For Valentine’s Day, white diamonds may reign supreme, but their colorful counterparts are the in-demand stones of the holiday and the season.
When a single 14.62-carat diamond called the Oppenheimer Blue sold for an astonishing $57.5 million last spring, it broke records as the most expensive jewel to ever be purchased at auction. But perhaps even more curious than the jewel’s price tag was its color, a cool shade of azure, emblematic of some of the world’s most rare and in-demand stones.
“Sales of colored diamonds have steadily increased,” says Moti Ferder, the president and design director of Lugano Diamonds, a luxury jeweler based in Newport Beach, Calif. Although their obvious beauty and uniqueness make them coveted pieces for collectors, colored diamonds primarily have skyrocketed in popularity, Ferder explains, because of increased media attention toward the high-profile people who wear them.
Elizabeth Taylor’s famous jewelry collection, for one, included yellow diamonds from Bulgari and a cognac diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels given to her by on-and-off flame Richard Burton. Many years later, Jennifer Lopez became the proud owner of both a pink diamond (from former beau Ben Affleck) and a blue diamond anniversary ring (from ex-husband Marc Anthony), boosting the stones’ reputations as celebrity-approved symbols of romance.
Still, Ferder is quick to note that, for the time being at least, pure white diamonds retain their supremacy in the hierarchy of precious stones: “In reality, eight out of every 10 clients truly want a classic diamond … style.” All the better for collectors looking to corner the extraordinary colored-diamond market early.
By Tess Eyrich