Coloured di­a­monds, in par­tic­u­lar the rare green­hued stones, are in­creas­ingly gain­ing favour among col­lec­tors and in­vestors.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Money & In­vest­ments - By SO­NIA KOLESNIKOV-JES­SOP

Beau­ti­fully crafted in the style of a glit­ter­ing three- di­men­sional as­tro­labe or ce­les­tial ob­ject d’art, De Beers’ Won­drous Sphere in­cor­po­rates 476 pol­ished and rough di­a­monds placed on or­bit­ing white gold rings ar­tic­u­lated around a 13.17- carat olive green rough di­a­mond. That cen­tre di­a­mond took De Beers (­ chief di­a­mond buyer An­drew Coxon nine months to find. Coxon is also the pres­i­dent of the De Beers In­sti­tute of Di­a­monds.

“The de­sign re­quired a rough di­a­mond of stature and beauty,” he ex­plains, adding the di­a­mond would have prob­a­bly gone straight to the pol­ish­ing wheel if he hadn’t “res­cued” it.

Nat­u­ral vivid green di­a­monds are the sec­ond-rarest di­a­monds to be found nat­u­rally — fancy red di­a­monds be­ing the rarest — says Coxon, who has bought and sold some of the world’s most fa­mous and largest di­a­monds. They in­clude the 59.60- carat CTF Pink that came from a 132.5- carat rough di­a­mond mined by De Beers in 1999 and which was bought by jew­ellery re­tailer Chow Tai Fook at Sotheby’s Hong Kong last April, set­ting a new world auc­tion record for any di­a­mond at US$71.2 mil­lion (S$94.9 mil­lion) or US$1.19 mil­lion a carat. In 2016, Chow Tai Fook set the auc­tion world record for a fancy vivid green di­a­mond when it bought Au­rora Green for US$16.8 mil­lion or US$3.3 mil­lion per carat. At 5.03 carats, Au­rora Green was a frac­tion of the size of CTF Pink yet achieved a much higher per carat price. It was also the largest fancy vivid green di­a­mond sold at auc­tion, at­test­ing to the rar­ity of the most sought-af­ter

sat­u­rated colour among green di­a­monds. While other coloured di­a­monds form as a re­sult of a con­tam­i­na­tion in the car­bon crys­tal (such as boron for blues and ni­tro­gen for yel­lows), the green re­sults from mil­lions of years of ex­po­sure to nat­u­ral ra­di­a­tion be­neath the sur­face of the earth.

The largest and per­haps finest nat­u­ral green di­a­mond known is the 40.7- carat Dres­den Green, a pear-shaped di­a­mond first ac­quired by Fred­er­ick Au­gus­tus II, king of Poland, from a Dutch mer­chant in 1741. It now re­sides per­ma­nently in the Green Vault of the Dres­den Royal Palace. The sec­ond largest green di­a­mond, Gru­osi, is owned by De Griso­gono and weighs 25 carats. It is set in a gold ring with 282 black di­a­monds.

The ma­jor­ity of nat­u­rally ir­ra­di­ated di­a­monds only main­tain their green colour­ing on the sur­face (also known as skins) and of­ten lose that rare colour dur­ing the cut­ting process. Among these rare stones very few have a pure fancy green colour, with most green di­a­monds con­tain­ing a mod­i­fy­ing hue (blueish, grey­ish or yel­low­ish) that will greatly af­fect the pric­ing of the stone. “The most at­trac­tive mod­i­fier is the blue green. They can have a won­der­ful Caribbean Sea colour. For me, as a pro­fes­sional, I pre­fer those to the straight vivid green be­cause it has a warmer hue. But it’s not as rare as the vivid green. The least valu­able are the grey­ish yel­low­ish green di­a­monds, which are ac­tu­ally very af­ford­able. You could buy a three­carat grey­ish yel­low­ish green for US$15,000 to US$20,000 per carat,” ex­plains Graeme Thomp­son,

The green re­sults from mil­lions of years of ex­po­sure to nat­u­ral ra­di­a­tion be­neath the sur­face of the earth.

Bon­hams’ di­rec­tor of jew­ellery in Asia.

He points out: “Yel­low­ish and grey­ish green di­a­monds are fea­tured in our auc­tions quite fre­quently, but we’ve never had a fancy vivid green di­a­mond. We did have a 1.24-carat fancy in­tense green di­a­mond in 2015, which sold for HK$1 mil­lion.”

Bon­hams ( www.bon­ will of­fer a beau­ti­ful fancy deep green di­a­mond in May, which Thom­son de­scribes as hav­ing “a

Bon­hams will of­fer a beau­ti­ful fancy deep green di­a­mond in May.

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