Worth over USD100 billion, the gemstone industry offers abundant opportunities for affluent investors. Diamonds are an attractive investment option as they don’t take up a lot of space, are portable, durable and inflation proof. According to Quek Chin Yeow, Sotheby’s Deputy Chairman for Asia, and Chairman of International Jewellery, Asia, “the global demand for diamonds shows no signs of abating”. Diamond prices have been “steadily growing for decades” and the gems are “recognised for their relatively high rate of liquidity”.
Quek also attests to seeing “healthy returns for white and coloured diamonds”. The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat pink diamond, sold for a record USD71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong last year. In 2016, a rare and internally flawless 10.10 carat blue diamond (De Beers Millennium Jewel 4) sold for HKD248.28 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. The Blue Moon of Josephine, a 12.03 carat cushionshaped fancy vivid blue diamond, was sold to an Asian collector at Sotheby’s Geneva for USD48.47 million in 2015.
While attractive, investing in coloured diamonds requires a much higher level of entry. “The per carat record prices of both blue and pink diamonds, for example, have gone up exponentially in the past five years, with the blue standing at over USD4 million per carat, and the pink at over USD2 million per carat, both achieved at Sotheby’s,” shares Quek.
CELESTIAL TREASUREThePinkStar, a 59.6 carat pink diamond, was acquired by Hong Kong jeweller Chow Tai Fook for USD71.2 million.