Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Winter 2014, Vol. 50, No. 4

Record Prices at Gem Auctions


Auction records kept breaking in late 2014 as the world’s ultra-wealthy buyers vied for rare, important gemstones. At Sotheby’s October 7 Hong Kong auction, an 8.41 ct GIA-graded Fancy Vivid purple-pink, Internally Flawless diamond (figure 1) drew a winning bid of $17,768,041 from a private buyer from Asia. It was the highest price ever paid for a Vivid pink diamond at auction. And at $2.1 million per carat, it came close to besting the all-time per-carat price achieved by a gemstone.

8.41 ct pear-shaped Fancy Vivid purple-pink diamond
Figure 1. This 8.41 ct pear-shaped Fancy Vivid purple-pink diamond sold for more than $17.7 million at Sotheby’s Oct. 7 auction in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.

On November 21 at Sotheby’s New York, a 9.75 ct Fancy Vivid blue diamond (figure 2) sold for $32,645,000, a new auction record total price for any blue diamond. At $3,348,205 per carat, it was also a new record price per carat for any diamond. The pear-shaped diamond went to a private collector in Hong Kong who named it the Zoe diamond.

9.75 ct Fancy Vivid blue diamond
Figure 2. This 9.75 ct Fancy Vivid blue diamond sold at Sotheby’s November 21 auction in New York for more than $32.6 million, a record total price for blue diamonds and a record per-carat price for any diamond. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Russell Shor is senior industry analyst at GIA in Carlsbad, California.

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