5 Most Expensive Diamonds Ever Auctioned

By Tim Parker | November 30, 2011 AAA
5 Most Expensive Diamonds Ever Auctioned

The Sun Drop Diamond, weighing in at 110.3 carats, was auctioned on Nov. 15, 2011 at Sotheby's for over $10.9 million. Including commission, the telephone bidder paid about $12.3 million for the rare stone, but is that really all that extravagant? Not when compared to the five other diamonds that auctioned for as much as three times more than the Sun Drop. (For more on how you can take advantages of auctions, read How To Master Online Auctions For Fast Cash.)

TUTORIAL: Commodities

Vivid Pink Diamond
The Vivid Pink Diamond was auctioned at Christie's for $11.7 million or $12.35 million after adjusting for inflation. This is a five carat diamond mined in South Africa, and has a rare pink color. This particular diamond was of very high quality in both color and clarity. It was purchased by an Asian collector in 2009.

Heart-Shaped Diamond
This 56 carat internally flawless diamond would make a perfect Valentine's gift, but you'll need more than $12 million to get it. It sold for $12 million at Christie's in 2011, giving it the distinction as the most expensive heart shaped diamond in the world. Characterized as "perfectly symmetric," one jeweler said it is "a true miracle of both nature and the craftsmanship of the human hand."

The Chloe Diamond
Georges Marciano, who founded the Guess Clothing Company, purchased this 84 carat flawless pure-white diamond for $16.9 million in 2007 from Christie's in Geneva, Switzerland. He named it after his then 12-year-old daughter Chloe. This diamond is a Type II stone indicating the absence of any nitrogen impurities. Only 1 to 2% of all diamonds are said to be pure enough to be type II stones. (For more on diamonds, read Diamonds: The Missing Commodity Derivative.)

Wittelsbach Diamond
This diamond, once thought to be lost, is a rare deep blue color diamond that weighs in at 35.5 carats. The first record of this diamond comes from the 17th century, and is thought to have been cut from the larger 112 carat French Blue diamond. This diamond has been passed down for generations, but was part of the Austrian and the Bavarian Crown jewels before it was auctioned at Christie's London for nearly $25 million. After purchasing the diamond, London Jewelry dealer Laurence Graff had it recut to remove small imperfections reducing its carat weight by four carats. It is now called the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond.

The Graff Pink Diamond
In November 2010, Laurence Graff purchased a 24.78 carat rare pink diamond for $45.6 million that he named the Graff Pink Diamond according to Christie's. This diamond was rated "Fancy Intense Pink" by the Gemological Institute of America. According to Graff, it's "the most fabulous diamond I've seen in my career."

The diamond was last seen 60 years prior when it was purchased by famed jeweler Harry Winston. It not only holds the rare fancy intense pink rating, but it is cut in a way that is normally only found with white diamonds.

The Bottom Line
Diamonds of this size have a very small market of available buyers, and for that reason, they are sold rarely. Recently, the market has seen a higher than average volume because of some people's desire to hold items with tangible value instead of currency. (If you would like to invest in gems, check out Introduction To Gemology.)

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