Pre-Auction Analysis: December 07th, 2021, Sotheby’s New York, Magnificent Jewels

By FCRF Team | 07.12.21
Pre-Auction Analysis: December 07th, 2021, Sotheby’s New York, Magnificent Jewels

Sotheby’s New York, Magnificent Jewels, December 07th, 2021

As most of the industry has been prevented from traveling to New York during this challenging period, this Auction Analysis could help those who would like to bid without physically inspecting the goods.                                                 

Our Sotheby’s New York Pre-Auction Analysis focuses on elements that aren’t visible to the untrained eye. We will describe the important visual elements for those who cannot attend the preview and discuss characteristics such as: Undertone, Color Dispersion, and Inner-Grade. These factors, collectively termed UDI, are explained in detail at the bottom of this article. We analyze and grade Fancy Color Diamonds relative to their GIA grade.

We use grades 1, 2, 3, and 4, with 1 being the lowest grade. Grade “4+” is granted in rare cases and denotes stones with exceptional characteristics. Stones that receive a minimum total UDI score of 8, without a red remark, pass the industry threshold and can be traded easily. Fancy Color Diamonds that are graded 10 or above, (without a quality remark) are usually sought after by high-end jewelry brands, collectors, and the investment community.

For your convenience, we have added direct links to the GIA reports.

  • All images in this article review were taken with an iPhone 12 Pro; no filters were applied.
  • All auction valuations are per-carat and listed in US Dollars.

Lot: 30 

Description: 4.88 ct, Fancy Blue, Oval, VS1

High Auction Estimation: $409,836 pc

Price realized: $376,024 pc

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A 4.88 fancy Blue Oval with a noticeable Gray Undertone and a low Inner-Grade with many colorless patches visible around the crown. The stone’s appearance is consistent with its carat weight.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
4.88 ct, F.B, OS, VS1
2
2
2
Low quality characteristics

Total Visual Score 6 out of 12


Lot: 31 

Description: 3.29 ct, Fancy Pink, Pear, IF

High Auction Estimation: $212,765 pc

Price realized: $226,747 pc

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A Fancy Pink Pear Shape with a low Inner-Grade and noticeable colorless patches in the crown. A light cold Purple Undertone lies underneath the color, giving the diamond an overall pleasant hue.   

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
3.29 ct, F.P, PS, IF
2
3
3

Total Visual Score 8 out of 12


Lot: 46

Description: 6.11 ct, Fancy Intense Blue, Radiant, VS2

High Auction Estimation: $1,063,829 pc

Price realized: $1,303,158 pc

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A large Fancy Intense Blue Radiant cut with no Gray Undertone displaying an absolute Blue color. Some colorless areas appear on the crown area, however the Inner-Grade is on the low end of the scale. The stone’s dimension relates to the carat weight of the diamond.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
6.11 ct, F.I.B, Rad, VS2
2
3
4

Total Visual Score 9 out of 12


Lot: 56

Description: 1.03 ct, Fancy Red, Radiant, SI1

High Auction Estimation: $2,135,922 pc

Price realized: $1,899,029 pc

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A very rare 1.03 Fancy Red Radiant cut diamond. The vast majority of Red diamonds are graded as SI2 or lower. Red diamonds with an SI1 clarity are considered to be in the top decile for this color category. This Red diamond corresponds to the color description on the GIA report with no Brown Undertone as is often seen. The color is dispersed evenly across the face up view. High Inner-Grade is inherent to this color and automatically receives the highest possible grade. Although this stone appears small in relation to its carat weight, high depth percentages are quite common in this rare segment. According to FCRF rarity data a diamond with similar characteristics was never offered on the  Argyle tender platform.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
1.03 ct, F.R, Rad, SI1
4
4
4

Total Visual Score 12 out of 12


Lot: 57

Description: 2.01 ct, Fancy Green, Pear, VS2

High Auction Estimation: $124,378 pc

Price realized: $100,298 pc

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A Fancy Intense Green Pear shape with large colorless areas in the stone’s center (the images don’t accurately reflect these colorless areas). The Inner-Grade meets our expectations of an Intense Green, while a prominent Yellow Undertone is present in the hue.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
2.01 ct, F.G, PS, VS2
3
2
2
7

Total Visual Score 7 out of 12


Lot: 70

Description: 6.69 ct, Fancy Intense Pink, Radiant, VS2

High Auction Estimation: $896,860 pc

Didn’t reach the minimum

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A 6.69 carat Fancy Intense Pink Radiant cut diamond with a low Inner-Grade and a noticeable warm undertone in the hue. Colorless patches surround the table, diminishing the overall pink experience from the face up view. The diamond appears a bit small in relation to its carat weight.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
6.69 ct, F.I.P, Rad, VS2
2
3
2
Low inner grade and undertone

Total Visual Score 7 out of 12


Lot: 71

Description: 3.01 ct,Fancy Vivid Blue, Cushion, VVS1

High Auction Estimation: $1,495,016 pc

Price realized: $1,293,023 pc

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

An elongated Fancy Vivid Blue Cushion cut diamond. The Gray Undertone is negligible and the Inner-Grade is below average. The crown is quite colorless, leaving most of the color in the table area. The stone appears large in relation to its weight.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
3.01 ct,F.V.B, CU, VVS1
2
3
4

Total Visual Score 9 out of 12


Lot: 75

Description: 1.15 ct, Fancy Deep Blue, Oval, VS2

High Auction Estimation: $608,695 pc

Didn’t reach the minimum

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A 1.15 carat Oval Fancy Deep Blue with little Gray Undertone and very few colorless patches. A high Inner-Grade in a Deep Blue diamond comes with the territory and is not considered special. The stone seems to appear a bit small in relation to its carat weight.   

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
1.15 ct, F.D.B, OS, VS2
4
3
3

Total Visual Score 10 out of 12


Lot: 76

Description: 3.64 ct, Fancy Pink, Round, IF

High Auction Estimation: $329,670 pc

Didn’t reach the minimum

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

Round Fancy color diamonds above one carat are extremely rare, even more so when it comes to Pink Fancy Color Diamonds. The color Inner-Grade is very weak from the face up view, and an Orange Undertone is present in the hue. Color dispersion is low as is typically seen in most Round diamonds.  

*Please refer to lot 1857 at the Sotheby’s auction

*Please refer to lot 1751 at the Sotheby’s auction

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
3.64 ct, F.P, RS, IF
1
2
3
6

Total Visual Score 6 out of 12


Lot: 77

Description: 3.51 ct, Fancy Intense Green, Marquise, VS2, 0.36 ct, Fancy Intense Pink, Pear, VS2 and 0.35 ct, Fancy Intense Pink, Pear

High Auction Estimation: $1,500,000 Total

Didn’t reach the minimum

GIA Report for 3.51 ct: View

GIA Report for 0.36 ct: View

GIA Report for 0.35 ct: View

Analysis:

A 3.51 Fancy Intense Green Marquise with a soft Yellow Undertone. The color Inner-Grade and Dispersion are hard to grade in this case, as the stone is completely covered in gold, which impacts these two visual qualities. The two Pink Heart-shaped diamonds flanking the Marquise seem to have an unmatching Undertone.    

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone 
Quality Remark
3.51 ct, F.I.G, MQ, VS2, 
3
3
2
0.36 ct, F.I.P, PS, VS2 
3
3
3
0.35 ct, F.I.P, PS
3
3
3

Total Average Score 8.6 out of 12


Lot: 83

Description: 12.24 ct, Fancy Intense Yellow, Radiant, VS1

High Auction Estimation: $20,424 pc

Price realized: $32,941 pc

Rarity: An extremely small number of similar diamonds enter the market yearly… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report: View

Analysis: 

A Square Radiant cut with a facet alignment typical of the 1980s, when modified cut diamonds were just introduced to the market. Color Dispersion is truncate### poor with a thin ring of color decorating the table. The very strong Inner-Grade may be affected by the fact that the stone is set in yellow gold, which is important to take into account. 

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
12.24 ct, F.I.Y, Rad, VS1
4
1
3
Poor dispersion

Total Visual Score 8 out of 12


Lot: 84 

Description: 6.77 ct, Fancy Intense Yellow, Round, VVS1 and 6.31 ct, Fancy Intense Yellow, Round, VVS2

High Auction Estimation: $42,048 pc

Price realized: $68,134 pc

Rarity: An extremely small number of similar diamonds enter the market yearly… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report for 6.77 ct: View

GIA Report for 6.31 ct: View

Analysis:

An exceptionally large pair of Round Fancy Intense Yellow diamonds. Like most traditional Round diamonds, color is dispersed unevenly in the face up view. The Inner-Grade is solid, and no green or brown undertone is visible.  

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
6.77 ct, F.I.Y, RS, VVS1
3
2
3
6.31 ct, F.I.Y, RS, VVS2
3
2
3

Total Average Score 8 out of 12


Lot: 85

Description: 20.27 ct, Fancy Intense Yellow, Oval, VVS1

High Auction Estimation: $29,600 pc

Price realized: $41,280 pc

Rarity: A similar diamond enters the market once every… Check Rarity Here 

GIA Report: View 

Analysis:

A typical Bulgari design from the late 1970’s mounted with a large Fancy Intense Yellow Oval from the same decade. The diamond has an uneven color distribution and a symmetry rating of Fair, as stated on an August, 2021 GIA report. Diamonds in the 1970’s, particularly Yellows, were manufactured without meticulous attention and sold without a GIA report, without the knowledge that they were actually eligible to be graded as Fancy Color diamonds. The stone has poor Color Dispersion and a low Inner-Grade on the face up view. 

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
20.27 ct, F.I.Y, OS, VVS1
2
1
3
6

Total Visual Score 6 out of 12


Lot: 170

Description: 83.26 ct, Fancy Yellow, Old Mine cut, SI1

High Auction Estimation: $12,010 pc

Price realized: $16,226 pc

GIA Report: View

Analysis:

A very large Fancy Yellow Old Mine Cushion cut, likely from the beginning of the last century. This stone exhibits typical gemological parameters for its time, such as Fair symmetry and uneven Color Distribution.    

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
83.26 ct, F.Y, Old Mine cut, SI1
2
1
3
6

Total Visual Score 6 out of 12


Lot: 174

Description: 5.09 ct, Fancy Vivid Yellow, Heart, VVS2 and 5.03 ct, Fancy Vivid Yellow, Heart, SI1

High Auction Estimation: $34,584 pc

Price realized: $29,881 pc

Rarity: An extremely small number of similar diamonds enter the market yearly… Check Rarity Here

GIA Report for 5.09 ct: View

GIA Report for 5.03: View

Analysis:

Two heart-shaped diamonds with different dimensions, clarity, and facet alignment. According to market standards, some may say that these two diamonds don’t constitute a matching pair.  As such, they should be purchased as two single stones without applying a premium to the fact they are a couple.

Visual Assets:

Inner Grade Hue
Color Dispersion
Undertone
Quality Remark
5.09 ct, F.V.Y, HS, VVS2 
3
3
3
Not matching
5.03 ct, F.V.Y, HS, SI1
3
3
3

Total Average Score 9 out of 12


 

General

We use 1, 2, 3, 4, and 4+ to grade the three visual elements that GIA is silent about, although they impact the value dramatically.

Inner-Grade refers to the strength of color within each GIA saturation category:

Grade 1 weakest, bordering the saturation below.

Grade 2 weak (most common).

Grade 3 full-bodied color (above average).

Grade 4 very strong saturation.

Grade 4+ applies to the vivid category only, exhibiting the strongest possible saturation (rarely seen).

Undertone refers to a subtle hue influence in the body color of the stone.

For example:

A Fancy Blue Diamond with a significant gray presence in its general appearance will be graded with a low undertone grade of 1. A Fancy Blue that has no gray influence that is close to a primary blue will receive the grade, 4.

In a Pink Fancy Color Diamond, a stone with a warm undertone (such as orange or brown) will receive a low undertone grade. A pink stone with a cold undertone (such as purple) will receive a high grade.

In Yellow Fancy Color Diamonds, low foreign influence or a light orange influence will grant the stone a high undertone grade. When the yellow undertone looks like a true primary yellow, it will receive the rare grade 4+. Green and brown undertones will grant a low grade in the yellow category.

Color Dispersion relates to how well the color is dispersed in the face-up view of a Fancy Color Diamond, regardless as to whether the GIA grades the stone as even. A stone with many colorless areas will receive the grade 1, while a stone that exhibits its face-up view with no colorless patches will receive the grade 4+. Unlike the first two elements, the color dispersion is not a gemological quality and is the result of cutter proficiency. 

 

 

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