It is unusual to find an important gemstone that stands apart for both its quality and its rarity. This season, Christie’s New York jewellery sale presents two such fancy coloured diamonds. Both command attention: a fancy intense blue diamond of 7.02 carats and a fancy intense purplish pink diamond of 5.60 carats.
Coloured diamonds can be the most enigmatic of gems whether they are coloured because of trace elements within the pure carbon crystal, structural stresses and abnormalities, or even irradiation permeating into the mineral. A true diamantaire or connoisseur of coloured stones understands rarity. The fact that two fancy coloured diamonds are to be offered in a single sale is remarkable.
Natural blue diamonds are among the rarest of coloured diamonds and originated from the Kollur mines near Golconda in the Indian state of Hyderabad, considered the gateway of southern India. Historically, important stones such as the Hope diamond and the Tereschenko were mined in this region. Most of what is known about early mining activity in India is attributed to the documented travels of one of the premier gemmerchants of the 17th century, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. Tavernier’s main client was Louis XIV of France and it is known that he sold the king a very large blue diamond known as the French Blue, which is thought to have yielded the Hope diamond.
Indian deposits today are depleted, so nearly all the blue diamonds that appear on the market now come from South Africa. The blue colour comes from the presence of minute amounts of the element boron incorporated within the crystal lattice of the stone during crystallisation. Blue diamonds belong to the extremely rare Type IIb category of diamonds and are semi-conductors of electricity; an attribute that makes them unique. This captivating fancy intense blue diamond of 7.02 carats displays rich and balanced colour throughout the stone.
Gem collectors have also long considered that pink diamonds are among the most beautiful of gemstones since they were first discovered in the ancient mines of India. They are seldom found today and usually only in very small sizes such as those from the Australian mines. Unlike blue diamonds, which are coloured by a chemical component, natural pink diamonds are coloured by an anomaly in the crystal lattice of the stone. The trace elements, heat and pressure needed to create a pink diamond are extremely complicated and pink diamonds are among the rarest. Larger specimens seldom come up for auction and their scarcity makes the sale of this 5.60 carat fancy intense purplish pink diamond an extraordinary event.
This October collectors will again be presented with an exceptional selection of top quality gemstones and magnificent jewellery at Christie’s Jewels: The New York Sale on 15 October as Christie’s continues to lead the auction market in prestigious jewellery sales.
SALE: Christie’s Jewels: The New York Sale, New York, 15 October
ENQUIRIES: Heather Luke +1 212 636 2316