The Colors of Money
ONCE EVERY few moons a gem comes up for sale and shatters the auction record for a particular stone. On Nov. 11 the 12.03-carat Blue Moon diamond (named for how rare it is) goes on the block at Sotheby’s in Geneva. If the fawless cushion-cut Blue Moon reaches its presale estimate of $56 million, it will become the most expensive gem ever auctioned. It will also eclipse another colored diamond for sale at Christie’s the day before—a 16.08-carat fancy vivid pink diamond that is expected to bring in a mere $28 million. the current record holder for the color is the 9.75-carat Zoe Diamond, which sold at sotheby’s in November 2014 for more than $32 million. in November 2013 this 14.82-carat pear-shaped gem, known as “the orange,” sold for more than $35 million at Christie’s—$15 million above its estimate. in May 2014 the graf Vivid yellow, an immense 100.09 carats, brought $16.3 million at sotheby’s. the 59.60-carat Pink star should be the current world record holder, having sold for more than $83 million in November 2013, but the bidder, diamond cutter isaac wolf, defaulted, so sotheby’s had to buy it back. for now the 24.78carat graf Pink retains the title, having sold for $46 million in 2010. for those who prefer their diamonds colorless, the record holder at auction is the 118.28-carat oval-cut gem that sold at sotheby’s for $30.6 million in 2013. but white diamonds are so boring that it doesn’t have a fancy name. 1. UTAH 2. NORTH carolina 3. NEBRASKA 4. NORTH DAKOTA 5. colorado 6. TEXAS 7. Virginia 8. indiana 9. SOUTH DAKOTA 10. washington
a high corporate tax burden and an attendant lack of big business keep
near the cellar. it’s been among the bottom three for six years running,
and its future looks equally dismal: economists forecast its job growth to be among the slowest in america through 2019.
is the rare unionfriendly top ten state. Credit its high ranking to a young, educated pool of workers (it has more college graduates than any state besides Massachusetts) who are drawn by its robust economy (up 4.7% last year, double the national rate) and the rocky Mountains’ recreational
is stagnant. Population growth is the nation’s worst, and its share of residents with higher education ranks at the bottom as well (only 19% of west Virginians have a college degree). finally, its legal climate
ranks dead last for business friendliness.
yes, is in the star-crossed rust belt, but it moves up seven spots on the strength of a pro-business regulatory
climate that’s second only to Virginia. Plus, its fnances are in great shape: a squeaky-clean balance
sheet has earned it an aaa rating from Moody’s since 2010, eliminating any worry about either reduced
services or higher taxes.