National Jeweler Network

Grading

Leibish wins 7 Argyle stones, will re-polish 2

By Michelle Graff

October 28, 2013


From left to right beginning with the top row, Leibish won lots 30, 58, 24 and 61 at the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, plus lots 62, 17, and 28.

Click through this gallery to see all seven of the diamonds Leibish & Co. won.

Ramat Gan, Israel--Israeli diamond company Leibish & Co. placed winning bids for a total of seven diamonds in the 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, including two fancy deep pinks and one fancy vivid.

Leibish, which is headquartered in Ramat Gan and specializes in the polishing and re-cutting of natural color diamonds, said it is sending two of the seven diamonds back to the polishing wheel, as it believes it can achieve a better color on both stones.

Leibish won:
-- Lot No. 17, a 0.42-carat heart-shaped fancy deep pink, VS2 clarity
-- Lot. No. 24, a 0.51-carat radiant-cut fancy deep pink, VS2
-- Lot. No. 28, a 0.35-carat round fancy vivid pink, I1
-- Lot. No. 30, a 0.71-carat radiant-cut fancy intense pink, SI2
-- Lot. No. 58, a 0.53-carat heart-shaped fancy intense purplish-pink, I1
-- Lot. No. 61, a 0.68-carat oval-shaped fancy intense purple-pink, SI2
-- Lot. No. 62, a 0.53-carat princess-cut fancy purplish pink, VS1

The company said it plans to cut Lots 17 and 24 from deep pink to fancy red.

Few diamond companies worldwide attempt to improve the hue of natural colored diamonds by re-cutting. Among the most notable in recent history is Graff Diamonds, headed by billionaire diamantaire Laurence Graff. After purchasing the 35.56-carat Wittelsbach Diamond at auction for $24.3 million in December 2008, Graff re-cut the stone to 31.06 carats to improve the color and make the stone internally flawless.

Last year, Leibish won 17 diamonds at the tender, which amounted to 25 percent of the total number of stones for sale.

This year, it took home seven diamonds out of 64, or about 11 percent of the total number of lots offered. Benji Margolese, Leibish’s director of content marketing, said the company does not publicize the prices it paid for the stones.

But he did note that prices at this year’s pink diamonds tender were up like “crazy.”

“We submitted very generous bids and only turned up in the 50th to 60th percentile of the bids submitted for some stones,” Margolese said. “People are aware of the potential of Argyle tender diamonds and (are) paying higher numbers than we are.”

Though it does not give specifics about price paid or buyers, mining company Rio Tinto released a general overview of its 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds tender earlier this month.

The company said the sale set two new records: the 1.56-carat “Argyle Phoenix” achieved the highest price per carat ever paid for a diamond from Argyle mine while the “Argyle Dauphine,” a 2.51-carat fancy deep pink, set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond from the mine. The Dauphine also set a new world record price for a fancy deep pink diamond.