Sotheby’s Hong Kong announced on August 19, 2013, that the auction house is due to auction a rare, 7.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond, christened “The Premier Blue Diamond” during their Hong Kong autumn sales, coming up on October 7, 2013. The auction house has also announced that they have timed the auction of this rare round brilliant-cut blue diamond – the world’s largest round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond – to coincide with the 40th-anniversary celebrations of Sotheby’s operations in Asia, a fitting tribute to a renowned international auction house, one of the oldest auction houses in the world established in 1744 in London. The Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale 2013 is scheduled to take place on October 7, 2013, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The 7.59-carat blue diamond gets its name from the Premier/Cullinan/Petra diamond mine of Transvaal, South Africa, where the diamond appears to have been discovered, after Petra Diamonds acquired the mines in 2008. The round brilliant-cut is rarely employed for colored diamonds, due to the smaller size of the rough diamonds and the high wastage involved in the cutting process. The cut is generally employed only for white diamonds to maximize their brilliance. The wastage is almost 50%, which means to get a finished round brilliant cut diamond weighing 7.59 carats, the rough diamond should have been at least around 15 carats in weight. Hence, the round brilliant-cut employed for the Premier Blue diamond is indeed an extreme rarity. This fact combined with the fancy vivid blue color, the highest grading that can be given for a colored diamond, and the Internally Flawless (IF) clarity, the most desired clarity and the impressive weight of 7.59 carats, makes the Premier Blue diamond a rare and famous diamond indeed.
Blue diamonds that are greatly admired and eagerly sought after by collectors and gem connoisseurs alike, are type IIb diamonds, in which the blue color is caused by the presence of extremely minute quantities of the element boron, that not only impart a blue color to the diamonds but also make these diamonds semi-conducting. Many blue diamonds are modified with grey or black hues or have an uneven saturation interspersed with colorless areas. Only a few blue diamonds have an even and saturated pure blue hue, and the Premier Blue diamond is one such rare diamond.
The Premier Blue diamond is the largest round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond graded by the GIA to date. This fact coupled with the report that no significant round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond has ever appeared at auctions worldwide, makes the Premier Blue diamond a rare and exceptional gem indeed.
The Premier Blue will be previewed around Asia, as well as in Geneva, London, New York and Doha before the auction. According to Quek Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Asia, Sotheby’s had been entrusted with many important blue diamonds before and holds the current per carat price record for a fancy vivid blue diamond at an auction, viz. US$ 1,686,505 per carat achieved by the sale of a 6.01-carat fancy vivid blue diamond in Hong Kong in October 2011.
The 7.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, Premier Blue diamond is expected to fetch around US$ 19 million at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction on October 7, 2013, and hopefully break the existing per carat price record for a fancy vivid blue diamond set by Sotheby’s at the same venue in October 2011.