October 03, 2012

Updated Again: Archduke Joseph Gem To Fetch At Least $15m at Auction - and now The Argyle Siren And More from Rio Tinto Mines

                                     The Archduke Joseph Diamond

ONE of the world's most historic diamonds, the Archduke Joseph, is up for sale in Geneva with an expected price tag well in excess of $US15 million ($14.68 million), Christie's auction house says. 
"It's a 76.02 carat cushion-shaped D-colour diamond (considered to be the most flawless), from the famous Golconda mines in India," Christie's senior international specialist Jean-Marc Lunel told AFP.

Update: Archduke Joseph Diamond fetches record $21.5M

                                     The Beau Sancy Diamond

Look at the difference in the quality!

In several posts I have written about diamonds. People who know me know I love jewellery and gems! I love them for many reasons:

For their beauty, for their geological aspects, for their history and for the legends and romance that surround them.

Some of these posts are here, including the recently auctioned Beau Sancy Diamond, and also the auction of the jewels of the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

It will be interesting to see of this “Archduke Joseph” gem gets the predicted price or goes even higher as is often the case.

I admit I had never heard of it for obvious reasons.

Oddly enough Christie's never contacts me about impending jewellery auctions – I can’t imagine why/sarc!

I think Dame Elizabeth Taylor and beautiful jewellery go together perfectly! 

And fortunately I have something in common with her: my husband likes us both! (present tense deliberate!)

                         The  Taylor-Burton Diamond - 69.42 carats                      
ONE of the world's most historic diamonds, the Archduke Joseph, is up for sale in Geneva with an expected price tag well in excess of $US15 million ($14.68 million), Christie's auction house says. 
"It's a 76.02 carat cushion-shaped D-colour diamond (considered to be the most flawless), from the famous Golconda mines in India," Christie's senior international specialist Jean-Marc Lunel told AFP.

The colourless gem, which is about the size of a domino and 1.5 centimetres thick, is to be exhibited from October 13 in New York, Hong Kong and Genevafore the auction in Switzerland on November 13.

Described as the "star lot of the fall jewellery auction season" by Christie's, the diamond has the same provenance as other illustrious jewels including the Koh-i-noor - part of the crown jewels held in the Tower of London - and the Regent, believed by many to be the finest diamond in the French crown jewels and now in the Louvre museum in Paris.

All three jewels come from the now closed Golconda mines, which produced the purest gems, Lunel said.

Next month's auction will be the second time Christie's has sold the Archduke Joseph after it fetched $US6.5 million at a Geneva sale in 1993.

The jewel, which belonged to Archduke Joseph of Austria (1872-1962), was put in a vault of the Hungarian General Credit Bank in 1933 by his son, the Archduke Joseph Francis.

The diamond was sold three years later to an anonymous buyer who left it in a safe during World War II, escaping the attention of the Nazis.

It finally resurfaced in 1961 at auction in London and was offered for sale in November 1993 at Christie's Geneva.

Since then the diamond has changed hands privately, but Christie's declined to comment on the identity of the current owner.

The auction house holds eight major jewellery sales a year, including two in Geneva.

"The first half of 2012 saw record sales, thanks mainly to the May auction in Geneva," said Lunel, "when part of the jewellery collection of billionairess Lily Safra was sold for good causes."

With thanks to the  The Australian

Click on the images to enlarge.

Update: The Argyle Siren.

Somewhat more affordable! 

The Argyle Siren, a 1.32ct square, radiant-cut stone that could fetch $US2m on the retail market. 

DEMAND for Rio Tinto's pink diamonds continues to sparkle as bidders pay record prices in this year's tender process, with one gem tipped to fetch more than $US2 million ($1.95m) when it hits the retail market. 
The mining giant revealed yesterday that its 2012 Argyle pink diamonds tender, the most exclusive diamond sale in the world, had demonstrated strong global appeal and delivered an exceptional result for the iconic gems.

This year there were 56 single pink diamonds, including two red diamonds and an additional 19 lots of blue diamonds from Rio's Argyle diamond mine in Western Australia.

The tender process is private and conducted through closed bids, meaning the prices paid are not disclosed by Rio. But seasoned bidder John Glajz, who has been buying Argyle diamonds for more than 20 years, said the prices fetched were probably greater than ever before.

"From my own personal experience, I've seen prices effectively more than double since 2005-06," he said.

Singapore-based Mr Glajz collected a prized gem after bidding the highest price for the most valuable diamond from the collection -- Argyle Siren, a 1.32-carat, square, radiant-cut, "fancy vivid purplish pink" specimen.

He said while he normally purchased quite a few stones, after this year's bidding process he only received three lots. But the Argyle Siren was the one he had been chasing, and he said he had paid a "very bullish" price.

"This particular stone, once it goes down to the retail level and set in a designer item of jewellery, it is something that will retail well in excess of $2m," he said.

Mr Glajz said he was not in a hurry to sell the diamond, the finest stone he had seen in 25 years, and he had gone beyond his normal limits to ensure he was the successful bidder.

"When you deal with such stones there is a personal involvement -- it's not just a commodity," he said.

"The many times I looked at it, I put up the price myself in my head. It's just something very special -- it talks to you. It definitely tempted me."

Rio said the successful bidders for the 2012 tender collection came from both established and emerging markets, with several diamonds headed for India and the "hero" blue diamond, Argyle Elektra, destined for Japan.

"These rare Argyle diamonds provide the escalating intrinsic value of an investment and are destined for the exclusive echelons of the world's most sophisticated collectors," said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, chief commercial officer for Rio Tinto Diamonds.

With thanks to The Australian


Another update from The Australian - October 14th - 2013: 

RIO Tinto's annual Argyle pink diamond tender has set a world record, with one stone selling for more than $US2 million ($2.1m) and another fetching the highest price for a "Fancy Deep" pink diamond.
This year there were 64 precious stones on offer, including three "Fancy Red" diamonds, and with private bids coming in well above pre-tender estimates and a record number of bids over $US1m, industry speculation has suggested the entire collection sold for more than $US25m.
Seasoned bidder John Glajz, who has been buying Argyle diamonds for more than 20 years, scored the prized gem from the collection, the Argyle Phoenix -- a 1.56 carat Fancy Red that achieved the highest per carat price for a diamond produced from the Argyle mine.
Singapore-based Mr Glajz said the stones on offer this year were "absolutely exquisite" and he was shocked when told he had won the bid for the Argyle Phoenix.
The bids are private but Mr Glajz is believed to have bid more than $US2m for the stone and he told The Australian yesterday that it could retail for about $US4m to $US5m when it reached the end customer.
"I have never paid that much in my life -- this has been the largest cheque I have ever written to Argyle," he said.
Internationally renowned Mr Glajz, the largest business partner in Asia with Argyle Diamond Mine, said the Phoenix was an "unbelievable stone" and he had not witnessed anything like it in the 20 years he had been involved with diamonds from the mine in Western Australia's Kimberley region.
Mr Glajz is planning to create a "magnificent" item of jewellery that will be classified as a world heirloom, adding that it is destined to go to someone who has "absolutely everything".
Mr Glajz's company bid on 80 per cent of the tender diamonds and he was also the highest bidder on a few other smaller stones which he said saw him pay up to 25 per cent more than the previous year.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, said after 30 years of production Argyle continued to produce the world's most coveted diamonds.
Each year the best diamonds are reserved for the annual Argyle Pink Diamonds tender.


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