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World Financial Report – April 28th, 2017

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WORLD FINANCIAL REPORT ON RADIO April 28th 2017
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CHARTS OF THE WEEK-QUOTES-QUICK HITS

-CHART OF THE WEEK: World’s Biggest Stock Markets Haven’t Been This Split Since 2008. The Chinese and U.S. stock markets are going in opposite directions. An intensifying crackdown against leverage in Asia’s biggest economy has rocked the hither-to unflappable Shanghai Composite Index over the past week, sending it to a three-month low last session. In the U.S., the largest equity market is embracing a risk rally spurred by the French election, with the S&P 500 Index continuing to build on reflation-trade gains ignited by Donald Trump’s November victory. The divergence means the two markets are the least in tune since August 2008 just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. unleashed chaos on the global financial system. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2pj7e6E

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Don’t Let ETF Mania Fool You, There Are Plenty of Bearish Bets in U.S. Stocks. Skepticism is one thing this stock market rally hasn’t lacked. You just have to look for it. The Nasdaq Composite Index is setting records while the S&P 500 Index hovers near an all-time high. Betting against the market when it’s putting up these kinds of numbers can be a sucker’s game, and not surprisingly the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking the S&P 500 has seen bearish bets plummet to their lowest level in 10 years. But a funny thing has happened to stocks this year. As investors assess the winners and losers from the Trump administration’s policies and digest mixed economic data, they aren’t endorsing all shares. In fact, for the past two months the discrepancy between bearish bets on individual stocks versus State Street Corp.’s SPDR S&P 500 ETF, or SPY, has grown to the widest since at least 2008, according to exchange-reported figures. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2q80Akz

-CHART OF THE WEEK: In Dot-Com Bubble Time, It’s Still Only 1997 for U.S. Equities. Terrified that rallies in Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Google portend a millennial catastrophe along the lines of the dot-com bust? Relax. Going by one doomsday clock, it’s only 1997 in bubble years. So says Leuthold Group LLC in a study that plots today’s valuations against the salad days of Internet mania. Based on its model, which measures the S&P 500 Index by six factors including earnings, dividends and cash flow, the Minneapolis-based firm found stocks currently trade at the multiple they first reached 20 years ago. That is, 1997, when there was still 2 1/2 years and 60 percent to go in what became the longest bull market on record.

While elevated multiples are usually associated with lackluster returns, Leuthold’s study may provide a mild salve to investors at a time when everyone from the Federal Reserve to Paul Tudor Jones are voicing concerns over equity valuations. “You’ve seen CEO, consumer confidence bouncing back, there is more interest in the stock market, but it’s still nothing like late 1990s,” Doug Ramsey, Leuthold’s chief investment officer, said by phone. “If cyclical conditions remain positive, this thing has got some room to melt up.” Leuthold’s study is hardly an all-clear signal. Saying stocks are cheaper than they were at the top of the biggest valuation bubble in modern history is a long way from saying they’re cheap. Mostly it dramatizes the excesses of that era, while reminding people that not all rallies look alike. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qb8l6f

-Donald Trump will have been President of the United States for 100 days on Saturday April 29. Bloomberg

-The Nasdaq Composite Index surged past 6,000 for the first time as corporate results and the promise of Trump administration tax reform boosted risk appetite. A fresh American tariff on Canadian lumber sent the loonie and Mexican peso lower. Bloomberg

-Home Capital which is facing regulatory action against both the company and former executives. Saw it’s shares trade down than 57 per cent on Wednesday. The mortgage lender says it has seen a “decline” of almost $600-million in its high interest savings account balances in recent weeks, which “has accelerated since April 20.” The company is lining up “a major institutional investor for a credit line in the amount of $2 billion.” But the financing won’t come cheap. Home Capital says “the terms of the proposed agreement would have a material impact on earnings, and would leave the company unable to meet previously announced financial targets.” To get the credit, which comes with a 10-per-cent interest rate, Home Capital is set to pay “a non-refundable commitment fee of $100 million.” BNN

-Consumer confidence rebounded last week as Americans became the most upbeat about the economy since 2001, Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index figures showed Thursday. Bloomberg

-U.S. imposes preliminary duties up to 24% on ‘subsidized’ Canadian softwood lumber. Countervailing duties are used to level the playing field when a country believes that another country’s product is unfairly subsidized. The U.S. lumber industry has argued for decades that because most Canadian timber is harvested on Crown lands, the way provincial governments manage and set prices for these harvests results in cheaper lumber. CBC

-Billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones has a message for Janet Yellen and investors: Be very afraid. The legendary macro trader says that years of low interest rates have bloated stock valuations to a level not seen since 2000, right before the Nasdaq tumbled 75 percent over two-plus years. That measure the value of the stock market relative to the size of the economy should be “terrifying” to a central banker, Jones said earlier this month at a closed-door Goldman Sachs Asset Management conference, according to people who heard him.

Jones is voicing what many hedge fund and other money managers are privately warning investors: Stocks are trading at unsustainable levels. A few traders are more explicit, predicting a sizable market tumble by the end of the year. Last week, Guggenheim Partner’s Scott Minerd said he expected a “significant correction” this summer or early fall. Philip Yang, a macro manager who has run Willowbridge Associates since 1988, sees a stock plunge of between 20 and 40 percent, according to people familiar with his thinking. Bloomberg

-Stock market valuations have become divorced from reality as the likelihood of tax policy changes to drive company earnings has slipped, according to David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital. “The bulls explain that traditional valuation metrics no longer apply to certain stocks,” the New York-based firm wrote in a letter to clients Tuesday that was seen by Bloomberg News. “Perhaps as the prospects for tax reform have dimmed, the market has regained enthusiasm for profitless companies that aren’t at risk of paying taxes.” As for when stock values might reset, the hedge fund didn’t forecast the timing. “There was no catalyst that we know of that burst the dot-com bubble in March 2000, and we don’t have a particular catalyst in mind here,” the firm said in the letter. “That said, the top will be the top, and it’s hard to predict when it will happen.” Bloomberg

-These days, virtually no one is willing to call out global central bankers on their notion that there is basically no limit to measures to be employed to achieve 2% CPI bogeys. Zero rates, negative rates, Trillions of monetization, acquire equities and corporate debt, market yield manipulation, etc. Risk be damned. Everyone is content to disregard that central banks have inflated epic Bubbles almost everywhere across virtually all asset classes and they’re trapped. Doug Noland, Credit Bubble Bulletin, 21 April 2017

-European Union governments are toughening their negotiating positions on Brexit, placing explicit demands on residency rights and limits on financial services to their plan. Another pothole has emerged on the road to a deal as Britain reportedly faces a 2 billion-euro ($2.17 billion) charge over customs fraud it will have to settle ahead of any Brexit agreement. On the election trail, Theresa May’s Conservative Party is said to be targeting opposition Labour Party held seats that voted in favor of leaving the EU in last year’s referendum. Bloomberg

-A barrel of West Texas Intermediate for June delivery was trading at $49.49 at 5:45 a.m. as the commodity ended a six-day slide to under $50 a barrel. In a month’s time, OPEC and its allies will meet to decide whether to prolong the production cuts that have delivered lower output without lifting prices this year. One of the stumbling blocks to that agreement may be Russian producers who plan to increase output in the second half of this year. Bloomberg

-The first round of voting in the French presidential election saw centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron and far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen make it through to the second round runoff scheduled for May 7. Republican candidate Francois Fillon, who came in third, backed Macron for the May vote, with early polls suggesting he would beat Le Pen by more than 20 percentage pointsBloomberg

-British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has a lead of at least 20 percentage points over the Labour Party in the most recent polls. May has said that a large victory in the election would strengthen her hand in negotiations with the EU over Brexit. But, should Macron win in France as expected, then that could make her task much more difficult. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are telling clients that the U.K. is still on track for a “hard Brexit.” Bloomberg

-“Back in the spring of 1720, Sir Isaac Newton owned shares in the South Sea Company, the hottest stock in England. Sensing that the market was getting out of hand, the great physicist muttered that he ‘could calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.’ Newton dumped his South Sea shares, pocketing a 100% profit totaling £7,000. But just months later, swept up in the wild enthusiasm of the market, Newton jumped back in at a much higher price and lost £20,000 (or more than $3 million in [2002-2003’s] money. For the rest of his life, he forbade anyone to speak the words ‘South Sea’ in his presence.” BusinessInsider.com

-Gary Shilling: Loonie to fall to 50 cents. Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Company, joins BNN to discuss geopolitical risks as France heads to the polls and why he sees the Canadian dollar taking a dive to 50 cents. Watch here-http://bit.ly/2oNrJW4

-‘It will end in tears’: A drop in housing prices would hurt the loonie, says currency analyst. One currency analyst says that a drop in housing prices will hurt the Canadian dollar. Adam Button, chief currency analyst at ForexLive, told BNN in an interview that there’s a clear link between the future of the loonie and home prices in Canada, particularly in hot markets like the Greater Toronto Area. “There will be losses,” he said, predicting a drop-in home prices. “And I think the trade is on the Canadian dollar the first trade anyway because you don’t know where the losses are going to be.

But they will be in Canada, and it will be brutal once it finally happens.” “The two things that are certain in a housing bubble: When it starts to bust, it’s denial,” he added. “There will be denial. And there’ll be denial in prices and in the market. And the other thing that is certain is that it will end in tears. And where the losses are, and the shape of it, and the timing of it, is extremely difficult to predict.” The Ontario government introduced 16 new housing measures last week in attempt to cool the GTA’s hot housing market. Toronto saw a 33 per-cent-increase in average homes prices last month, sparking concern among leaders in the province. “It’s just madness,” Button said of the soaring prices. “It’s at the Dutch tulip bulb phase here. And it will end.” Read and watch more here-http://bit.ly/2q7XI40

-Fed to signal rate-hike plan in place despite soft economic data. The Federal Reserve will signal no change in its plans to gradually raise interest rates despite recent weakness in the economy. The Atlanta Fed’s tracker for the first-quarter forecasts a mere 0.2% growth rate after the latest round of data. The government will release its first estimate of GDP growth on Friday morning. Fed officials have said repeatedly they believe the economy’s sluggish performance so far this year is temporary. Read more here-http://on.mktw.net/2qkNpsS

-Trump Says Nafta Pullout Still Possible If Renegotiation Fails. President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s still ready to pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement if he can’t renegotiate better terms for the U.S. but that he decided to hold off on a decision after appeals from the leaders of Canada and Mexico. “I was going to terminate NAFTA as of two or three days from now,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. But he said he reconsidered after Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both phoned him Wednesday asking him to renegotiate the deal instead. Those talks will start as soon as today, he said. Trump also said a quick U.S. withdrawal “would be a pretty big shock to the system.” But Trump, who spoke as he met with visiting Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, added that “If I’m unable to make a fair deal for the United States meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qjGgJ9

-Cashless society getting closer, survey finds. More than a third of Europeans and Americans would be happy to go without cash and rely on electronic forms of payment if they could, and at least 20 percent already pretty much do so, a study showed on Wednesday. The study, which was conducted in 13 European countries, the United States and Australia, also found that in many places where cash is most used, people are among the keenest to ditch it. Overall, 34 percent of respondents in Europe and 38 percent in the United States said they would be willing to go cash-free, according to the survey conducted by Ipsos for the ING bank website eZonomics.

Twenty-one percent and 34 percent in Europe and the United States, respectively, said they already rarely use cash. The trend was also clear. More than half of the European respondents said they had used less cash in the past 12 months than previously and 78 percent said they expected to use it even less over the coming 12 months. Ian Bright, managing director of group research for ING wholesale banking, said he did not believe people would quit cash entirely, but the direction was obvious. “More and more people will end up with a situation where they can quite comfortably get by for two days, three days, four days, even a week, without ever using cash,” he told Reuters Television. Read more here-http://reut.rs/2qfIHwi

-One Third Happy to Ditch Cash as Europe Looks to Digital Future. Cash may still be king for most Europeans, but more than one in three would be happy to abandon it altogether. Twenty-one percent of people already rarely carry physical notes or coins, with 1 percent saying they haven’t needed to for at least year, according to a survey of almost 15,000 people by ING published Wednesday. More than half of respondents said they used less cash over the last year and the majority of those expect to use it even less in the next.

The future of money has come increasingly under the spotlight as the development of cashless payment systems, peer-to-peer lending and digital money has coincided with an upsurge in interest from central banks, including on ways to improve their policy transmission. “A cashless society is not only possible but could be accepted by at least part of the population in many European nations,” researchers led by senior economist Ian Bright said. But he added there’s a “gulf” between those switching how they pay and those who are sticking with notes and coins. In the survey, 82 percent of who did not use less cash the previous year said they don’t plan to reduce usage in the coming 12 months either.

While half of those surveyed were confident they could manage without cash for at least a week, and 29 percent said they could do without indefinitely, about three quarters of Europeans say they’ll never completely give up on hard currency. In the U.K. hoping to exploit its reputation as a hothouse for fintech development after it leaves the EU respondents were the least willing to go cashless. The ING economists also looked at the impact of eliminating high denomination notes, which have met with increasing criticism. The European Central Bank is discontinuing the 500-euro note to crack down on crime, despite concerns such a move might undermine citizens’ trust in cash, and Harvard Professor Kenneth Rogoff has suggested the U.S. abolish its $50 and $100 bills. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2oKl3an

-Debt levels are now back where they were when Jim Cramer had his prophetic TV meltdown 10 years ago. It’s nearly the 10th anniversary of Jim Cramer’s epic “they know nothing!” rant about bank illiquidity on CNBC, so we’re looking at what’s changed since then. It’s not good. US corporate debt may be so high that it’s a threat to global stability, according to the IMF. The UK has high unsecured consumer debt and high mortgage debt at the same time, the IMF and the Bank of England have warned. Europe’s banks are threadbare, according to the IMF.

On a net level, Italy, Portugal, and Spain have actually added non-performing loans to their books rather than worked them off. Since 2007, China has added $24 trillion in debt across its entire economy. The IMF believes China’s banking system has developed “a structure potentially susceptible to rapid risk transmission and destabilizing liquidity events.” Almost a decade ago, former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer went on CNBC to talk about how the market had reacted to Bear Stearns’ insistence that the investment bank was not in trouble. Everyone who saw it remembers what happened next: One of the greatest TV meltdowns of all time. Read more here-http://read.bi/2q5fQhZ

-White House Unveils Trump’s Opening Tax-Cut Bid. The White House made its opening bid for what officials called the “biggest tax cut” in U.S. history with cuts that would benefit businesses, the middle class and certain high-earning individuals but left unanswered questions about whether the plan would be paid for, or how. A list of goals for the tax overhaul, unveiled by President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Wednesday, calls for slashing the federal income-tax rate to 15 percent for corporations, small businesses and partnerships of all sizes.

It also imposes a one-time tax on about $2.6 trillion in earnings that U.S. companies have parked overseas. The plan would end the taxation of corporations’ offshore income by moving to a territorial system, in which most foreign profits would be exempt from U.S. taxes. Currently, the U.S. taxes business income no matter where it’s earned. On the individual side, it proposes condensing the existing seven income-tax rates to just three, cutting the individual top rate to 35 percent from 39.6 percent. It would also end a 3.8 percent net investment income tax that applies only to individuals who earn more than $200,000 a year, repeal the alternative minimum tax and eliminate the estate tax, which currently applies only to estates worth more than $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for couples. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qfS7Is and http://read.bi/2oxbyA6

-Retailers Are Going Bankrupt at a Record Pace. Department stores, electronics sellers, and clothing shops are most at risk. Retailers are filing for bankruptcy at a record rate as they try to cope with the rapid acceleration of online shopping. In a little over three months, 14 chains have announced they will seek court protection, according to an analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence, almost surpassing all of 2016. Few retail segments have proven immune as discount shoe-sellers, outdoor goods shops, and consumer electronics retailers have all found themselves headed for reorganization.

Meanwhile, America’s retailers are closing stores faster than ever as they try to eliminate a glut of space and shift more business to the web. S&P blamed retailer financial struggles on their inability to adapt to rising pressure from e-commerce. Urban Outfitters Chief Executive Officer Richard Hayne said as much on a conference call with analysts last month. There are just too many stores, especially those that sell clothing, he said. “This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst,” said Hayne. “We are seeing the results: Doors shuttering and rents retreating. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future and may even accelerate.”

Jim Elder, S&P Global Market Intelligence’s director of risk services, wrote that first quarter results suggest there’s no quick recovery in sight. Sears Holdings Corp., Bon-Ton Stores Inc., and Perfumania Holdings Inc. are among the most vulnerable in the coming year, according to an S&P analysis of public retail companies. Sears acknowledged in a March filing that there is “substantial doubt” about its future. Fitch named retail chains including Nine West Holdings, Claire’s Stores, and children’s clothing outlet Gymboree Corp. in a study late last year. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2oIfetN and http://cnnmon.ie/2q3dayr

-Jack Ma Sees Decades of Pain as Internet Upends Old Economy. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma said society should prepare for decades of pain as the internet disrupts the economy. The world must change education systems and establish how to work with robots to help soften the blow caused by automation and the internet economy, Ma said in a speech to an entrepreneurship conference in Zhengzhou, China. “In the next 30 years, the world will see much more pain than happiness,” Ma said of job disruptions caused by the internet.

“Social conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life.” It was an unusual speech for the Alibaba co-founder, who tends to embrace his role as visionary and extol the promise of the future. He explained at the event that he had tried to warn people in the early days of e-commerce it would disrupt traditional retailers and the like, but few listened. This time, he wants to warn against the impact of new technologies so no one will be surprised. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qcLfeJ

-America’s Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Replaced by Robots. America’s working class is falling further behind. The rich-poor gap the difference in annual income between households in the top 20 percent and those in the bottom 20 percent ballooned by $29,200 to $189,600 between 2010 and 2015, based on Bloomberg calculations using U.S. Census Bureau data. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qeWcN4

-Saudi Arabia reverses pay cuts for state workers. King Salman of Saudi Arabia has rolled back wage and benefit cuts imposed on top ministers and other public workers. The move reverses some of the austerity measures implemented in October in an effort to shore up the kingdom’s finances and end its dependence on oil. A royal decree released through state media said the king was now “keen to provide comfort to Saudi citizens.” The decree restored canceled allowances, privileges and financial incentives to civil and military officials. Some aspects of the “Vision 2030” reform package initiated last year have proven deeply unpopular with Saudi workers. Around 70% of Saudi nationals are employed by the government. Hundreds of thousands of them saw their bonuses and allowances which often account for a large part of their pay slashed by as much as 40%. Read more here-http://cnnmon.ie/2qfISYK

-Ontario launches guaranteed income program for 4,000 residents. The Canadian province of Ontario will become the latest place to test a guaranteed income program for low-income residents. The provincial government launched a pilot program on Monday that will provide 4,000 people with a guaranteed income, regardless of their employment status. The idea of a guaranteed or “basic” income is gaining currency around the globe. Supporters say the schemes offer workers greater security, especially as technological advances reduce the need for human labor. They also allow unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing most of their benefits. Individuals in Ontario’s program can receive up to 16,989 Canadian dollars ($12,616) per year. In order to qualify, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 64 and living on a limited income. Read more here-http://cnnmon.ie/2p4pH6r

-40% of Americans spend up to half of their income servicing debt. Americans are struggling to get out of the red. Some 40% of Americans with debt are spending up to half of their monthly income paying it back. And that may not even be enough to cover how much they owe. That’s according to a study on debt Thursday released by Northwestern Mutual, a life insurance and financial services company. The polling company Harris Poll surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults in February 2017 on behalf of Northwestern Mutual.

The survey found that nearly half of Americans are carrying at least $25,000 in debt, with an average debt of $37,000, excluding mortgage payments. About one in 10 surveyed said their debt was more than $100,000. “It becomes an ongoing cycle and really hard to get out of, given that people are not prioritizing debt and saving for their future as the first part of their budget,” Rebekah Barsch, the vice-president of planning at Northwestern Mutual, said. Read more here-http://on.mktw.net/2oC7s9Q

-Deutsche Bank Is First Bank Busted for Breaking Volcker Rule. Deutsche Bank AG was hit with the Federal Reserve’s first major fine for failing to ensure traders abide by the Volcker Rule’s ban on risky market bets and will also pay even more for letting currency desks chat online with competitors, allegedly revealing positions. The simultaneous sanctions, totaling almost $157 million, fault lax oversight of traders that persisted into last year.

The company which raised $8.5 billion from investors this month to recapitalize admitted to the Fed in March 2016 that it still lacked adequate systems for keeping tabs on dealings that might run afoul of the Volcker ban. “Significant gaps existed across key aspects of Deutsche Bank’s Volcker Rule compliance program,” the Fed said Thursday, fining the firm $19.7 million for the lapses. As for chats, the bank failed to detect that currency traders engaged in “unsafe and unsound conduct,” disclosing some positions or talking about coordinating strategies, the Fed said. The company will pay $136.9 million for that. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2oK7rwz

-Putin Warns North Korea Situation Has ‘Seriously Deteriorated’. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program is deepening after the issue dominated talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow. He and Abe believe the situation on the Korean peninsula has “seriously deteriorated,” Putin said Thursday after the Kremlin meeting. “We call on all states involved in the region’s affairs to refrain from military rhetoric and seek peaceful, constructive dialogue.” Abe said he and Putin spent a long time discussing North Korea during the three hours of talks that also focused on resolving a seven-decade long dispute over four islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The issue has prevented Russia and Japan from signing a peace accord. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2p875lO

-Cash-Loving Switzerland Wins Banknote of Year for 50-Franc Bill. The Swiss National Bank’s 50-franc ($50) bill was named banknote of the year by a group of international connoisseurs, beating out 18 competitors including the Bank of England’s controversial polymer note as well as ones from the Seychelles and Macedonia. The runners-up in “very tight voting” were bills from the Maldives, Argentina and Scotland, according to a statement from the International Bank Note Society on Tuesday. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2p2hkbm

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Rarecoloreddiamonds.com Featured Diamond of the Week. This week’s Diamond is a 1.67 Radiant Cut Fancy Light Orangey Pink. Harold Seigel-Watch here-http://bit.ly/LIsp98

-Sotheby’s The Pink Star: One Of The World’s Great Natural Treasures, April 4 2017, Hong Kong China. Auction Results Here-http://bit.ly/2qkqoq0

-‘Pink Star’ diamond sells for record $71.2 million in bidding war. A 59.60-carat pink diamond sold for a record $71.2 million in Hong Kong on Tuesday to local jewelers Chow Tai Fook after a five-minute bidding war between three phone bidders. The “Pink Star”, the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America according to Sotheby’s, set “a new record for any diamond or jewel at auction”, the auction house tweeted. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2oQ9liB

-Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale Including the Legendary Stotesbury Emerald, April 25 2017, New York City. Auction Results Here-http://bit.ly/2qdd9e7

-Diamond Sales Strong at Sotheby’s New York. A pair of diamond earrings fetched more than $5 million at Sotheby’s New York, helping the auction house record a total of $29 million in jewelry sales at the event on Tuesday. An unidentified private Asian buyer dropped $131,481 per carat on the square emerald-cut, D-color, internally flawless diamonds, one of which weighed 20.29 carats and the other 20.02 carats. The final selling price of $5.3 million was within Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of $4.5 million to $5.5 million for the pair. Five of the lots on offer at the auction garnered seven-figure amounts, Sotheby’s reported.

A pear-shaped, 11.19-carat, fancy pink, internally flawless diamond pendant went for $2.4 million, or $215,594 per carat. Another colored diamond this one an emerald-cut, 5.07-carat, fancy gray-blue, VVS2-clarity stone brought in $1.6 million, or $310,158 per carat. Separately, the “Stotesbury” emerald-and-diamond ring, designed by Harry Winston, sold for $996,500. The hexagonal, 34.40-carat Colombian emerald was part of an exchange deal just over 100 years ago between Cartier and mining heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean, involving the Hope Diamond. The whereabouts of the emerald had been unknown since 1971, when it last appeared at a Sotheby’s auction, the company said. “Today’s excellent results spanned each of the categories that have driven the auction market in recent seasons: top-quality diamonds and gemstones, signed and historic jewels, and pieces with notable provenance,” said Gary Schuler, the North and South America chairman for Sotheby’s international jewelry division.

The sale at which 85% of the lots sold continues a sprightly start to the spring auction season, with Sotheby’s having sold a 59.60-carat pink diamond for a world-record $71.2 million in Hong Kong on April 4. Christie’s will hold its spring New York auction Wednesday, led by a 5.26-carat, fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond estimated at up to $3.5 million. On May 16, Sotheby’s hopes to sell two colored diamond earrings one blue, one pink for up to $68 million in Geneva. A day later, Christie’s Geneva auction will feature a 92.15-carat diamond pendant estimated at up to $20 million. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2preBJ4

-Sotheby’s Putting Apollo & Artemis Diamonds On The Block At May Sale. Sotheby’s said the highlights of its upcoming sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels to be held in Geneva on May 16 will be the ‘Apollo & Artemis Diamonds’. Set with two exceptional diamonds they will be the most valuable earrings ever to be offered at auction. Offered separately as individual lots, ‘The Apollo Blue’ will be presented with an estimate of $38 million-$50 million, while ‘The Artemis Pink’ has a pre-sale estimate of $12.5 million-$18 million.

The auction will also include a very fine selection of colored diamonds and gemstones, as well as jewels bearing the signature of some of the world’s most important and sought-after jewelry houses: Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Bulgari, Sotheby’s said in a statement. David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said: “It has been an honor to present the ‘Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’ during our pre-sale exhibitions in Hong Kong, London, Dubai and New York: individually, each of the diamonds is absolutely remarkable and together, they are just breath-taking. We have also had a wonderful response to other prominent lots in the sale, including a wide and exciting selection of stunning signed jewels and high quality gemstones.” Read more here-http://bit.ly/2oQOrwq

-Green Diamond to Lead Bonhams Auction. A fancy-color green diamond ring will lead Bonhams’ “Rare Jewels and Jadeite” sale in Hong Kong next month, with the auction house expecting the piece to fetch $400,000 to $490,000. The radiant-cut, 5.03-carat stone is surrounded by an array of brilliant-cut, pink-tinted diamonds, and lines of similarly cut diamonds run down the ring’s sides, Bonhams said.
Also up for auction is a pair of fancy intense yellow diamond earrings from Forevermark, estimated at $300,000 to $360,000. Each diamond in the set weighs over 5 carats.

The sale, which features 103 lots from Bonhams’ curated “Jewels of the World” collection, will focus mainly on colored gemstones, including a variety of ruby, emerald, sapphire and jadeite jewelry. Among these are a bracelet with 30 carats’ worth of cushion-cut Burmese rubies set among 18 carats of pear-and brilliant-cut diamonds, also valued at $300,000 to $360,000. A pair of emerald-and-diamond earrings consisting of two Colombian emeralds that weigh more than 10 carats each has received a similar valuation.

Additionally, a 10.06-carat-ruby ring with pave-set tsavorite garnets and diamonds is expected to sell for $190,000 to $260,000. “As part of our first sale of 2017, we are delighted to present some of the rarest and most beautiful gemstones the world has to offer,” said Graeme Thompson, head of jewelry at Bonhams Asia. “The increasing popularity of natural colored gemstones has been driven by growing demand from around the world, and interest in them is now widening to newer areas.” The auction will take place on May 31 at Bonhams Hong Kong Gallery. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2oBzRwu

-FCRF: Supply Shortages Lift Blue Diamond Prices. Blue diamonds outperformed the rest of the fancy-color market in the first quarter, as high demand for the rare stones continued to drive prices, according to the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). The price index for blue fancy-color diamond prices grew 1.9% from the previous quarter and jumped 5.7% from a year ago, the FCRF said Tuesday. This compared with a 0.2% price increase for all fancy-color diamonds since the previous quarter, 0.7% year on year. “Highly coveted fancy intense and vivid blues are challenging to find in the market, while interest and demand for these categories continue to grow,” said Eden Rachminov, chairman of the FCRF’s advisory board.

“This trend is likely to continue well into 2017 as owners react to supply shortages with price hikes.” Prices of yellow fancy-color diamonds slipped 0.2% compared with the fourth quarter of 2016 and fell 2.5% year on year. Their pink counterparts also dipped 0.2% from the preceding period but crept up 0.8% from a year earlier. Across all color segments, diamonds labeled “fancy intense” or “fancy vivid” gained value, partly offset by declines in diamonds that were just “fancy,” the foundation explained. The FCRF’s Fancy Color Diamond Index tracks pricing data for yellow, pink and blue fancy-color diamonds in Hong Kong, New York and Tel Aviv. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2qc0llu

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GOLD

-Goldman Sachs Sees Bullion Heading to $1,200 Within Months. For all the unpredictability of President Donald Trump’s policies in his first 100 days, gold has failed to reclaim the heights before his win in November, and some investors doubt this will happen any time soon. After closing at $1,305.06 an ounce on the Friday before Trump’s election, prices cratered more than 13 percent through Dec. 22. They ground back to $1,289.76 this month after Trump’s airstrikes on Syria and Afghanistan, and on worries over North Korea and the outcome of the French presidential vote, before slipping to as low as $1,263.17 on Thursday. Without huge surprises from Trump, some investors are inclined to see more losses as the U.S. economy stays strong, the Federal Reserve tightens, bond yields rise and inflation remains subdued.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicts gold at $1,200 in three months after Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French election and is projected to beat Marine Le Pen in the runoff. “Every now and again, something geopolitical, or financial market-related causes people to knee-jerk buy gold, but the two key drivers over any extended period of time have been dollar debasement and inflation,” said Troy Gayeski, a senior portfolio manager at SkyBridge Capital in New York, which managed $11.8 billion of assets as of Feb. 28. “There’s very little discussion about buying gold now as an inflation hedge.” The U.S. central bank raised interest rates in March and stuck to projections for a further two quarter-point hikes this year and three in 2018.

The cost of living unexpectedly declined last month for the first time since February 2016, and price increases slowed from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department. While the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is down almost 5 percent from its high in early January, the gauge has jumped more than 30 percent since 2011. “There’s no doubt Trump is unpredictable,” said John Stephenson, chief executive officer of Stephenson & Co. Capital Management, which manages C$55 million ($40.3 million). “The U.S. economy is strong despite Trump. While his impulsiveness and unpredictability may lead to a rally in gold, it would be hard to see it going to more than $1,350, unless a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula was breaking out,” he said from Toronto.

Solid growth in the U.S. and a consequent increase in real interest rates will drive down gold prices, according to Goldman Sachs. Economists at the bank expect two rate hikes by September, compared with market expectations of just one, and they see U.S. 10-year yields rising to 2.75 percent in the second half of the year from about 2.31 percent currently. Still, the concerns surrounding Trump and European politics aren’t going away soon, said Adrian Day, president of Adrian Day Asset Management, which oversees $190 million.

Bullion will remain supported even as the U.S. raises rates as they would still lag behind inflation, he said, while extended U.S. stock gains are flagging risks to hedge fund managers, who are moving some money back into gold. Prices could climb close to $1,400 by the year-end, he said. “You could see gold come off for the next couple of months,” Day said from Annapolis, Maryland. “I think the fundamentals are still pretty good for gold, in terms of we’ve still got low interest rates around the world. There’s still a high degree of uncertainty and lack of clarity about what Trump might do, and also what extent he’s going to be able to do what he has said he wants to do.”

Hedge funds and other speculators held their faith in gold through April 18, increasing wagers on a rally to the highest since November, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest bullion-backed exchange-traded fund, have expanded almost 4 percent this year to near the largest since December. Gold’s “going to be range-bound to modestly weaker until the Fed’s done hiking and starts to loosen monetary policy again,” said SkyBridge Capital’s Gayeski. “When the debate turns to will, the Fed hike anymore at all and if they won’t, will they start to cut, that to us will probably be the start of the next great bull market in gold, but until then, you’re kind of in no-man’s land.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2qkBafM

-Frank Holmes Exclusive: Gold Could Hit $1,500 in 2017 Amid Imbalances And Weak Supply. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2pEG1Mz

-Jason Schenker: Gold’s Next Move Hinges on GDP Data. The first-quarter gross domestic product report that will be released April 28 could hold significant implications for gold prices. These have fallen somewhat in the wake of the first round of the French election last weekend. Equities, meanwhile, have rallied on the failed Schadenfreude trade that had been weighing on stocks and the euro. But gold prices have remained relatively supported. That’s because expectations for the Federal Reserve have quietly become more dovish, and the concern about first-quarter GDP has increased. Uncertainty around U.S. fiscal policy is also raising the stakes. There is much hope that the Trump administration will implement meaningful corporate tax cuts. If those do not come, gold prices are likely to rally sharply. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2oBLmUS

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SILVER

Gold to silver ratio at 80 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $25.00

Gold to silver ratio at 70 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $28.57

Gold to silver ratio at 60 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $33.33

Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00

Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00

Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67

Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00

Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33

-As an aside, the JP Morgan COMEX silver warehouse started with zero oz six years ago, when total COMEX silver inventories were around 100 million oz. So one could say that over the past six years JP Morgan, alone, has accounted for the doubling of total COMEX silver warehouse holdings. Today, the amount held in the JPM warehouse is more than four times the amount of silver in the next largest COMEX warehouse. To my knowledge, never in the history of the COMEX, has any one warehouse held such a large percentage of total exchange holdings, as JP Morgan holds today.

From just these few facts, would it not be reasonable to conclude that JP Morgan has been amassing epic quantities of physical silver over the past six years? The 103 million oz in the JPM COMEX warehouse, alone, is as much metal as the Hunt Bros. bought into 1980 and Warren Buffett bought in 1997, yet (away from these pages) you will read not much about it. That’s remarkable, particularly considering that JPMorgan has been the largest silver short seller on the COMEX while acquiring, mostly through futures deliveries, the actual metal. The data in CFTC reports and in exchange statistics are the most transparent of all, providing the hard evidence that JPMorgan’s COMEX silver holdings, alone, are on a par with the Hunts and Buffett, yet it is a secret just being discovered.

As you know, I believe that the COMEX warehouse data I just reviewed are only the tip of the iceberg and that JPMorgan holds an additional 500 million oz away from the COMEX. I began talking about JP Morgan’s silver accumulation years ago, through the purchase of Silver Eagles and Maple Leafs, skimming off from the frantic physical turnover in the COMEX silver warehouses and by share to metal conversions in the big silver ETF, SLV. This was before it became obvious that JP Morgan was cornering COMEX silver. Silver analyst Ted Butler April 22 2015 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN

-It is now undeniable that the largest COMEX silver short, JP Morgan, is also the largest physical holder of silver as well. Please think about that for a moment. The more than 100 million oz that have been moved into the JPM COMEX warehouse over the past few years, largely following JP Morgan taking delivery on futures contracts in its proprietary (house) trading account, establishes JPM as the world’s largest holder of physical silver. Forget, for the moment, my contention that the bank owns 500 million oz of actual metal in addition to its COMEX holdings the facts confirm that JP Morgan is the largest physical long and paper short silver holder in the world. Again, this is all from CFTC and exchange data.

What JP Morgan has achieved in amassing its physical silver hoard, in practical market terms, is truly remarkable. And I can’t help but believe that the bank’s acquisition of so much physical silver via COMEX deliveries (leaving out the other 500 million oz it owns) was the only real solution for a problem I identified decades ago how can the big concentrated silver short position on the COMEX get resolved without a price explosion and financial destruction for the big shorts? After all, how can you prevent a price explosion if the big short sellers turn buyers for the first time? JP Morgan figured out a way that even I didn’t imagine, until signs of it began to emerge several years ago.

Having inherited and learned how to master the giant COMEX silver short position it got from Bear Stearns in 2008 and having to nearly choke on it into the price rise in 2011, JP Morgan made the conscious decision at that time to close out its short position in COMEX silver. Not only was the bank sharp enough to figure out and then execute the only possible short covering strategy that wouldn’t cause silver prices to explode immediately it did so in a manner that will eventually make the bank many tens of billions of dollars to boot. Believe me I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Silver analyst Ted Butler April 26 2015 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN

-Fear of regulation causes big swings in London’s silver benchmark. London’s silver price benchmark is plagued by big, unpredictable fluctuations that risk undermining its credibility and may complicate efforts by the London Bullion Market Association to find a new operator, according to a Reuters analysis of trading data and 10 industry sources. The benchmark is used by silver producers and consumers around the world, including jewelers and electronics firms, to price their contracts in the multi-billion-dollar a day trade.

The figure generated at noon London time is intended to be a fair and accurate daily snapshot of the wider, fast-moving “spot” market. However, it has diverged widely from the spot price on a number of occasions since at least January 2016, leaving buyers and sellers with unexpected gains or losses, according to the Reuters analysis using Thomson Reuters data. Between January 2016 and March this year volumes have risen as high as 12.9 million ounces and fallen as low as 200,000 ounces, while on seven occasions the benchmark has diverged from the underlying spot price by 10 cents or more.

It has diverged by more than 5 cents on more than two dozen occasions, including five times in late March alone. This is highly unusual as the average divergence for the electronic auction is about 1 cent. At the core of the problem are low volumes and the unwillingness of seven banks that execute trading orders to add liquidity by buying or selling silver during the auction to ensure the benchmark stayed close to the spot price. Read more here-http://reut.rs/2qdc9ql

-TF Metals Report: Silver price management. The TF Metals Report’s Craig Hemke today reminds us how the bullion banks trading the silver market keep prices down by creating vast imaginary supply through derivatives or, rather, really, how silver futures buyers keep prices down by playing the bullion banks’ game. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2qd2W1C

-Steve St. Angelo: Global Silver Mining Industry Productivity Falls To The Lowest In History. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2prOeCK

-Why silver may have already peaked for the year. Silver prices were outpacing gold’s year-to-date performance, but that changed this week and prices could be headed lower in the next couple of months.

Year to date, as of Wednesday’s settlements, futures prices for silver were up roughly 9.1%, compared with a larger 9.8% rise for gold according to FactSet data based on the most-active futures contracts. On Monday, silver was up about 10.9% for the year, while gold had climbed by 9.6%. “Calendar years are important to gold and silver,” Taki Tsaklanos, lead analyst at Investing Haven, told MarketWatch. “Silver tends to peak in April the only exceptions being the raging bull market years 2009 and 2010.” With just two trading days left in April, silver looks as if it peaked for the month at $18.514 an ounce on April 17.

-An Extended Silver Rally Is Unsustainable. The weekly Commitment of Traders data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for the week ended April 11 had indicated that large speculators and traders, known as non-commercials, representing hedge funds, technical traders and other portfolio managers, continued to boost their bullish net positions in the silver futures markets for a third consecutive week.

Non-commercial Comex silver futures contracts totaled a net position of 105,515, representing a weekly gain of 4,133 contracts from the previous week’s total.

This number was significant because it brought the net position to the most bullish speculative level on record and marked the second consecutive week with contracts above more than the 100,000 net level. Over those three weeks, silver speculative positions have grown by 26,403 net contracts. The most recent data broke the three-week bullish trend, as long-only positions fell 3,882 lots to 110,269 for the week ending Apr. 18. Nevertheless, short-only positions fell 1,582 lots to 13,724, making the total the lowest in three weeks. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2pnmYU3

-ETF Bargain Hunters Load Up on iShares Silver on Price Slump. Silver may be down, but the return of ETF investors suggests it’s not out. On Wednesday, as prices of the metal were heading for a seventh straight loss, the worst streak since 2015, investors added 2.93 million ounces of the metal to their holdings in iShares Silver Trust, the biggest daily purchase in six months, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Money is pouring into the largest exchange-traded fund backed by the metal days after U.S. government data showed hedge funds retreating from record bullish bets on silver. Silver was the top performer this year among 22 raw materials on the Bloomberg Commodity Index until last week, helped by demand for haven assets and bets that industrial use would rise.

With prices extending losses this week as an improving economic outlook damps demand for gold and other havens, ETF buyers are coming back. Investors were also buoyed by data released Tuesday showing China’s imports of the metal soared 42 percent in March from a year earlier, suggesting silver’s price decline could soon reverse. “Somebody might be covering a short position, thinking there’s going to be a rebound in silver, and they’re doing it through ETFs,” said Dave Lutz, the Annapolis, Maryland-based head of ETF trading for Jones Trading Institutional Services.

“There’s a lot of global factors that could cause people to go into precious metal and silver will be along for the ride.” While the unwinding of money managers overextended long positions in silver present downside risk to prices, the metal’s declining supply is supportive of prices, according to Standard Chartered analysts including Suki Cooper. Mine output fell in 2016 for the first time since 2004 and supply is seen dropping again this year, the analysts wrote in a report April 25. “As projects draw to a close, there is limited scope for new developments to replenish supply without a further leg higher in prices,” Standard Chartered said. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2prlOcc

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Investing In Fancy Colored Diamonds

Investing in rare colored diamonds is a long-term investment. The economic cycles of the past 15 years have seen colored diamonds reach new heights in value as price records were broken.

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The Investor Learning Center was created to provide investors with the tools to make the right decision when it comes to investing in Rare Colored Diamonds.
Access our archives of exciting documentary video, informational content, historical pricing, and much more.
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1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $50,000
  • Price per Carat: $50,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $150,000
  • Price per Carat: $150,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $500,000
  • Price per Carat: $500,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,090,500
  • Price per Carat: $1,090,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $2,828,187*
  • Price per Carat: $2,828,187*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $4,361,506*
  • Price per Carat: $4,361,506*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $1,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $3,000
  • Price per Carat: $3,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $9,000
  • Price per Carat: $9,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $23,500
  • Price per Carat: $23,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $26,300
  • Price per Carat: $26,300
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2012
  • Total Price: $32,000
  • Price per Carat: $32,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $53,993*
  • Price per Carat: $53,993*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $74,873*
  • Price per Carat: $74,873*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $60,000
  • Price per Carat: $60,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $200,000
  • Price per Carat: $200,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $600,000
  • Price per Carat: $600,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,350,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,350,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,494,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,494,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $4,555,497*
  • Price per Carat: $4,555,497*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $7,561,708*
  • Price per Carat: $7,561,708*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1950
  • Total Price: $13,800
  • Price per Carat: $13,800
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1987
  • Total Price: $927,000
  • Price per Carat: $927,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $2,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $2,000,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $2,074,600
  • Price per Carat: $2,074,600
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $3,103,720*
  • Price per Carat: $3,103,720*

*Estimated value based on current market trend