fancy colored diamond investing? Let us know! And as always feel free to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For more insight on the world of colored diamonds be sure to check out the links below:

price of colored diamonds