A jaundiced view of the diamond market

Reuters reports at the October 18 Christie’s event that kicks off the global jewelry auction season, a vivid yellow super-saturated pear shaped diamond weighing 32.7 carats could sell for up to $8 million.

Last week Christie’s announced the contents of the New York and London sales from the estate of Liz Taylor that is topped by a 33.1-carat stone – which she wore almost on a daily basis and was given to her by Richard Burton in 1968 – priced at $2.5 million to $3 million. The diamond is set for a December auction.

Bloomberg reports the 1,000 lots of jewelry, couture and art formerly owned by the Oscar-winning actress who died in March also contain a Van Gogh painting and another Burton gift – a necklace incorporating a pear-shaped 203-grain pearl known as “La Peregrina” that was once part of the crown jewels of Spain valued at $2 million to $3 million.

Reuters reports experts agree that prices for coloured diamonds are on the rise and Christie's said the vivid fancy yellow could surpass the per-carat price of $203,000 achieved by the 18.49-carat Golden Drop yellow diamond sold in London in 1990.

MINING.com reported in August pink diamonds are extremely rare with only around 50 or so put out to tender each year and are valued at twenty times the price of a white diamond.

In November last year, a 24.78-carat pink diamond sold for $47.2 million at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva and in December 2009 a 5 carat vivid pink was sold in Hong Kong for what is still the record per carat price of $2.2 million.

Images are courtesy of Christie's.