Largest Blue HPHT Synthetic Diamond in GIA Lab

A 5.03 ct Fancy Deep blue HPHT synthetic diamond was examined by GIA (left). Faint but sharp color zoning was observed (middle, field of view 4.77 mm) along with small metallic inclusions and a cavity at the girdle (right, field of view 2.19 mm). Photos by Sood (Oil) Judy Chia (left) and Kyaw Soe Moe (center and right)

A 5.03 ct Fancy Deep blue HPHT synthetic diamond was examined by GIA (left). Faint but sharp color zoning was observed (middle, field of view 4.77 mm) along with small metallic inclusions and a cavity at the girdle (right, field of view 2.19 mm). Photos by Sood (Oil) Judy Chia (left) and Kyaw Soe Moe (center and right)

The largest faceted colorless HPHT-grown synthetic diamond reported to date is a 10.02 ct E-color, VS1-clarity specimen, cut from a 32.26-carat piece of rough, was reported by IGI Hong Kong in 2015. The diamond was grown by NDT, or New Diamond Technology, is one of the founding members of the new International Grown Diamond Association. Recently, large colorless and near-colorless HPHT-grown diamonds by the Russian company have been investigated by GIA laboratories. The sizes ranged up to up to 5.11 ct. In January 2016, GIA’s New York laboratory examined a 5.03 ct fancy-color HPHT-grown type IIb synthetic diamond produced by NDT. this is the largest faceted blue laboratory-grown diamond studied so far. 

The notes from GIA's lab report stated that the 5.03-carat diamond exhibited a number of traits characteristic of diamonds grown using the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) process, including color zoning and a cuboctahedral growth pattern. The stone was graded a VS1, fancy deep blue. 

"This emerald-cut synthetic diamond was color graded as Fancy Deep blue. This is a very attractive color with no other color component, a prized rarity among natural type IIb diamonds (the Blue Moon, for instance, was graded as Fancy Vivid blue). When viewed under a microscope, faint but sharp color zoning could be seen, indicative of the uneven impurity incorporation of HPHT synthetic diamonds. No strain was observed under crossed polarizers, indicating a very low dislocation density, which is also characteristic of HPHT-grown diamonds. It had VS1 clarity, with only very small metallic inclusions and a cavity observed at the girdle. Fluorescence and phosphorescence images collected using a DiamondView instrument revealed the sample’s cuboctahedral growth pattern, another feature of HPHT synthetics. The long-lasting chalky blue phosphorescence was further analyzed using spectroscopy, and the emission was found to originate from two broad bands centered at approximately 500 and 575 nm (figure 2, right). These bands have previously been reported in NDT’s type IIa and IIb HPHT synthetic diamonds (D’Haenens-Johansson et al., 2015). "

The evaluation of a lab-grown blue diamond of this size is considered by the researchers to be so significant that they opted to publish Lab Notes online ahead of the next quarterly edition of Gems & Gemology.  

To read Lab Notes GIA.edu

'Sunrise Ruby' Steals the Show at Sotheby's Auction

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The “Sunrise Ruby,” a 25.59-carat untreated pigeon’s blood red-colored stone set a new world auction record for price paid for a ruby on Tuesday at the Sotheby's Geneva sale. The ruby was initially estimated to sell at between $12-$18 million but bidding soared to $30.3 million, demolishing the existing ruby auction record that was held by the $8.6 million sale of the “Graff Ruby.” The ring also set a record for the price paid for a jewel by Cartier. It was sold to an million to an anonymous buyer.
The high price of the ruby heavily contributed to the Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction which the highest-ever total for any jewelry auction at $160.9 million, deposing the Christie’s November 2014 sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva, which totaled $150.2 million.

Also performing well but not meeting pre-sale expectations was the “Historic Pink." The 8.72-carat fancy vivid pink diamond sold for $15.9 million, below its pre-sale high estimate of $18 million.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division had this to say about the sale: 
“(The) record result is the reflection of outstanding quality of the pieces in the sale across the board,...The galleries have been brimming with collectors during our worldwide exhibitions, and this translated into lively bidding throughout the sale … with truly global demand for the finest diamonds, gemstones and signed pieces of the very highest order.”

The entirety of the auction results can be viewed at Sotheby's 

GIA to Host "Dreams of Diamonds" Exhibit

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The “Dreams of Diamonds” exhibit will be on view at the Gemological Institute of America from April 29 to May 11. It will feature 25 diamond pieces, including a pair of boots set with 1,527 carats of diamonds and a 50.05-carat flawless D-color diamond. More than 4,000 carats of diamonds will be on display. The exhibit coincides with a debut of a book on these stunning and unique pieces.
The book was put together by British photography and design team Alastair Laidlaw and Christine Marsden. It is a massive oversized ‘Super Book’ that features full print size images and weighs more than 30 pounds. The book took six years to complete, featuring the diamonds and jewelry in unusual, “dream-like” settings. 
The items featured in the book were provided by 12 of the world’s best-known diamantaires and designers. Seven of them: Adler Joailliers, Chatila, Chow Tai Fook, Diacore, Mouawad, and Munnu The Gem Palace, are loaning pieces for the exhibit at GIA. 
Appointments are necessary to see this exhibit. Head to GIA’s website for details.

The Graff Ruby Lead the Sotheby's Geneva Sale

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 8.62 carats, set between triangular diamond shoulders within a mount decorated throughout with brilliant-cut diamonds,   size 59, signed Graff, together with an alternative ring mount, Graff. Photo Courtesy of Sothebys

The cushion-shaped ruby weighing 8.62 carats, set between triangular diamond shoulders within a mount decorated throughout with brilliant-cut diamonds, size 59, signed Graff, together with an alternative ring mount, Graff. Photo Courtesy of Sothebys

The November 12th, 2014 Sotheby's Geneva auction was lead by a truly magnificent pigeon-blood colored ruby known as the "Graff Ruby".  The ring was originally sold at auction nine years ago and was purchased by noted jeweller Laurence Graff for a record breaking price. He later named the ruby "The Graff Ruby". 
In Geneva the ring again fetched a record breaking amount (selling for $8,600,410). The ring was part of the Collection of Dimitri Mavrommatis (16 pieces) which also included a rare 27.54 carat step-cut Kashmir sapphire, as well as several pieces by contemporary jewelers, Graff and JAR (who was represented by a pair of superb sapphire, ruby and diamond earrings).

The step-cut sapphire weighing 27.54 carats, set between pear-shaped diamond shoulders  , size 53, together with an alternative ring mount, Graff. Photo Courtesy of Sothebys

The step-cut sapphire weighing 27.54 carats, set between pear-shaped diamond shoulders, size 53, together with an alternative ring mount, Graff. Photo Courtesy of Sothebys

The "Graff" Ruby information:
The piece was accompanied by Gübelin report stating that the ruby is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. The SSEF report together with a letter stating:
"The Graff Ruby...The described gemstones exhibits an impressive weight and purity, combined with a very pleasant shape and cutting style. The faint inclusions found by microscopic inspection represent the hallmarks of the reputed deposit of Mogok in Burma (Myanmar). The stone has been spared to exposure of thermal treatment and its clarity and colour are natural. Its vivid red, poetically referred to as 'pigeon blood' is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for rubies of the Mogok gemstone tract. Natural Mogok rubies from this size, colour and clarity represent a great rarity and the Graff ruby with its combination of outstanding characteristics is a very exceptional gemstone."

The Blue Belle of Asia

The Blue Belle of Asia Sold by Christie's Geneva

The Blue Belle of Asia Sold by Christie's Geneva

The Christie's November 11th auction shatters the world record for any sapphire sold at an auction with  the Blue Belle of Asia fetching a staggering US$17.7 million.  
The
392.52 carats cushion-cut Ceylon sapphire is the world’s fourth largest faceted blue sapphire and was listed as the second most expensive lot at the sale (estimate $6.9 – 9.9 million), however it soon outperformed the highest estimated lot, colored diamond and diamond ear pendants by Bulgari.  
The enormous blue sapphire has a provenance dating back to 1937. This is an even larger landmark notice as this was also the first time that a blue sapphire or a colored gemstone lot had been at the top of a public auction and outperformed diamond containing lots.

The record breaking Blue Belle of Asia sold by Christie's 

The record breaking Blue Belle of Asia sold by Christie's