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Arpège Diamonds continues the exploration of some of the most famous diamonds in history. In this installment of the Famous Diamond Series, we will be taking a look at the breathtaking Sweet Josephine. 

Sweet Josephine diamond

The Investments of a Giant - Joseph Lau

It would be easy to characterize record-setting auction prices as a case of billionaires being billionaires. However, discerning readers and investors should look beyond the tabloid ready details of Joseph Lau’s life and business dealings, and appreciate his investment strategy.

The Hong Kong investor has previously purchased gemstones for older daughter Zoe, including a blue diamond purchased in 2009 known as “Star of Josephine.” However, it was his purchase of the Blue Moon – now known as Blue Moon of Josephine, and this pink diamond that was auctioned on November 10, 2015, at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva, which really set him apart.

A Lasting Impression

The Magnificent Jewels type auctions are intended to attract the wealthiest individual buyers and the rarefied cream of the investing class. The total 2015 auction had cleared in excess of $110,000,000 with more than $28,000,000 of that sum being realized from Mr. Lau’s purchase of "The Pink".

As soon as the diamond was sold to Mr. Lau, the investor quickly changed the name of the diamond to 'The Sweet Josephine'.

This Fancy Vivid Pink stone weighs 16.08 carats and was the largest cushion cut stone to have ever been offered for bid at that time. It was one of only three stones of this classification to come up for public sale in 250 years. The stone was previously in private ownership in America prior to the Christie’s sale.

Set in a gold and platinum ring with two rows of pave white diamonds surrounding it, and a third row of smaller pink diamonds below, the stone is classified as a Type IIa and is rated with a VVS2 clarity.

Type IIa diamonds make up no more than 2% of natural diamonds, and are almost completely free of nitrogen impurities, such as famous diamonds like the Graff Pink and the recent record holder for all colored diamonds The Pink Star.

VVS2 diamonds are two steps below the most rare rating of Internally Flawless, and may show Very Very Slight (the VVS part) inclusions that you may need a microscope in order to identify them. Even then, only a very skilled and trained eye is able to see the defects. 

A Smart Investment

Mr. Lau had purchased a highly important stone, and has made a clear pattern of investment in colored diamonds and other stones throughout his career; just like other investors may invest in art, fine wines, and other alternatives to the roller coaster stock market and real estate.

His daughters may realize the benefits when they reach adulthood, and their father passes on the stones that he purchased and named for them in their childhood. Such stones are seeing dramatic increases in value per carat as time goes on, and these small, portable investments are far less volatile than the “correction” prone stock market. Even for a billionaire, proper investments that hold long term value are of importance as part of a financial strategy.

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