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Blue Diamonds: Titanic’s “Heart of the ocean”

Blue Diamonds: Titanic’s “Heart of the ocean”
“The Heart of the Ocean” is the name of the 171 carat deep blue diamond in the major Hollywood production, Titanic; a decent movie with a historical setting. Then again, its fictional nature is clearly shown in its final scene, where the 101 year old Rose tosses the invaluable Heart of the Ocean overboard. For anyone with even slight knowledge of a blue diamond’s value, this scene is outrageous. Estimated at current market prices, the Heart of the Ocean would be worth between $200 million and $250 million dollar, if the stone would really exist; enough to cover the movie’s production budget. A quick shout-out to Hollywood: “never throw a blue diamond into the ocean, not even in fiction.”
Unfortunately, a real blue diamond comparable to the 171 carat Heart of the Ocean hasn’t been found to date. Nonetheless director James Cameron certainly took the right choice in casting a blue diamond as his ‘shiniest’ star. Due to their prodigious beauty and immense rarity, fancy blues are most associated with royalty and power.

Examples are plenty. The most prominent is “Le Bijou du Roi”, also known as “le Bleu du France”, or “the Hope Diamond”. This 45.52 carat deep blue diamond was historically part of the French Crown Jewels and has been described as the most famous stone in history. With its estimated value, of between $200 and $250 million, this stone may well have been the inspiration of the Heart of The Ocean. Another famous example is “the Nassak Diamond” or “the Eye of the Idol”. This 43.38 carat emerald cut diamond was embedded in the dress sword of the first Marquess of Westminster. To date, the Nassak Diamond is considered among the 24 greatest diamonds of the world. Finally there is “Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond”, a 31.06 carat flawless deep blue diamond, which was allegedly part of Margaret Teresa’s dowry, provided by the King of Spain Philip IV. Although most of these diamonds are now in private or museum collections, it’s precisely this association with royalty and power that makes fancy blues particularly popular amongst new Chinese and Indian billionaires, looking to make them the centerpiece of their private collections.
It is thus unsurprising that fancy blue diamonds are considered priceless. This was once again proved at the May 14th Christies auction in Geneva.

A magnificent 13.22 carat flawless, pair shaped diamond, dubbed ‘the Blue’, was sold for a whopping $23.79 million (€17.56 million).

With the sale the Blue was promptly renamed ‘the Winston Blue’, after its new owner, Harry Winston. Moreover, the Winston Blue has set a new world record at auction, boasting the highest price per carat ever paid for a any diamond, nearly $1.8 million per carat Although an impressive achievement, this record can hardly be called surprising. Fancy blue diamond prices have been rising exponentially over the course of the last few years. Furthermore, with its 13.22 carat size, the Winston Blue is the world’s largest flawless blue diamond, and on top of this, it has a remarkable vivid color.

Although certainly not all fancy blues are record breakers, the staggering price paid for the Winston Blue illustrates clearly their popularity among investors and collectors. Moreover, record prices paid for famous stones at auctions are known to reinforce pricing trends for other, less well known diamonds of the same fancy color. This is largely due to the media coverage spreading their popularity, thus further boosting their status and investment value. Therefore the Winston Blue carat record is likely to increase the value of all blue diamonds, as a worldwide bidding war for fancy blues has already started. Finally the Winston Blue isn’t the only fancy blue causing excitement on international markets. In January of this year,
mining company Petra Diamonds announced the discovery of a unique 29.6 carat fancy blue diamond. So far the stone has not received a name, and no further details are currently known about the stone, other than the fact that it was found at the world famous Cullinan mine in South Africa. However Petra Diamonds has estimated its value at $20 million. As information about this stone is currently showed in mystery, it is unclear whether this is the estimated raw value or not. However, taking into account that these estimations date back from January of this year, well before the Winston Blue record, Petra Diamonds estimations may very well be cutting it low.

Average Price/Carat of Blue Diamonds over 14 years