The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection – a group of eight, extremely rare, natural Fancy Blue diamonds makes up one of the most notable collections of colored diamonds in the world. The collection consists of eight phenomenal blue diamonds of various shapes and weights totaling 32.09 carats, ranging in size from a 1.22-carat oval brilliant-cut to an 11.29-carat step-cut diamond. All eight diamonds will be sold across Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auctions this year in New York, Geneva, and Hong Kong and throughout the Spring of 2023. The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection comes to the market with a combined total value in excess of $70 million.
In November 2020, De Beers and Diacore jointly purchased five rare blue rough diamonds from the legendary Cullinan mine that weighed a total of 85.62 carats. Over a period of nearly two years, Diacore meticulously cut and polished the five rough diamonds ranging from 9.61 to 25.75 carats. Given that diamonds are the hardest material on earth, great skill is needed to cut them. The challenge is yet greater with blue diamonds because of their unique formation. There is zero tolerance for miscalculation; any minute error would result in a loss of color and the destruction of their beauty. Diacore’s world-class cutters and polishers transformed them into the spectacular collection of eight Fancy Blue diamonds presented in this collection.
Wenhao Yu, Chairman of Jewellery and Watches at Sotheby’s Asia, stated: “The discovery of a gem-quality blue diamond of any size is a rare occurrence, so to have the opportunity to offer not one, but eight dazzling blues in a range of shapes and weights, is therefore truly exceptional. We are absolutely delighted that De Beers and Diacore have entrusted us with a collection of such rarity and beauty that most of us will not see replicated again.”
Four of the eight blue diamonds were graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) as Fancy Vivid, the highest color grading for colored diamonds; and the De Beers Exceptional 3.24 carat cushion brilliant-cut diamond also boasts exceptional clarity, having been declared Internally Flawless by the GIA.
Announcing the sale, Quig Bruning, Head of Sotheby’s Jewels, Americas, commented: “We are honored to be entrusted with this superb collection of Fancy Blue diamonds. Also recovered from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, the De Beers Exceptional Blues are a true testament of our world’s most extraordinary treasures and what is yet to be discovered.”
A full breakdown of The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection is available below:
- A step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue, weighing 11.29 carats (est. $28/50 million)
- A cushion brilliant-cut Fancy Vivid Blue, weighing 5.53 (est. $11/15 million)
- A step-cut Fancy Intense Blue, weighing 4.13 carats (est. $2.5/3.5 million)
- A cushion brilliant-cut Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue, weighing 3.24 carats (est. $5-8 million)
- A cushion brilliant-cut Fancy Vivid Blue, weighing 3.10 carats ($4.5/5 million)
- A cushion-cut Fancy Intense Blue, weighing 2.08 carats (est. $1.2/1.5 million)
- A round brilliant-cut Fancy Intense Blue, weighing 1.50 carats (est. $750,000/1 million)
- An oval brilliant-cut Fancy Intense Blue, weighing 1.22 carats (est. $600/800,000)
Blue diamonds are one of the rarest colors of diamonds, seen in only approximately 0.02% of all diamonds. A fabulous miracle of nature, a blue diamond is created deep in the earth by the random presence of the trace element boron within the diamond’s carbon structure during its formation. The presence of boron tells us the origin of natural blue diamonds is the deepest of all diamonds, approximately four hundred miles below the earth’s surface. Today, blue diamond discoveries of any size are very sporadic and always an astonishing occurrence. Filled with mystery and prestige, blue diamonds are truly one of nature’s most extraordinary creations.