The Economist looks as the market for colored diamonds and finds Laurence Graff right at the center of it. Detailing the work he did on the Wittelsbach diamond, which Graff bought for $24m and now says is worth $100m after some polishing, the magazine goes on to focus on the fever for colored stones among Chinese buyers. With a large vivid pink diamond threatening to make a very big number in Hong Kong this weekend, it should be pointed out that 25% of the winning bids in Christie’s recent October sale came from mainland Chinese buyers.
These days when a great diamond comes on the market, the chatter is heard around the world. Take, for instance, the 2.5-carat green diamond offered by Sotheby’s Geneva on November 17th. “There is a lot of noise about this one,” said Alisa Moussaieff, an important diamond dealer, before the sale. Although the size of a shelled peanut, the gem is the largest naturally green diamond ever to come to auction. Natural greens are produced by the earth’s radiation; artificial ones are irradiated after the gems are mined. Coloured diamonds are the rarest of gemstones, and green and red ones are as rare as they get. They are not necessarily beauties. “Normally the green ones that come up are asleep,” explained Mrs Moussaieff. “But this one has got life. It is a ball of fire.” On Tuesday that little green ball of fire was bought by a private Asian buyer for just under $3.1m, a record auction price for a green diamond.
Colour Me Dazzled (Economist)