Tag Archives: Diamond

The World’s Most Expensive Diamond Hood Ornament

The highest-priced hood ornament in the world, is well known as ‘The Spirit of Ecstasy’, ‘Emily’, ‘Silver Lady’ or ‘The Flying Lady’.  While it’s not the first time someone has blinged the iconic mascot, this one does seem to the most expensive ever.

Clad in a stunning 40 carats of diamonds, this Rolls Royce hood ornament is estimated to cost upwards of US$350,000.

This diamond hood ornament has quite an interesting history, as it was first born out of a request for Lord John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu’s Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. Charles Sykes, the sculptor who designed The Flying Lady, used Eleanor Velasco Thornton (Lord John Walter Edward Douglas-Scott-Montagu’s secret love) as a model for the figurine. Eleanor Velasco Thornton was Lord Montagu’s secretary, but their love had to remain secret to protect status quo.

Dubai based Instagram influencer Alex Hirschi has recently posted a video on her Instagram account @supercarblondie, showing the stunning diamond hood ornament up close. When she tries to pull the Spirit of Ecstasy out, like with all Rolls Royce’s, it automatically retracted into the radiator. Thankfully none of the diamonds were lost.

Although this Spirit of Ecstasy is not up for sale, it surely serves as a great inspiration to spruce up the hood ornament of your next automobile.

De Beers Debuts New Line of Lab-made Diamonds

Founded by Cecil Rhodes with funding from the Rothschild family, De Beers is known for their famous marketing slogan “a diamond is forever”, and once had a near-monopoly on global diamond production.

De Beers will be selling diamonds “grown” in a laboratory near Ascot, Berkshire, in an upcoming line under Lightbox Jewelry.

The 130-year-old diamond company, which mines billion-year-old diamonds, has just launched a range of much cheaper “lab-grown diamonds” recently on the 28th May Tuesday. Created in just three weeks by scientists, the lab-made diamonds are a result from a process similar to 3D printing.

The new range of synthetic diamonds is aimed to meet increasing demand for “affordable fashion jewellery that may not be forever but is perfect for right now”, said De Beers.

The Lightbox brand diamonds are estimated to sell between $200 (SGD $268) for a quarter-carat stone, to $800 (SGD $1,070) for a one-carat stone. Nimesh Patel, De Beers’s chief financial officer, said that the prices are a 85-90% discount on the cost of natural diamonds, placing lab-made diamond jewelry at a much more accessible price range.

De Beers has been making synthetic diamonds for industrial customers for decades but had never brought them into the jewelry industry. Previous diamond products made by De Beers’ Element Six unit were mostly used as drilling tools for the oil and gas industry, usually in black shade that one will not have identified with the clear diamond.

Technically, lab-made diamonds and mined diamonds share the same structure and chemical composition. While mined stones have a higher market value, they are almost visually indistinguishable from lab-made stones without special machinery. However, De Beers have stated in a response that precautions have been taken against fraud, making it even easier to tell the difference.

“Lightbox uses a system whereby it laser marks its stones just below the surface with the Lightbox logo to ensure that the stones can easily be identified as lab-grown products and can’t be passed off as real diamonds.”

Real diamonds however, are formed from billions of years under the earth, instead of a mere few weeks in the laboratory, with each bearing a unique structure and lustre of its own.

The new jewelry line will be launched commercially in September of this year. The brand, Lightbox jewelry, will operate through an e-commerce sales platform, and will not be available from De Beers retail stores. Although current plans are only set for the US market, the response to Lightbox Jewelry from consumers will be assessed for international markets.

Legendary Blue Diamond of Royal Descent sells for 6.7 million

The pear-shaped, dark grey-blue gem, known as The Farnese Blue, was sold after a mere four minutes of bidding at the Sotheby’s auction.

Found at India’s Golconda mines, the Farnese diamond was a gift to the daughter of the Duke of Parma in 1715 to mark her marriage to King Philip V of Spain.

One of the most significant historical gems still in private hands, the Geneva auction marks the first time the Farnese Blue diamond was put up for sale.

The auction performed exceptionally well, with the final bid way of the Farnese Blue surpassing the auction house’s initial estimate of $3.5m-$5m.

“We were expecting a good result but we started from $3.5m and we ended up with $6.7m, so we exceeded our expectation,” said Sotheby’s jewellery specialist, Daniela Mascetti.
“Good jewels, well-designed, well-made, with a signature, with a perfect slot in time, in age, do very well.”

Philip V and Elisabeth in 1739.

Despite the royal history of this gem, its whereabouts and existence was kept hushed to an exclusive circle. The Farnese Blue was originally a gift to Queen of Spain Elisabeth Farnese by the Philippines to celebrate her marriage to King Philip in 1714, the blue diamond was subsequently passed down to a descendant of France’s last queen, Marie Antoinette.

Over the next three centuries, the Farnese Blue was furtively passed down through four European royal families. All this while, the 6.16-carat blue diamond was hidden in a jewellery box in a casket as it traveled through Spain, France, Italy, and Austria.

Found from India’s Golconda mines, this gem holds an incredible pedigree. In fact, this region was the go-to source for exceptional colored diamonds, such as the Hope Diamond, until the 1720s when mining shifted to Brazil.

The first time The Farnese Blue, passed down through European royalty, went on sale.

“With its incredible pedigree, the Farnese Blue ranks among the most important historic diamonds in the world,” said Dr. Philipp Herzog von Württemberg, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and managing director of Germany, in a statement from the auction house. “From the first minute I saw the stone, I could not resist its magic, and as such, it is a huge privilege to have been entrusted with this sale.”

Among the other magnificent gems in the list of the Sotheby’s auction includes a 51.71 carats round diamond ring that went for $9.2 million, and a 50.39-carat oval diamond ring that was sold for $8.1 million.

The identity of the Farnese Blue buyer is unrevealed by Sotheby’s.

Tiffany scores top marks for ethical mining

Sustainable and ethical are hot keywords in the luxury industry. In the most recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) study, Tiffany and Co. emerges at the top for their significant efforts and contributions to address human rights risks in the gold and diamond supply chain.

The single supply mine where Tiffany sources gold from has also regulations in place to conduct regular human rights assessments. The Board of Directors also adopts a Conflict Minerals Policy, which articulates principles for responsible gold mining to its vendors. 

Tiffany is one of the five companies to establish a code of conduct in their contracts that aligns with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, along with other brands such as Bvlgari, Signet Jewelers, Pandora and Chopard. The contract details expectations regarding human rights, labor practices, environmental protection, and ethical business conduct, all of which comply with the Kimberley Process and World Diamond Council System of Warranties.

To realise the code of conduct, suppliers are required to conduct periodic self-assessments of human rights risks. Regular audits are conducted and systems have been created in place to respond to risks in their supply chain to ensure standards are met. Diamonds are only sourced from countries that are full participants in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

Tiffany and Co. has helped launch Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) and Development Diamond Initiative (DDI) that help formalize and promote responsible artisanal mining in both the diamond and gold sectors. In addition to showing financial support to develop responsible artisanal mines, Tiffany and Co. are also exploring the possibility of sourcing from certified mines that will be feasible.

Sustainability reports are published annually, including information on actions to achieve responsible mining, ethical sourcing, and approach to supplier audits. In 2014, Tiffany & Co. pledged that it sources 100 percent of its diamonds from known mines or suppliers with multiple known mines. Recently, Tiffany has also publicly revealed that its source of newly mined gold to from Bingham Canyon, a mine owned by Rio Tinto.

Raw precious metals in Tiffany’s trade can also be directly traced to a mine or recycler. 27 percent of its gold comes from this single mine and the remaining 73 percent comes from recycled sources sourced from a single supplier. Names of other suppliers have been shared with HRW on a confidential basis.

Apart from such efforts in the supply industry, Tiffany has also taken steps to reduce their environment footprints by using sustainably sourced paper and wood-fiber materials are used for their packaging. On the packaging front, Tiffany reports that the paper suppliers for its signature blue boxes and bags were Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Other brands in the report include Cartier, Chopard and Signet. For the complete list and more details, view the full HRW report.

The Grand Mazarin Sold at Christie’s

My Highlight of 2017: The Grand Mazarin

A dazzling historic coloured diamond, Le Grand Mazarin, was sold at a price of CHF14,375,000 recently at Christie’s in Geneva. Christie’s described the Mazarin diamond, as a “perfect 19.07 carat pink diamond” which was a royal treasure once owned by generations of French kings, queens, emperors and empresses, before disappearing into private hands.

Jean-Marc Lunel, Senior Jewellery Specialist at Christie’s in Geneva said they received a call one day, inviting them to view “an unspecified historic diamond” in a private house in Europe. “When the client unwrapped a piece of old parcel paper to reveal this beautiful pink diamond in front of my colleagues Jessica Koers and Max Fawcett, they were completely stunned,” recalled Lunel.

This brilliantly cut diamond was sourced from an old mine, Lunel recounted, “Mesmerised, our jewellery historian Vanessa Cron began looking through old family records, tracing the diamond’s history.”

Christie’s specialist discovered the importance of the stone’s rediscovery

For Lunel, being able to hold such an important piece of French royal history in his hands was unbelievable. The specialist continued to explain why this gem would be one of the most important stones they had ever offered.

“After spending 225 years as part of the French Crown Jewels, the stone was offered in an infamous 1887 sale, which saw the royal treasury broken up and dispersed. It had not been seen at public auction since.

“Although Christie’s has previously had the privilege of selling pieces that were at one point part of the French Crown Jewels, I knew this would be one of the most important stones we had ever offered,” said Lunel.

On the day of the auction, the atmosphere was intense as the hammer finally fell at USD14, 463,493 — underlining the stone’s allure.

Sotheby’s to auction 26-carat cushion cut diamond from London junk sale

A diamond ring bought for next to nothing in a London junk sale is expected to fetch up to £350,000 ($455,000, 405,000 euros), said Sotheby’s auction house. The owner bought the 26-carat, white diamond ring for £10 in the 1980s and wore it while doing shopping and chores, thinking it was costume jewellery, Sotheby’s said.

“The owner would wear it out shopping, wear it day-to-day. It’s a good-looking ring,” said Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby’s London jewellery department. “No one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. The majority of us can’t even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large.”

The diamond is thought to have been cut in the 19th century, when the style was to cut to conserve the weight rather than to make it as sparkly as possible, hence its relatively dull brilliance. “It could trick people into thinking it’s not a genuine stone,” said Wyndham. She said the owner, who does not want to be named, brought the ring in after a jeweller told them it could be worth something. She said the owner was “incredibly excited. Anyone would be in this position: it’s a life-changing amount of money. “This is a one-off windfall, an amazing find.”

The ring will be auctioned on June 7 and is expected to fetch between £250,000 and £350,000. Sotheby’s said the owner came forward in the past few months seeking a valuation. “Much to the owner’s surprise, the ring turned out to be a genuine cushion-shaped diamond weighing 26.27 carats with an attractive colour grade of I and impressive clarity grade of VVS2,” the auctioneers said.

The clarity grade “Very, very slightly included 2” is the fourth-highest out of 11, while a colour grading of I means it is near colourless, on the scale from D to Z.

Jewellery auctions in Geneva: Christie’s sells heart-shaped diamond $15 million

The largest flawless heart-shaped diamond has sold for nearly $15 million in Geneva on May 17, breaking a world record in its category, auction house Christie’s said.The 92-carat diamond forms the centrepiece of a necklace of cultured pearls.

The sale price of around $14.99 million (around 13.45 million euros) is a world record for heart shaped diamonds, Christie’s spokeswoman Alexandra Kindermann told AFP.

The piece was designed by Boehmer et Bassenge who have taken over the name of one of the greatest French jewellers of the 18th century. It is now run by an Antwerp-based diamond merchant.

The previous record for a heart-shaped diamond was set in 2011 when a 56.15-carat rock sold for $10.9 million.

blue diamond sotheby's

Rare Blue Diamond Sold for $17.1 million: Sotheby’s

Earlier this week, a rare blue diamond was sold for $17.1 million during Sotheby’s autumn jewel auctions in Geneva. The 8.01-carat diamond, appropriately named “Sky Blue” and presented in a Cartier setting was valued at $15-25 million by the auction house and had been previously sold in 2012 for $12.8 million – gaining 33 percent in value in four years.

Despite this success, “Sky Blue” pales in comparison with another blue diamond sold by Christie’s, highlighting the intense rivalry between Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The 14.62-carat  “Oppenheimer Blue”, sold in May at a Christie’s auction for $57.54 million – which remains the world record price.

“Given the rarity of blue diamonds of this size and quality which have ever been unearthed, you’d expect every auction of this kind to be a dogfight,” said Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds, Europe’s biggest online diamond jewellery retailer.

It wasn’t all sunny skies at Sotheby’s though, as the auction house did not manage to find buyers for two valuable items.

First is a parure that used to belong to Russian empress Catherine I. Valued at $3-5 million, it features diamonds and has, shall we say, a quite interesting story.

The other unsold piece also belonged to the Russian imperial family, this time Catherine II, also called Catherine the Great. The diamond necklace, fitted with a detachable clasps, was valued at $5 million and you can read more about it in our earlier story via the link above.

Christie’s, which opened the season on Tuesday with 167 lots, achieved $97 million in sales, and beat its pre-auction estimate of $80 million. Sotheby’s, on the other hand, were expecting total sales in excess of $100 million this season.

Tiffany T two ring in 18k rose gold white gold with diamonds

Tiffany & Co. Debuts New Rings, Snapchat Filter

If the sight of the robin egg blue box doesn’t illicit a silent scream or two, nothing else will. This season, American jeweler Tiffany & Co. launches three new rings series (and an adorable Snapchat filter to boot), which we’re certain would make ladies (and millennials) around the world swoon.

The Tiffany Setting celebrates its 130th anniversary this year with a special rose gold edition, which supports the iconic six platinum prongs that hold the diamond gently, allowing for maximum light reflection from each of the exquisitely cut facets.

For something a little more dazzling and contemporary, the limited edition Pave Tiffany Setting – inspired by the unique Tiffany Setting ring featured in the 2016 Blue Book Collection – sees hundreds of diamonds set within the shank of the ring.

Couples can also get in on a little piece of Tiffany action this season – the Tiffany T Two series is an update from the previous Tiffany T collection, and sees an amalgamation of minimalist silhouettes and the house’s distinct T across the rings.

For one day only, the jeweler also engaged social media platform Snapchat to spread the love – albeit the Tiffany & Co. way. The exclusive filter was part of its #LoveNotLike campaign, which also runs throughout its Instagram feed. As far as we know, the makes the American luxury brand the first to explore filters on Snapchat as a proper marketing tool

Head to L’Officiel.com to find out more about the collection and campaign.

Lesedi la Rona: Largest Diamond Fails to Sell

Some say bigger is better but in the case of the Lesedi la Rona, that may not be the case. Said to be biggest uncut diamond that has been found in more than a century and the second largest ever mined, the gem failed to sell in London earlier this week.

The public auction saw bidders wiling to part with a maximum of $61 million but alas it fell short of the minimum sum reserve price that had not been disclosed.  Sotheby’s, the auction house that helped to handle the sale of the diamond even predicted that it would fetch $70 million. One reason cited for the failure to create a successful sale, is that Lucara Diamond Corp went with an auction method that is less conventional.

While most diamonds of this size and quality are usually sold in a private auction, the company chose to go down an alternative path with a public auction. The failure to sell the diamond also saw the company’s stocks drop 14.5% after the end of the auction. There is speculation that the result may be attributed to the Brexit kerfuffle (pretty much everything is related to it at this point) where many a wealthy diamond lover may have seen a significant dip in net worth.

Still, it is more likely that suitors for his kind of stone prefer to play their hands in private. Private buyers may still have a chance to bid for the diamond because Lucara of course retains possession. The company is said to be considering distinctly non-commercial avenues for the diamond, such as loaning it to museums for educational purposes.

Christie’s Sells Cullinan Dream, Sets New Record

Back in May, the auction house Christie’s announced the sale of the fancy intense blue diamond called the Cullinan Dream. At 24.18 carats, the diamond was regarded as a rare find. Now, the diamond holds the title as the most expensive fancy intense blue diamond to be sold.

Fetching more than $25 million, the diamond was auctioned at Christie’s on Thursday in New York. Classified as a Type llb diamond, the Cullinan Dream comes from the 122.52-carat rough blue diamond found in the Cullinan Mines of South Africa. The largest of four diamonds to be found, the diamond falls into a rare category that accounts for less than one-half of the 1% of all diamonds found.

Its unique color is the result of small amounts of boron being trapped in the crystal carbon structure during the formation of the diamond. The Cullinan Dream is now set as a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy intense blue diamond and is flanked on either side by a tapered baguette-cut diamond. Other well-known diamonds that have been mined from the Cullinan mine include the 3,106-carat rough diamond that is known as the Cullinan Diamond. This rough diamond was then cut into two magnificent gems that now sit on the Imperial State Crown and Sceptre of the British Crown Jewels.

To learn more about the Cullinan Dream, click here.

World of Diamonds: The Jane Seymour

In the world of diamonds, finding a fancy vivid blue diamond is like hitting the lottery. So when you find one that weighs in at 2.08-carats, like the World of Diamonds did, you would want to name it after a woman of refined elegance and taste. Who better to fit the bill than award winning actress Jane Seymour?

The star of The Vortex play that recently ran in Singapore, has played many roles in her career but we’re pretty sure muse has not been one of them. A former Bond girl, Seymour was in town recently for her play and took some time out to attend a dinner where The Jane Seymour was unveiled. Representing the value of how eternity overshadows knowledge, emotion and matter, the diamond is expected to fetch over $2 million.Jane-Seymour-event

At a private dinner in Cé La Vie, the actress wore the creation proudly and was also presented with a 21.61-carat Amethyst — her birthstone — by the diamond conglomerate. “The invitation to behold this creation would rather you not compare The Jane Seymour to anything else in the high jewelry world” said Karan Tilani, Director of World of Diamonds. “It is a celebratory treat, more comparable to a mega-yacht or a ticket to the moon” he added. Now, I just have to figure out how to get someone to name a diamond after me…

Oppenheimer Diamond To Set New Auction Record?

Tuesday, May 17 sees the Four Seasons des Bergues hotel in Geneva hosting a landmark sale of 280 lots from Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction. Valued at $113 million, the lots include several pieces from Gabriela zu Leiningen as well as the famous Oppenheimer diamond.

The 14.62-carat diamond is one of the star attractions of the auction as it may just beat the sale record set by rival auction house Sotheby’s late last year. Once owned by Phillip Oppenheimer, the man behind the De Beers mining company, the diamond is now valued at between $38 to $45 million. The record to beat is currently held by The Blue Moon of Josephine, sold for $48.4 million, to Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau.

“It’s a fabulous diamond, the most beautiful I have even seen and it could set a record price,” said Jean-Marc Lunel, Christie’s jewel expert. According to Christie’s, the Oppenheimer diamond is the largest ever sold at auction in the exclusive Fancy Vivid Blue category, which groups rare gems of exceptional color and clarity. However, it must be noted that there is still a chance that the Oppenheimer diamond could have the same fate as the 9.54-carat blue diamond ring owned by Shirley Temple. With so much at stake, it is little wonder that this is an auction that many are keeping a eye on.

Most Expensive Diamond: Lucara Constellation

In the diamond industry, all eyes seem to be on Lucara. They’ve just sold an 813 carat diamond, named The Constellation, for $63 million, which is an all-time record for the sale of a rough diamond. That isn’t the end of it, though. They’ve got an even bigger 1,109 carat one on its way to Sotheby’s in London on June 29. Anyway, what this sale does is set the benchmark for the coming sale, which is now leaving all collectors, observers and probably Sotheby’s auctioneers drooling at what possible unprecedented heights the next auction could reach.

The Constellation name was created as a part of a partnership with rough-diamond trading company Nemesis International DMCC, who, as a part of the sale, will ensure that Lucara will retain 10% interest in the net profit received from resultant polished diamonds sold. Both The Constellation and the Lesedi La Rona are considered Type IIa diamonds, making them some of the rarest and purest out there.

“We are very pleased with the result from the sale of this magnificent 813 carat diamond as well as the opportunity to further participate in profits earned when the polished product is sold. The sale of the 813 carat diamond is the highest price ever achieved for a rough diamond, breaking all records. This achievement solidifies our reputation in the jewelry industry as one of the most important sources of diamonds of the very highest quality. We look forward to the next stage of Lucara’s development with the sale of the spectacular 1,109 carat, Lesedi La Rona diamond which will take place at Sotheby’s London on June 29, 2016” said President and CEO William Lamb.

The effect was immediate. Lucara shares had soared by 8.58 percent by mid-afternoon on the Stockholm market. With high expectations abound, the sale of the Lesedi La Rona is sure to be something to anticipate.

Lesedi la Rona Diamond at Sotheby’s Auction

If you have more $70 million in spare change just lying around and don’t know what to do with it, then maybe you should head down to Sotheby’s London on June 29 and convert it into something easier to handle. The auction house will be hosting a stand-alone auction for the largest rough diamond in existence on that day. How big is it? Just look at the picture above for some context!

The find is one of high significance as this is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to have been discovered in more than 100 years. At 1,109-carats, the gem comes from the Karowe mine in Botswana and has been named Lesedi la Rona or “Our Light “in the Tswana language. Boasting exceptional quality and transparency, the diamond is thought to be somewhere around 2.5 to 3 million years old. Experts at the Gemological Institute of America have found that the color and transparency of the gem ensures there is no nitrogen or boron present in the gem. Only 2% of all gemstone-quality diamonds fall into this highly prized category.

“The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime” said David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division. “It is a huge honor for Sotheby’s to have been entrusted with its sale. Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction” he added.

It remains to be seen if the gem will be able to yield the largest-top-quality diamond but the likelihood of it resulting in in a “D” color polished diamond is high. The only other rough gem diamond to beat the Lesedi la Rona is none other than the Cullinan Diamond from South Africa that weighed 3,106.75-carats. Mined in 1905, the diamond produced nine diamonds that now sit in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The most significant of the nine diamonds, is none other than the Cullinan I or Great Star of Africa at 530.20-carats, that is still the largest top-quality polished diamond known to man.

Who knows, maybe the Queen would like to add to her collection of gems, much like her grandfather King Edward.


Shirley Temple Blue Diamond Fails to Sell

She was the child-star who brought joy to the Depression-era movie-going audience with her performances and innocence. Despite her success at that time, it seems that her star power has not translated to into an ability to sell personal objects. Her 9.54-carat blue diamond ring went under the hammer at a Sotheby’s New York auction for an estimated $25-35 million, but failed to find a buyer. It was originally a present from her father who bought it for $7,210 back in 1940.

Shirley Temple started acting at age three, and became the youngest person to win an Oscar in 1935 (aged six), with a special award for young performances that is no longer presented. She went on to star in more than 40 films, most of them before age 12. Later in her life, she followed up her career in show business by serving as a diplomat under four presidents. Temple died at the age of 85 in 2014.

“The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond is an exceptional stone in quality, rarity and provenance. It has been an honor to share its story with collectors, connoisseurs and Temple’s loyal fans over the past few months… Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t its night in the salesroom, but we remain fully confident that it will find a buyer.” the auction house said.

In a star-saturated media climate, with so many new names breaking out young on platforms like Youtube, the Shirley Temple phenomenon is perhaps no longer in effect. Perhaps a long nostalgic fan, brought up on a diet of silver screen icons Greta Garbo and Katharine Hepburn may want to pick up the gem in the future.

World’s second largest diamond found in Africa

A 1,111 carat “high quality diamond” has been discovered at a mine in Botswana, said to be the biggest find in more than a century, according to the mine company. Larger diamonds have been found but those were not gemstone quality.

The Botswana gem, only second in size to the famous Cullinan diamond which was unearthered in South Africa in 1905, was mined by Lucara Diamond Corp.

“The magnificent stone, which originated from the south lobe of Lucara’s Karowe Mine, is the world’s second largest gem quality diamond ever recovered and largest ever to be recovered through a modern processing facility,” the Stockholm listed company said a statement.

Shares in Lucara shot up 34 percent to 14.2 kronor in morning Thursday trading in Stockholm.

Botswana is the world’s second biggest diamond producer, and Lucara said the gem was the largest ever to be recovered in the country.

“The significance of the recovery of a gem quality stone larger than 1,000 carats, the largest for more than a century….cannot be overstated,” said William Lamb, the President and chief executive of Lucara.

The stone is yet to be evaluated, but commodities and mining analyst Kieron Hodgson, said it has “the potential to be one very expensive diamond.”

“Valuation will depend on potential inclusions, how it would behave in cutting, optimal shape as well as final color,” he told AFP.

“All these things will need to be evaluated prior to bidding.”

The biggest diamond discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria in South Africa in 1905.

It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain.

Lucara indicated on its website that the Karowe Mine had also this week turned up further finds — an 813 carat stone and a 374 carat stone, prompting Lamb to laud “an amazing week” for the company.

Blue Moon Diamond

$55 million Blue Moon diamond headed to auction

Blue Moon Diamond

A blue diamond weighing 12.03 carats could sell for a record $55 million when it goes up for auction in November, Sotheby’s said Thursday.

The Blue Moon diamond, discovered in South Africa in January last year, will be exhibited in Hong Kong, London and New York before its likely purchase at auction in Geneva on November 11.

“The Blue Moon diamond is a simply sensational stone of perfect colour and purity,” David Bennett, who heads Sotheby’s international jewellery division, said in a statement.

He added that the immense hype which followed the stone’s discovery “has now been proven to have been totally justified.”

The Gemological Institute of America previously declared the Blue Moon to be “internally flawless”.

Categorised as a fancy vivid blue diamond, the Blue Moon is the largest cushion-shaped stone in that category to ever appear at auction.

Sotheby’s put its estimated sale price between $35-$55 million which, at the higher end, would mark a record for any diamond sale.

In November 2010, a 24.78 carats pink diamond — known as the Graff Pink — sold in Geneva for just over $46 million.

The record sale for a blue diamond so far came in November last year, when a 9.75 carats fetched $32.6 million at an auction in New York.

Blue Moon blue Diamond

hero diamonds Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto puts ‘vivid’ pink and red diamonds on market

hero diamonds Rio Tinto

Sixty-five extremely rare pink and red diamonds were unveiled Friday by mining giant Rio Tinto which expects the stones from a remote western Australia mine to fetch record prices.

The diamonds come from the Anglo-Australian firm’s Argyle mine — where more than 90% of the world’s pink and red jewels are produced each year.

“This year, we probably have the most valuable tender ever,” Rio Tinto diamonds and minerals chief executive Alan Davies told AFP”.

“So we’ve got a number of fancy reds and the colour and the clarity this year is truly unique. They are so rare that all of the pinks you can have in the palm of your hand and all the reds you can count on one hand, so they truly are in the category of luxury collection.”

Argyle Prima diamond

The 2015 collection features five “hero” gems, including a 1.93 carat fancy vivid purplish pink shield-shaped diamond and a 1.47 carat fancy red oval-shaped jewel.

This year’s selection, which weighs a total of 44.14 carats, had some of the “most vivid” pink and red diamonds ever unearthed from the mine.

The jewels are around 1.6 billion years old and routinely fetch US$1-2 million a carat. As a basic rule of thumb, pink and red diamonds are worth about 50 times more than white diamonds.

It is not known how the diamonds acquired their pink or red tinge but it is thought to come from a molecular structure distortion as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust or makes its way to the surface.