The Col­ors of Money

Forbes - - On The Block By The Numbers -

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

splen­dor.

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.

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