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Unearthing diamond brilliance

In business, one looks for the best deals in everything. But many of the items considered personal indulgences, from vintage wine to fine jewellery, may be outperforming our financial portfolios.

Our love affair with precious stones has endured for thousands of years, manifesting today in record-breaking, multimillion-dollar auctions and a global race to unearth the next cache of coloured diamonds, emeralds and rubies, among others. Three that are catching the eyes of collectors and investors right now are pink diamonds, blue diamonds (garnering the highest price per carat) and new contender Paraíba tourmaline.

The biggest pink diamond ever discovered was 132.5 carats, cut to create the 59.6-carat oval Pink Star. Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold the Pink Star for $71.2 million in 2017 ($1.19 million per carat). At 14.62 carats, the Oppenheimer Blue is the largest Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever to appear at auction. In 2016, at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, it set a new world record for any jewel when it sold for around $58 million ($3.96 million per carat). Paraíba tourmaline was discovered in 1989 in Brazil, and the stone has nearly been depleted there due to demand. The most expensive was the 191.87-carat Ethereal Carolina Divine Paraíba, valued at up to $125 million.

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