Diamond Datapoint of the Day

Bloomberg headline, Dec 9: "Diamond May Fetch 9 Million Pounds at Christie’s, Defying Slump".

Bloomberg headline, Dec 10: "Diamond Sells for Record $24.3 Million, Defying Slump".

Consider the slump defied! But the best line comes from the buyer, Laurence Graff, who’s going to recut the stone to make it flawless.

"We’ll lose a few carats, but nothing too substantial."

There’s a lot of history to this stone — it was given by King Philip to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa, as part of her dowry when she married Emperor Leopold I of Austria in 1667. So it seems a shame to chip away at it for the sake of flawlessness, which in any event has always been the most overrated of virtues.

Incidentally, the rest of the sale was a bust:

Forty-five percent of the lots were left unsold, including a 4.24-carat pink diamond pendant whose lower estimate had been reduced from 330,000 pounds to 200,000 pounds.

"The market is difficult, but it’s still there for the very best," said Sancroft-Baker.

There’s a lesson here, for any hedge-fund wives having financial strains. If all you’ve got is a 4.24-carat pink diamond pendant, fuhgeddaboudit. Dealers aren’t even getting out of bed these days unless you’ve got a provenance dating back to King Philip and a carat weight in the 30s.

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