May 16, 2016
And the amazing diamonds just keep coming... On May 31, Christie's Hong Kong will be putting up for bid the "Aurora Green," an ultra-rare fancy vivid green diamond that could set a new auction record for the highest price per carat ever paid for any gemstone.
Christie's estimated the rectangular-shaped 5.03-carat Aurora Green to be valued between $16.2 million and $20.1 million, or at the high end about $4 million per carat. The current record holder is the "Blue Moon of Josephine," a 12.03-carat vivid blue diamond that sold in November 2015 for $48.5 million, or $4.03 million per carat.
Experts believe the Aurora Green has a legitimate shot at breaking the record at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale because of its combination of rarity, size, color and quality. The green gem, which owes its color to the natural radiation present during its formation inside the earth, is the largest, natural fancy, vivid green diamond in the world. “Vivid” is the most saturated color intensity for green diamonds, and while "fancy intense" green diamonds come to auction frequently, "fancy vivid" green diamonds are almost unheard of.
Asian bidders might be particularly attracted to the Aurora Green because that color symbolizes health, prosperity and harmony in Chinese culture.
According to the Diamond Investment & Intelligence Center, the only other time a fancy vivid green diamond has come to auction was in the midst of the global financial crisis in 2009. In November of that year, Sotheby's sold a 2.52-carat fancy vivid green diamond at its Geneva event for $3.07 million.
The Aurora Green diamond is presented in a pink diamond halo setting. The Gemological Institute of America described the green gem as a “cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant” with a clarity of VS2.
Vickie Sek, Christie’s deputy chairman and head of jewels for Asia, told ARTINFO that the Aurora Green got its name from nature's phenomenal light shows — the aurora borealis and aurora australis, also known as the Northern or Southern Lights. She said the diamond's saturated color and scintillation emulates the "magical display of dancing lights that can only be seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres."
"While the auroral displays appear in a spectrum of colors, the vibrant, vivid greens are the most anticipated and admired," she said.
Credits: Aurora Green images courtesy of Christie's. Northern lights by Varjisakka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.