In this post we will be looking at the ten most expensive Diamonds ever sold at auction. Diamonds hold a special place amongst gemstones and are more desirable than any of the other of the big four gemstones (Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald). As you will see from this list, fancy colour diamonds, especially blue and pink command far higher prices due to their rarity.
The diamonds on this list are some of the finest and rarest to ever be found and that is reflected in the kind of prices that they sell for. There are four diamonds that sold for more than $30 million that did not crack the top 10 and to even make the top 50 would require a sale price of more than $14 million.
I hope that you enjoy reading through this list as compiling it took many hours of pouring over 30 years of sales history from the world’s leading auction houses.
10) The Zoe Diamond
Weight: 9.75 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, 20th November 2014
Sale Price USD: $32.6 Million
Sale Price GBP: £20.8 Million
The Zoe Diamond is the smallest diamond on this list and that just shows how impressive a specimen it is. It was graded by the Gemological Institute of America as a fancy vivid blue diamond which is the highest colour grade, the VVS clarity is also exceptional for a stone of this size. When it sold for $32.6 Million in November 2014 it set a new world record price for a blue diamond, the previous record was set in December 2008 by the The Wittelsbach Diamond which sold for $24.3 Million.
9) The Art Of De Grisogono Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive White Diamond
Weight: 163.41 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 14th November 2017
Sale Price USD: $33.7 Million
Sale Price GBP: £25.6 Million
The Art Of De Grisogono was the most spectacular diamond to ever come to auction, at 163.41 carats it is the largest diamond to ever be offered. While described as a white diamond, it is actually a D colour stone which means it is complete colourless. It is has flawless clarity and excellent polish and symmetry meant it was pretty much perfect. The rough from which this stunning diamond was born was a 404 carat crystal found in Angola during 2016, it would then embark on 18 month journey which would culminate in the emerald cut diamond gaining worldwide attention and adoration. While it broke the previous world record for a white diamond, many commentators felt it did not achieve its full potential as even though it is considerably larger than the previous record holder the $33 million hammer price did not reflect this.
8) The Orange Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive Orange Diamond
Weight: 14.82 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 12th November 2013
Sale Price USD: $35.5 Million
Sale Price GBP: £22.3 Million
While every diamond on this list set a new world record price for their respective colours, none beat the previous record as emphatically as The Orange Diamond. The $35.5 million sale price was over $32 million more than any other orange diamond had ever sold for. It also holds the distinction of being the largest fancy vivid, natural orange diamond to ever be graded by the Gemological Institute of America.
Weight: 34.65 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, New York, 16th April 2013
Sale Price USD: $39.3 Million
Sale Price GBP: £25.6 Million
The Princie Diamond came to auction amongst much excitement in 2013 and the interest that surrounded the stone kick started a period of some of the finest coloured diamonds ever found coming to auction. While the sale price of $39.3 Million meant that it did not become the world’s most most expensive diamond it certainly set the standard for those that would follow. The fancy intense pink, cushion cut 34.65 carat diamond is a truly exquisite example and at the time of sale, it was the largest pink diamond ever sold at auction.
Weight: 14.54 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Geneva, 16th May 2017
Sale Price USD: $42 Million
Sale Price GBP: £32.5 Million
The diamond with the most unique name on the list and the sale of this diamond was also a bit different, this is one half of one perhaps the finest pair of diamond earrings ever created but each earring was sold separately. The sale price of $42 Million dwarfed the $15.3 Million achieved by its sister earrings know as the Dream of Autumn Leaves which is set with a 16 carat fancy pink diamond.
Weight: 24.78 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Geneva, 16th November 2010
Sale Price USD: $46.1 Million
Sale Price GBP: £28.7 Million
In 2010 Laurence Graff, one of the world’s most famed diamond dealers broke every previous record when he purchased the 24.78 fancy intense pink diamond. The $46.1 million sale price broke the previous record price which was held by the The Wittelsbach Diamond which sold for $24.3 Million in 2008. Even though there have been many diamonds sold since 2010 with very large price tags, the Graff Pink is still the 5th most expensive diamond ever sold.
Weight: 12.03 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Geneva, 11th November 2015
Sale Price USD: $48.4 Million
Sale Price GBP: £31.9 Million
When the Blue Moon sold for $48.4 Million, it sent shock waves throughout the jewellery world as it became the most expensive diamond in history but what was even more extraordinary was the story that the buyer, Hong Kong businessman Joseph Lau bought the diamond for his 7 year old daughter. It was also renamed The Blue Moon of Josephine in honour of his daughter.
Weight: 18.96 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 13th November 2018
Sale Price USD: $50 Million
Sale Price GBP: £38.5 Million
Referred to by many as the World’s finest pink diamond, the exceptional 18.96 carat, VS1 clarity, fancy vivid pink diamond is a true contender for the moniker. While it did not set a world record sale price, the $2.6 million per carat price was a record price and it would have to be something truly special to beat it. The diamond was originally owned by the Oppenheimer family and its new owner is another whose legacy is just as spectacular, the man fittingly known as ‘The King of Diamonds’ Harry Winston.
2) The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive Blue Diamond
Weight: 14.62 Carats
Sale: Christie’s, Geneva, 18th May 2016
Sale Price USD: $57.5 Million
Sale Price GBP: £39.5 Million
The period between 2010 and 2017 was an astonishing period in the jewellery world, while many were still reeling from the financial crash in 2008 there were seemingly diamonds breaking sale records every year and in May 2016 The Oppenheimer Diamond set a new world record price for a diamond, beating the record set six months earlier by the Blue Moon of Josephine by more than $9 Million. The 14.62 carat fancy vivid blue diamond is one of the finest examples of a blue diamond and it is the most expensive blue diamond in history.
1) The Pink Star Diamond – The World’s Most Expensive Pink Diamond
Weight: 59.60 Carats
Sale: Sotheby’s, Hong Kong, 4th April 2017
Sale Price USD: $71.1 Million
Sale Price GBP: £57.1 Million
The Pink Star Diamond is a truly once in a lifetime discovery. Weighing 59.60 carats makes this the largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever sold at auction and also the largest one ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The final price of $71.1 million meant that it beat nearly every record relating to diamonds, it became not only the most expensive pink diamond ever sold but also the most expensive diamond ever sold and by a considerable margin.
All prices were calculated using the historical exchange rate tool on xe.com from the sale price that was found on the websites of the respective auction houses.
We would like to thank Sotheby’s and Christie’s for the images that we used in this post.