It’s been a big week for movers and shakers in the diamond business!
- BHP Billiton, a globally diversified mining company, has sold its stake in the Canadian Ekati diamond-mine to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. For BHP, the diamond business is too small an operation compared to its other mining interests, but for Harry Winston it serves core strategic interests. Harry Winston also bought BHP’s marketing operations in Antwerp – a prize itself with its strong group of diamond marketing executives already in place and ready to turn their attention strictly to Harry Winston’s marketing needs. Read more about it here.
- The Archduke Joseph diamond wasn’t the only amazing diamond auction last week (more on that later) – famed diamantaire Laurence Graff paid $10.9 million at Sotheby’s for a 10.48-carat fancy deep blue briolette-shaped diamond. In 2008 Graff bought the Wittelsbach Diamond for $24.3 million, and then recut it – and experienced significant criticism for altering what many considered to be an important historic jewel. What can we expect of him with this gem – a beautiful setting for one of the world’s most wealthy, or another daring alteration of a $1+million per carat diamond?
- And yes, there was the Archduke Joseph auction – an event at which I was able to be present in Geneva. The Archduke sold for $21.5 million – significantly over its projected $15 million sale price. Black Starr & Frost (Chairman, Alfredo Molina) was its guardian for the past 13 years and now it continues its immortal journey. For me, the auction was as emotional as the day I wore it and met President Bill Clinton. This auction was also historical: The sale broke several auction records including a record sale for a colorless Golconda diamond sold at auction, and price per carat for a colorless diamond. Read more about the Archduke auction here.
That’s a lot of excitement for one week. And now, with Black Friday just around the corner, there’s sure to be more exciting moments (in and out of the news) involving diamonds….as they continue to commemorate our love, enhance our life experiences or excite global investors. “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” (Thorton Wilder) ….and I am filled with gratitude for this amazing year! Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Here are a few photos from the Archduke Joseph Diamond auction at Christie’s: