Dr. Shihaan M. Larif
The Premier Blue Diamond gets its name from the mine of origin of the diamond in South Africa, viz. the Premier/Cullinan/Petra Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, the principal source of blue diamonds in the world today, and the source of all the 11 blue diamonds in the De Beers Millennium Diamond Collection, ranging in weight from 5.16 carats to 27.64 carats exhibited at the London's Millennium Dome, through out the year 2000. The Premier Diamond Mine was renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in November 2003, on the occasion of the centenary of the diamond mine, in memory of its founder Sir Thomas Cullinan. The diamond mine was acquired by a consortium led by Petra Diamonds in July 2008, and since then the mine came to be known as the Petra Diamond Mine. The Cullinan/Petra diamond mine is renowned as an important source of large and high value Type IIa diamonds, as well as the rare Type IIb blue diamonds. Some of the famous diamonds produced after Petra Diamonds acquired the mines, are the 507.55-carat white/colorless rough diamond known as the "Cullinan Heritage" that was sold uncut for a record US$ 35.3 million and the 7.03-carat Petra Blue/Star of Josephine blue diamond that sold for a record US$ 9.5 million at the Sotheby's Geneva auction in May 2009.
In the list of 51 famous blue diamonds in the world today, given below on this webpage, at least 40 blue diamonds originated from the Premier/Cullinan Diamond Mine, yet, not a single one of them bears a name indicating the source of the diamond. This was perhaps the main reason that prompted the owners of the diamond, Petra Diamonds, to christen this particular diamond, possessing a combination of much desired characteristics in blue diamonds, as the "Premier Blue Diamond," a named befitting this rare and unique blue diamond.
The Premier Blue Diamond - 7.59-carat, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless, round brilliant-cut diamond
The Premier Blue Diamond is a 7.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, internally flawless (IF), fancy vivid blue diamond; the largest round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Round brilliant-cut is rarely employed on colored diamonds, due to the extreme rarity of such diamonds, the restricted size of the rough colored diamonds and the high wastage of rough diamond involved in the fashioning of a round-brilliant. The standard round brilliant-cut, which maximizes the luster and brilliance of a diamond, is usually employed for white/colorless diamonds which are relatively more abundant than colored diamonds. A diamond rough of at least double its fashioned carat weight is required to fashion a diamond into this popular and desirable shape. In other words, a wastage of 50% occurs in the fashioning of a round brilliant-cut diamond. In spite of such wastage, the fact that the owners of the diamond deliberately chose to apply this cut on this rare blue diamond, reveals the intention of the owners to create a rare, famous and exceptional blue diamond with a combination of much desired characteristics, such as the round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid saturated blue color, internally flawless clarity and an impressive size of 7.59 carats, which would be extremely rare to come by, even in the standards of world class museums and auctions.
The fancy vivid blue color of the Premier Blue Diamond is the highest color grading that can be given to colored diamonds. Many blue diamonds are modified with grey or black hues, or have an uneven saturation with colorless areas interspersed. However, the Premier Blue Diamond is endowed with a splendid, even and saturated pure blue hue, that makes it a natural wonder to behold.
The clarity of the Premier Blue Diamond is also exceptional, with a striking high clarity, awarded the clarity grade of Internally Flawless (IF) by the GIA, the second highest clarity grade, indicating no inclusions visible under 10X magnification, but only minute blemishes on the diamond's surface.
In the list of known famous blue diamonds arranged in descending order of carat weights, the 7.59-carat Premier Blue Diamond occupies the 31 st position. See table below.
The table also shows that the Premier Blue Diamond is actually the 3rd-largest round brilliant-cut blue diamond in the world, after the 51.84-carat, round brilliant-cut, unnamed blue diamond and the 12.39-carat, round brilliant-cut, cornflower blue diamond, set in a ring and sold by Harry Winston in 1969. However, the exact color-grading of the 1st and 2nd largest round brilliant-cut blue diamonds are not known. Hence, the 7.59-carat Premier Blue Diamond is undoubtedly the largest, round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond in the world, as claimed by Sotheby's in their press release on the sale of the Premier Blue Diamond at the Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite Autumn Sale on October 7, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
List of known famous blue diamonds arranged in descending order of carat weights
|Price realized at Auction/Value when last sold||Country/Period of Origin||
|1||Unnamed cushion-cut blue diamond||Cut from a 704.56-carat rough diamond Valued between $45-50 mill.||261.00||Cushion-cut||fancy blue|
|2||Unnamed brilliant||51.84||Round-brilliant||fancy blue|
|3||Copenhagen Blue diamond||Named in honor of an exhibition in Copenhagen in 1960||Jagersfontein Mine, South Africaa||45.85||Emerald-cut||fancy blue|
Over $300,000 in 1911. Current estimate $200-$250 mill.
|Golconda, India 1663-68||45.52||Antique-cushion brilliant||fancy dark grayish- blue/VS1|
|5||Tereschenko||$4.6 mill. Christie's Genv. sale Nov.1984||Golconda, India||42.92||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|6||Graff Imperial Blue||Guinea||39.81||Pear-shaped||fancy light blue/IF|
|7||Crown of Charlemagne||Last sold by Harry Winston in 1967||37.05||Old-European cut||fancy light blue|
|8||Wittelsbach-Graff||$24.3 mill.||Gloconda, India||35.56 /31.06||Cushion-shaped||fancy deep blue/IF|
|9||Sultan of Morocco||$250,000 in 1972, Private sale||Golconda,India||35.27||Cushion-cut||fancy grayish blue|
|10||Cornflower Blue diamond-1||Sold by Harry Winston in 1969, later re-purchased and sold to a Middle eastern client in 1971.||Premier Mine, S.A.||31.93||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|11||The Blue Heart or Eugenie Blue||$300,000 in 1953. Sale by Van Cleef & Arpels after change of setting||Premier Mine, S.A.||30.82||Heart-shaped||fancy vivid blue|
|12||Blue Lili||Premier Mine, S.A.||30.06||Tapered cushion-cut||fancy intense blue|
|13||The Heart of Eternity||Premier Mine, S.A.||27.64||Heart-shaped||fancy vivid blue/VS2|
|14||Transvaal Blue||Premier Mine, S.A.||25.00||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|15||Sam Abram Fancy Blue diamond||$9.9 mill. Soth.NY. Oct 1994||Premier Mine, S.A.||20.17||Emerald-cut||fancy vivid blue/VS2|
|16||Graff Blue Ice Diamond||Premier Mine, S.A.||20.02||Pear-shaped||fancy deep blue|
|17||The Blue Empress||Premier Mine, S.A.||14.00||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|18||The Begum Blue||$7.75 mill. Christie's Geneva. November 1994||Premier Mine, S.A.||13.78||Heart-shaped||fancy deep blue|
Previously believed to have been cut from the French Blue diamond
|Part of the Duke of Brunswick collection of jewels sold in 1874||Golconda, India||13.75||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|20||Cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut blue diamond||
Christie's Geneva, May 2008
|Premier Mine, S.A.||13.39||Cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut||fancy intense blue|
|21||Marquise-cut fancy blue diamond||$7.6 million Christie's Hong Kong, May 2011||Premier Mine, S.A.||13.39||Marquise-cut||fancy blue/VVS2|
|22||Cornflower Blue diamond-2||Set in a ring and sold by Harry Winston in 1969||Premier Mine, S.A.||12.39||Round brilliant||fancy blue|
|23||The Blue Magic||Premier Mine, S.A.||12.02||Modified pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue/VVS2|
|24||Bulgari Blue||$15.7 mill. Christ.NY Oct.2010||Premier Mine, S.A.||10.95||Triangular-shaped||fancy vivid blue|
|25||Sotheby's Geneva, Nov 2012||$10.8 mill.||10.48||Briolette||fancy deep blue|
|26||Christie's N.Y. April 2007||$2..4 million||9.39||Cushion-cut||fancy grayish blue|
|27||Sotheby's HK. Oct. 2009||$5.7 mill.Soth.HK.||Premier Mine, S.A.||8.74||Emerald-cut||fancy intense blue/VVS1|
|28||Sotheby's HK. April 2012||$12.7 mill.||8.01||Emerald-cut||fancy vivid blue|
|29||Christie' Geneva, Dec.1999||$3.2 million||Premier Mine, S.A.||7.96||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue/VS1|
|30||Soth. Geneva May 2010||$8.03 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||7.64||Cushion-cut||fancy intense blue/VVS2|
|31||Premier Blue Diamond||Auction coming up on October 7, 2013||Premier Mine, S.A.||7.59||Round brilliant-cut||fancy vivid blue|
|32||Christie's Hong Kong. April 2002||$2.6 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||7.15||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue|
|33||Petra Blue/Star of Josephine||$9.5 mill. Soth. Geneva. May 2009||Premier / Cullinan/Petra Mine.S.A.||7.03||Cushion-cut||fancy vivid blue/IF|
|34||Brunswick Blue-2||Part of the Duke of Brunswick collection of jewels sold in 1874||Premier Mine, S.A,||6.50||Pear-shaped||fancy blue|
|35||Christie's New York||$3.6 mill||Premier Mine, S.A.||6.29||Pear-shaped||fancy intense blue|
|36||Graff Blue diamond||Premier Mine, S.A.||6.19||Pear-shaped||fancy intense blue|
|37||Moussaieff Jewelers unnamed blue diamond||$7.98 mill Sotheby's HK, Oct.2007||Premier Mine, S.A.||6.04||Emerald-cut||fancy vivid blue|
|38||Sotheby's HK, Oct.2011||$10.1 mill. Soth.HK.||Premier Mine, S.A. .||6.01||Emerald-cut||fancy vivid blue|
|39||Sotheby's Geneva, Nov.2009||$7.5 mill||Premier Mine, S.A. .||5.96||Pear-shaped modified brilliant||fancy vivid blue|
|40||Christie's Geneva, Dec.1999||$1.13 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||5.80||Pear-shaped||fancy intense blue/IF|
|41||Marie Antoinette Blue diamond||Set in a ring said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette. Last offered for sale in1983 but not sold||
|42||De Beers Millennium Blue, Jewel II- Apr.2010 Sotheby's HK||$6.4 mill. Soth.HK.||
Premier Mine, S.A.
|5.16||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue/IF|
|43||toi et moi ring - Soth. Geneva May 2010||$6.32 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||
fancy vivid blue
|44||Christie's Geneva, Dec.1999||$1.24 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||4.77||Circular-cut||fancy deep blue/VS2|
|45||Soth. Geneva. Nov,2007||$4.7 mill||Premier Mine, S.A.||4.16||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue/|
|46||Bulgari Blue||$2.97 mill. Bonhams Lond. 2011||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.78||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue|
|47||Soth. Geneva May 2008||$4.96 mill||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.73||Pear-shaped||fancy vivid blue|
|48||Aleks Paul of Essex Global Trading||$3.6 mill Christie's NY Apr. 2011||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.25||Square Emerald cut||fancy vivid blue/IF|
|49||Christie's NY Oct.2011||$2.7mill||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.21||Modified Pear-shape||fancy vivid blue|
|50||Sotheby's NY. Apr. 2011||$3.27 mill||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.18||Marquise-cut||fancy vivid blue/IF|
|51||Sotheby's Geneva, Nov. 2009||$2.5 mill.||Premier Mine, S.A.||3.17||Brilliant-cut||fancy intense blue /IF|
Please do not copy our tables without our permission. We may be compelled to inform the search engines if our content and tables are plagiarised.
Being a blue diamond the Premier Blue is a rare Type IIb diamond, whose occurrence is less than 0.1% of all naturally occuring diamonds. The diamond is Type II because of the absence of detectable quantities of nitrogen. It is Type IIb, because of the presence of extremely minute quantities of Boron, which not only impart a blue color to the diamonds but also make the diamond semi-conducting. Type IIa diamonds on the other hand are chemically pure without any impurities and constitute about 1-2% of all naturally occuring diamonds. Type IIa diamonds can be either structurally perfect, structurally imperfect or naturally irradiated. Chemically pure and structurally perfect Type IIa diamonds (1-2%) are absolutely colorless and fall under the color-grade D, E & F. Chemically pure and structurally imperfect or plastically deformed diamonds (Less than 0.1%) acquire rare fancy colors such as pink, red, orange, violet, and brown. Chemically pure and naturally irradiated diamonds (Less than 0.1%) acquire a rare green color.
The mine of origin of the diamond is undoubtedly the Premier/Cullinan Diamond Mine, situated in the town of Cullinan, 40 km east of Pretoria in the Gauteng Province (Part of the old Transvaal Province) of South Africa. This was the main reason that prompted the owners of the diamond, Petra Diamonds, to christen the diamond as the "Premier Blue Diamond." Moreover, the fact that the Premier/Cullinan Diamond Mine is the main source of significant blue diamonds in the world today, gives credence to this conclusion.
The weight of the round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue, internally flawless "Premier Blue Diamond" is 7.59-carats. Given the fact that an enormous wastage of up to 50% or more occurs in the fashioning of a round brilliant-cut diamond, the approximate weight of the rough "Premier Blue Diamond" should be more than 15 carats. In the year 2012, results of the Petra Diamonds production, show only one significant blue diamond produced, that was processed into a 4.8-carat blue diamond and sold for US$ 1.45 million.
According to the Petra Diamonds website www.petradiamonds.com in the Financial Year 2012, the following diamonds were each sold for more than US$ 1 million.
Hence a rough blue diamond of more than 15 carats was not produced in the year 2012.
However, as reported by the Press on April 17, 2013, a spectacular high-value diamond, a 25.5-carat, rough blue diamond was discovered in the Cullinan/Petra Diamond Mine, that had a bearing on the shares of Petra Diamonds in the stock market. Photographs of this blue diamond had been published in the company's website www.petradiamonds.com with the following URL :- http://www.petradiamonds.com/media/image-library/diamonds.aspx
Thus it appears that the 7.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond was actually fashioned out of this spectacular, blue rough diamond discovered in early April 2013.
25.5-carat, rough blue diamond from which the Premier Blue Diamond was probably fashioned
Another view of the 25.5-carat rough blue diamond discovered in the Premier/Cullinan Diamond Mine in April 2013
The Premier Blue Diamond was most probably cut and polished by the master cutters of the Steinmetz Group, creators of the world's finest diamonds, who were also responsible for cutting and polishing the 11 blue diamonds discovered at the Premier Diamond Mine, that formed the De Beers Millennium Diamond Collection. Steinmetz Group has manufacturing facilities in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and New York. Steinmetz Group is well known for its leadership in the creation of rare and exceptional diamonds, such as the 203.04-carat De Beers "Millennium Star" diamond and the 59.60-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink, "Steinmetz Pink" diamond. The New York manufacturing facility specializes in the processing of rare, as well as large diamonds and the Premier Blue diamond was probably processed at this facility, equipped with the most precise and innovative equipment.
Sotheby's Hong Kong announced on August 19, 2013, that in celebration of its 40th anniversary in Asia, the auction house will put up the "Premier Blue" Diamond for auction as part of the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale 2013, scheduled to take place on Ocober 7, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The "Premier Blue" is characterized as a 7.59-carat, round brilliant-cut, internally flawless (IF), fancy vivid blue diamond, the largest round fancy vivid blue diamond ever graded by the GIA. The auction house further stated that no significant round fancy vivid blue diamond had ever appeared at an auction worldwide, thus making the "Premier Blue" a rare and exceptional gem.
The Premier Blue, of substantial size, round brilliant-cut, fancy vivid blue color grading and internally flawless clarity, embodies the best and rarest attributes of a blue diamond. The Premier Blue will be previewed around Asia as well as in Geneva, London, New York and Doha before the auction.
Commenting on the up coming sale of the "Premier Blue" diamond, Quek Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby's Asia and Chairman International Jewelry, Asia, said, “Sotheby’s has been entrusted with many important blue diamonds and holds the current per-carat price record for Fancy Vivid blue diamond at auction (with the sale of a 6.01-carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond which achieved US$1,686,505 per carat in Hong Kong in October 2011). This Autumn we are thrilled to offer The Premier Blue, an unusually beautiful and rare treasure of round brilliant cut as well as Internally Flawless clarity. No round Fancy Vivid blue diamond of significance has ever appeared at auction. The Premier Blue,weighing 7.59 carats, is the world’s largest round Fancy Vivid blue diamond to appear at auction as well as the largest one ever graded by GIA. A befitting celebration of Sotheby’s 40th anniversary in Asia, the debut appearance of such a rare Fancy Vivid blue diamond as The Premier Blue at auction offers an unprecedented collecting opportunity for connoisseurs worldwide.”
Petra Diamonds - Image Library http://www.petradiamonds.com/media/image-library/diamonds.aspx
1) Sotheby's Hong Kong Press Release on the Sale of the Premier Blue Diamond
2) 7.5-Carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond to be Sold at Sotheby's - By Rob Bates, Senior Editor, JCK Magazine
3) Rare Blue Diamond "Premier Blue" May Fetch $19 million - Forbes - www.forbes.com
4) Premier Mine -From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
5) Petra Diamonds - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
6) Recovery of high quality 25.5-carat blue diamond - Petra Diamonds, Press Release, April 17, 2013.
Dr Shihaan Larif
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