Raw diamond : The buyer of this 813-carat rough diamond sold by Lucara Diamond remained anonymous. The mining company hopes to beat this record with the sale of a 1,109-carat gemstone in June.
New record sale for a diamond. The Canadian mining company Lucara Diamond announced on Monday, May 9. That it had sold an 813-carat diamond for 63 million US dollars (55 million euros). Never has a raw diamond fetched such a price, Lucara said in a statement. The name of the buyer of this stone was discovered in Botswana and baptized. “The Constellation”, was not disclosed, as were the conditions of this sale carried out by the raw diamond dealer Nemesis International.
At the Stockholm Stock Exchange in the early afternoon, the Lucara Diamond action took 8.58%. The reference shareholder of the Canadian company is the Swedish Lundin family.
“The Constellation” broke the record set in October by the “Blue Moon” (“Blue Moon”). This 12.03-carat diamond had fetched $48.4 million, due to its rare bright blue hue. The buyer was Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau.
A record soon to be broken
The record should not hold long. Lucara preparing to auction a diamond of 1,109 carats, on June 29 at Sotheby’s in London.
This other rough diamond, called “Lesedi La Rona”, was discovered in November at the same mine, Karowe. It is the largest since the 3,106-carat Cullinan unearthed in South Africa in 1905.
Diamonds are hard to find
But, one question remains unanswered: will we see new records in the years to come? For mining groups like De Beers, it is now necessary to dig deeper and deeper to extract diamonds. Which is causing the amount of investment to explode. Diamonds are becoming rare.
Moreover, in recent years, raw diamond prices have fluctuated a lot. After the economic crisis of 2008, prices recovered to reach highs in 2011. Then fell by around 20% until 2015, before recovering.
And because of these fluctuations, De Beers closed diamond mines in Canada and Botswana last year. He also sold his last assets in the South African city of Kimberley. A symbolic decision: it was here that the group was founded in 1888 by British colonist Cecil Rhodes. A few years before the discovery in South Africa of the largest raw diamond ever unearthed, the Cullinan.
A “perfect” diamond of more than 100 carats was sold at auction for 22.1 million dollars (20.5 million euros) in New York on Tuesday, April 21. It only took three minutes to find a buyer, announced Sotheby’s on Wednesday, April 22.
This buyer, who bid by telephone, wished to remain anonymous.
Values between $19 and $25 million
Sotheby’s had valued the 100.2-carat diamond at between 19 and 25 million dollars (17.6 to 23.2 million euros). The fine art auction houses called it “a perfect diamond. Cut like an emerald, the largest ever offered in an auction”.
The jewel is said to be “perfect” because it is “whiter than white, it has no imperfections. It is so transparent that it could only be compared to ice water”, boasted Gary Schuler, head of the jewelry department at Sotheby’s, before the sale.
Cut and polished for one year
Discovered in a mine of the De Beers company in South Africa, the precious stone was cut and then polished. And perfect for more than a year. Its size is comparable to that of a walnut.
In terms of purity, it does not rival the 232.08-carat raw diamond unearthed in a South African mine near Pretoria in September 2014.
The sixth diamond over 100 carats sold
The auction house had before exhibited the diamond in Doha, Dubai. But also in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, and New York, hoping to attract wealthy buyers.
According to Sotheby’s, only five diamonds of comparable quality and over 100 carats have ever been sold at auction. The most expensive, at 118.28 carats, was sold for 30.6 million dollars (28.4 million euros) in Hong Kong in 2013.
A stagnant diamond price
There is a great discrepancy between the prices of natural diamonds and their synthetic counterpart. Rather, the disparity within each category itself is the result of several factors related to the degree of purity. The way the raw diamond is cut, shape, weight, and color.
This sale takes place in a very favorable context for the precious stone. The price of diamonds experienced strong growth in 2014, climbing 60% in 5 years. Even though it recorded a slight drop of 0.7% since the beginning of 2015.
According to the specialist consulting firm International Diamond Consultants. The price of raw diamonds should triple within fifteen years. And this is because demand will remain sustained with an American market in full recovery. But also with the emergence of a Chinese and Indian middle class. In these two countries, demand has grown by 12% on average since 2008.