Diamonds Pay Dividends

13 08 2010

Colored diamonds double their value every two to three years. That’s more than we can say about the stock market these days.

As the economic picture continues to worsen, the results of a late-September auction of fine jewelry in Chicago begs the casual observer to conclude that collectors are turning to tangible goods as a store of wealth in these uncertain times.

The sale at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago, which attracted buyers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Hungary and Australia, saw multiple pieces of jewelry selling around the $100,000 mark. This yellow diamond ring and a blue sapphire ring were two of the glittering stars of the show. The yellow diamond ring was bought by a jewelry dealer from New York who had flown in especially for this auction and paid $144,400, four times the expected price.

The ring was sold by a Chicago-area family that had inherited the sparkler from their mother, who had worn it as her wedding ring. The 5.44-carat stone, described as an “intense yellow fancy diamond,” sits in an 18-karat white gold setting created in the 1960s. The family was aware of the ring’s value but didn’t expect the 12-person bidding war among buyers from Bulgaria, New York and Los Angeles.


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