In the world of fancy colour diamonds, red, blue, pink and yellow are preferred choices for investment, while green, purple, violet and orange are colours for collectors
Cut is the attribute that most affects a diamond’s beauty, but colour is the second. The most intensely coloured diamonds are in a class of their own. Known as fancy colour diamonds, they are appreciated for the presence of colour rather than its absence, as is the case for white or colourless diamonds.
Green is increasingly popular among fancy colour diamonds, while colourlessness is the most desirable white diamond.
The Gemological Institute of America identifies 27 hues, and awards stones with the grade of fancy light, fancy, fancy intense, fancy deep, fancy vivid or fancy dark. These denote the tone and saturation of a colour diamond.
Fancy vivid tends to be the most desirable, and is an ideal investment stone.
The other three Cs remain important. Clarity, cut and carat weight all affect value, but to a lesser extent than colour in fancy colour diamonds.
Demand for pink
The Argyle mines, the main producers of quality fancy pinks, face exhaustion and are set to close by 2020. Demand and prices are expected to surge once the supply is cut off.
Rio Tinto, which runs the Argyle mine, saw prices of its annual diamond tender triple from 2000 to 2015, increasing by an average of 15 per cent per year and reaching more than US$1 million per carat.
Last April, the record for the most expensive diamond sold at auction was set by the Pink Star, a 59.6ct internally flawless vivid pink. It was bought by Hong Kong jewellery retailer Chow Tai Fook for US$71.2 million and renamed the CTF Pink.
Rio Tinto’s tender this year is open for bidding, and includes a 3.14ct emerald-cut fancy vivid purplish pink christened the Argyle Alpha. It is the largest pink diamond in the tender’s 34-year history.
Investment or collector’s item?
According to the Diamond Investment & Intelligence Centre, red, blue, pink and yellow are colours for investment, whereas green, purple, violet and orange are colours for collectors. Although all fancy coloured diamonds are rare, that alone does not make them a good investment.
Green diamonds are rarer than blue ones, and second only to red diamonds. But finding a buyer may be more difficult, as demand is lower and potential buyers may not be willing to pay as much for a green diamond.
Growing appetite for green
Some investors are revisiting the idea of green being more of a collector’s colour. Lower prices for green diamonds may give a chance to buy low and sell high.
The price of greens has been rising. In 2014, the sale of the 5.51ct fancy deep blue-green Ocean Dream by Christie’s fetched US$1.56 million per carat. Most recently, Chow Tai Fook bought the 5.03ct Aurora Green for US$3.3 million per carat at Christie’s in 2016.
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