How Diamond Auctions Work

In This Guide

A determined diamond buyer, who highly regards sentimentality and value or just appreciates the sport of betting for a high-value diamond, will always turn to a diamond auction. This is the same for those who would want to sell their unique diamonds to competitive buyers at a higher price.

Diamond bought at an auction house.
Diamond bought at an auction house.

What Happens

When you auction diamonds, expect the following to happen:

1.            The auction house will determine the minimum price for your diamond.

2.            Possible purchasers can choose to place bids on your diamond at accumulating values until a winner surfaces. The house ascertains the winner is there are other higher bids, or it has taken too long for others to bid.

3.            The house takes a standard fee or just a percentage of the final amount.

It’s advantageous if you auction off your stone because you can work with specialists in the diamond industry and gain dominating prices, in case your stone faces the correct bidders. Auctioning diamonds and other forms of jewelry can be successful if you do your homework and set aside the time.

The Rights Stones for a Diamond Auction

You probably think that you can just walk into any diamond auction house and auction off your diamond. Think again.

In truth, only specific, rare diamonds can qualify for auctioning. Most diamonds out there will not do well at an auction house. This is because most of these stones are not really investment pieces. Huge, credible diamond auction houses will not even consider them. These institutions want rare stones that most jewelry pieces do not have. Here are the types of diamonds that are auction-worthy:

Fancy color diamonds sold and bought at diamond auction.
Fancy color diamonds sold and bought at diamond auction.

Non-fancy color diamonds

White diamonds can qualify for the auction, but it has to possess characteristics that stand out such as cut grading, top color, carat weight (should be over 5 carats), and clarity.

Fancy color diamonds

These stones are known to do very well on any auction table. They can even bring in millions from extremely rich collectors. Fancy color diamonds must have extraordinary colors and excellent grading. Examples are blue, pink, or red diamonds.


It is not always good to sell or buy diamonds at an auction. Here are some of the disadvantages of this endeavor:

House fees

The diamond auction house always takes a fee from the final price of the diamond. These fees differ from one auction house to another. Because of this, you should determine what the true fee is and compare it to the lowest possible price you can accept willingly. Be sure to research other auction houses and get quotes of their lowest prices for your diamond first.

Needs a lot of effort and time

Selling your diamond at an auction needs a specific amount of effort and time. If ever your stone is truly up to the standards of the auction house, then it’s best for you to ascertain local diamond auction houses. Make certain that the following are clear:

•             Schedule of the next auction

•             Necessary fees

•             Methods of payment

•             The specific process of the house

•             Your comfort in the set reserve price that the house set

Diamond auctions do not happen every day. They happen every month or even less than that. If you want to sell your diamond quickly or if you are just too busy, selling via diamond auctions are not ideal. These auctions are not for you as well, if you don’t have time to prepare for and go to auctions.

An antique diamond ring.
An antique diamond ring.

Uncertainty in selling your diamond

Remember to temper your expectations when it comes to selling your diamond at an auction. It may take several auctions before your stone finally meets the right buyer. Despite waiting an entire month, your diamond may not sell at all. This may happen for several months even.

Purchasing a Diamond at a Diamond Auction

At this point of your life, you may be searching the market for a brand new diamond ring. A diamond auction house may be the ideal place to get that unforgettable piece of jewelry. This place has various collections of high-quality diamonds, whether you want non-fancy color or fancy color diamonds. Imagine the history and the intricate workmanship of the piece you will purchase. It wouldn’t only be an expensive gift. It would also be a sentimental one. Here are some things to consider in buying the right diamond at an auction:

The 4 Cs

These 4 Cs are the most crucial components to consider in purchasing a diamond:

•             Clarity. The number of inclusions in the stone or its clarity is another element to consider in choosing that diamond. The GIA has a range of clarity from flawless right up to included. You should examine the stone yourself. Each stone is unique and each has its own inclusion that sets its price.

•             Cut. The quality of the diamond’s cut is a vital factor in purchasing a diamond. The cut can be tapered baguette, emerald, baguette, pear, round brilliant, old-mine, old European, square, cushion, oval, and marquise. The most popular is the round brilliant cut.

•             Color. Diamond color grading used by the GIA is a scale of D to Z, where a D color diamond has no tinge of color and a Z color diamond is very yellow. The color is key in gauging the diamond’s clarity and cut.

•             Carat. This is the unit by which the weight of diamonds is measured. A diamond’s cut influences its expected carat.

Stunning diamond ring bought at an auction.
Stunning diamond ring bought at an auction.


If you want a diamond ring, then the style is definitely important. Classic settings are Art Deco, large bombe, and the classic solitaire. An example of a statement piece of diamond jewelry usually involves an emerald-cut diamond, highlighted by other smaller diamonds.

A diamond auction house is a good source of exquisite diamond jewelry that you can purchase for any occasion. It is also a big place to showcase your diamond to many potential buyers out there. Just make sure you do your homework. Know a credible diamond auction house that can give you a good set price if your stone qualifies.

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