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.)

Related Articles
  1. Economics

    Understanding Free Trade

    Free trade exists when nations can swap goods and services without the constraints of tariffs, duties or quotas.
  2. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: First Trust Dow Jones Global Sel Div

    Find out about the First Trust Dow Jones Global Select Dividend Index Fund, and learn detailed information about characteristics and suitability of the fund.
  3. Markets

    The 5 Biggest Chinese Natural Gas Companies

    Read about the top five Chinese natural gas companies as measured by gas production volume and learn a little more about their business operations.
  4. Markets

    The 5 Biggest Chinese Insurance Companies

    Read about the top Chinese insurance companies by market capitalization, and learn a little about their positions in the marketplace.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 5 Precious Metals Mutual Funds

    Obtain information and analysis of some of the top-rated and most popular mutual funds that offer investors exposure to the precious metals industry.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Switzerland ETFs

    Explore detailed analysis and information of the top three Swiss exchange-traded funds that offer exposure to the Swiss equities market.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR Dow Jones International RelEst

    Learn how the SPDR Dow Jones International Real Estate exchange-traded fund (ETF) is managed and for whom the ETF is most appropriate.
  8. Investing Basics

    Explaining Trade Liberalization

    Trade liberalization is the process of removing or reducing obstacles that impede the exchange of goods and services between nations.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Return on Net Assets

    Return on net assets measures a company’s financial performance.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI South Africa

    Learn more about the iShares MSCI South Africa fund, which is an NYSE-listed exchange-traded fund offered and managed by BlackRock.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Trade Credit

    An agreement where a customer can purchase goods on account (without ...
  2. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  3. Real Estate Investment Trust - ...

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through ...
  4. Brazil, Russia, India And China ...

    An acronym for the economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China ...
  5. Optimal Currency Area

    The geographic area in which a single currency would create the ...
  6. European Sovereign Debt Crisis

    A period of time in which several European countries faced the ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How are American Depository Receipts (ADRs) priced?

    The price of an American depositary receipt (ADR) is determined by the bank or other financial institution that issues it. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How are American Depository Receipts (ADRs) exchanged?

    American depositary receipts (ADRs) are bought and sold on regular U.S. stock exchanges, either in the over-the-counter market ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the top high yield bond ETFs?

    Three of the most popular high-yield bond exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are the Peritus High Yield ETF (HYLD), the SPDR ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!