High net worth individuals across the globe are ploughing their millions into rare coloured diamonds as a stable, “safe haven” asset class.
“People are loving them as an alternative investment,” said Neil Duttson, founder of Duttson Rocks, a high end diamond dealer that supplies stones to celebrities, Premiership footballers and investment bankers.
“It’s a tangible, moveable asset, so you can carry your wealth in your pocket or on your finger.”
Pink diamonds in particular have increased in value over the past decade.
In 2002, the average cost per carat of a pink diamond stood at $13,000, according to Duttson. This year it topped $78,000. The value of fancy light pink diamonds has increased by an average of 20pc year-on-year for the past five years. ”
The Graff Pink, a rare 24.78 carats fancy intense pink diamond, was sold by Sotheby’s Geneva for £30m in November 2010, setting a world auction record for any diamond or any jewel.
Pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia are in high demand. The mine’s owner Rio Tinto, has announced plans to close the site in 2019, driving up the price of the gems.
“My business has gone mad with pink diamonds,” said Duttson. “They are being hoovered up, especially by the Chinese. I’m meeting with some City boys on Monday and instead of buying a new house in Provence, they’re putting their wealth into coloured diamonds.”
One client has even put his children’s entire inheritance into the coloured gems. “He spent $4.5m in one go,” said Duttson. “It’s where he plans to store his wealth.”
According to Barclays Wealth’s latest report on investment trends, 26pc of the bank’s wealthy clients in the UK are holding more “treasure” assets today than five years ago. Precious jewellery is by far the most popular treasure asset type for wealthy individuals across all countries, with 70pc of global respondents investing in this asset, followed by fine art and antiques.
There is only one coloured diamond for every ten-thousand colourless, diamond specialist De Biers has found.