Colored diamonds becoming investors' best friend

Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:46am EDT
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By Antonella Ciancio and Nathalie Olof-Ors

BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) - Yellow, pink and blue diamonds are catching the eye of investors around the world, according to dealers and industry insiders.

Natural colored diamonds make up only 1 percent of global production, which gives them "unquestionable value," said Bruno Scarselli, who represents the third generation of U.S.-based colored diamond specialist Scarselli Diamonds.

"There is a tremendous demand for yellow diamonds, but also blue and pink," Scarselli told Reuters at the Baselworld watch and jewelry show.

"There are not enough diamonds to satisfy one-tenth of the new billionaires that every month are created in China," he said as he handled a $9 million ring featuring a 12-carat internally flawless blue diamond and two smaller pink stones.

Scarselli said he expects financial institutions to be increasingly attracted to the diamond industry, which has traditionally been in the hands of family businesses.

"This is associated with the fact that currency is losing its value, government bonds are a risk, and nations are losing wealth."

Colored diamonds are piquing investors' interest because they are more difficult to find in nature than white diamonds, industry spokesmen said.

Simon Zion, whose father founded Hong Kong-based diamond company Dehres Ltd, said blue diamonds are coveted not because they are the rarest but because there are not many left after a boom in demand.   Continued...

A model wears a pair of fancy coloured heart-shaped diamond rings during an auction preview at Christie's in Geneva May 7, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse