Ultra-rare blue and pink diamonds break auction records

The ‘Apollo and Artemis’ diamond earrings


Polished diamonds at Brillianty Alrosa

The exceptional “Apollo and Artemis” diamond earrings smashed auction records when they sold for a total of $57.42 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May.

The exceptional “Apollo and Artemis” diamond earrings smashed auction records when they sold for a total of $57.42 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May. 

The blue and pink diamonds are now the most valuable pair of earrings ever sold at auction, according to Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s inaugural sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Geneva saw dynamic bidding on the phone, online and onsite, raising a total of $151.54 million. More than 90 percent of the lots were sold, of which two-thirds reached prices in excess of the high estimate including an auction record for a fancy intense purplish pink diamond selling for $13.24 million as well as a record price per carat of $1.88 million.


Apollo and Artemis

Citing a Gemological Institute of America (GIA) report, Sotheby’s commented, “The 14.54-carat Apollo Blue fancy vivid blue diamond has been determined to be a Type IIB. Type IIB diamonds are very rare in nature (from our experience, less than one half of one percent) and contain small amounts of boron that can give rise to a blue or grey colouration. Historically, the ancient mines of India produced occasional blue diamonds but today the most significant source is limited to the Cullinan Mine in South Africa.”

The Artemis Pink, meanwhile, is a pear-shaped fancy intense pink diamond of fine colour weighing 16 carats. 

“According to the GIA, the pear-shaped, modified brilliant diamond has been determined to be a Type IIA diamond. Type IIA diamonds are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. Type IIA diamonds were first identified as originating from India (particularly from the Golconda region) but have since been recovered in all major diamond-producing regions of the world,” revealed Sotheby’s. JNA

Alrosa to strengthen mining operations in Angola

Russian mining giant Alrosa will spearhead the development of a new diamond deposit in Angola.

Sergey Ivanov, president of Alrosa, and Antonio Carlos Sumbula, president of national diamond company Endiama, signed a memorandum of understanding on the establishment of Luaxe International Enterprise on May 23 in Luanda.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yury Trutnev remarked that the diamond mining cooperation between Alrosa and Endiama is crucial to strengthening the bilateral relationship of Angola and Russia.

He also noted that project developments, active exploration and search for new deposits have a positive impact on the economic advancement of Angola. 

In 2013, a kimberlite pipe named Luele was found in the Luaxe concession area during explorations carried out by Alrosa in cooperation with Angolan experts. “Over the past few years, Alrosa, acting with the support of the Russian government, has been engaged in negotiations with top Angolan officials and investors to develop the Luele deposit,” said Trutnev.

Alrosa will be involved in the project through Catoca Ltd Mining Company, where it owns a 32.8 percent stake. The agreement further stipulates that Catoca will obtain a 50.5 percent share in the new structure. Alrosa is also submitting a proposal to directly purchase another 8 percent in Luaxe. The Russian miner likewise plans to increase its share in Catoca.

“The Luele pipe is the largest ever discovered worldwide over the past 60 years since the discovery of deposits in Yakutia. As a specialised investor in the Luaxe project, Alrosa will assume obligations over the new company’s project solutions and technical policy. The total commercial value of the deposit is valued at more than $35 billion,” noted Ivanov. JNA