Large-scale jewelry auctions have been taking place around the world over the last week, hosted by the auction house elite. Find out which of the ostentatious jewelry pieces went down a hit with auction goers, the major sales from each auction, and key talking points surrounding the sales:
New York – December 4th
The first featured jewellery auction of December started off in Paris amidst chaos and protests in France’s capital. The protests caused Christie’s preview of the lots to be postponed until the 2nd December; however the auction still went on as planned. It amassed a sale total (including buyer’s premium) of EUR 4,433,275.
Estimated at between EUR 200,000-400,000 the Bague Saphir Et Diamants achieved a price of EUR 439,500. It features a beautiful 9.50-carat sapphire base, along with round diamonds and 18K gold. According to Christie’s, the ring had no indication of heat treatment, perhaps giving it a nudge toward top lot status for this sale.
New York – December 5th
It was a likely story for Christie’s Magnificent Jewels, taking place at the highly coveted Rockefeller Center in New York. Prestigious, household names and fancy colored diamonds would dominate this blockbuster jewels auction. In a sale that fetched over $69 million, there were a staggering total of four lots that all generated over $1 million, including a 15 carat pink diamond set in a pendant, which, as you can expect, generated a large amount of interest and sold for $9.5 million.
The top lot was Bulgari’s 8.08-carat, cushion-cut, fancy vivid blue diamond, set in a ring. It went on to fetch a final price of $18,312,500, $5 million over its original estimated price of $13 million. This sale demonstrates the increasing demand for fancy colored diamonds, and proves that, particularly when they are untreated, they can go on to fetch millions at auction.
New York – December 6th
In an unexpectedly lower scale lot list than the aforementioned Christie’s auctioned, it was still the big names that dominated proceedings at Phillips’ Jewels auction in New York.
The ‘Important Burmese Ruby and Diamond Necklace by Bulgari’ featured approximately 39.35 carats of rubies and 6 carats worth of diamonds. It subsequently weighed in as top lot of the auction with a selling price of $200,000. Special mention must also be made to the diamond and south sea cultured pearl necklace, made in 1966 by Van Cleef & Arpels, which produced a price tag of $162,500.
Hong Kong – December 10th
On December 10th, the attention of the jewelry world headed over to the Far East, as Heritage’s jewelry Signature Auction took place in Hong Kong. Out of an available 29 lots, only 8 sold, amassing to total auction revenue of less than $1 million; making this the lowest value of our featured auctions.
The Kashmir Sapphire, Diamond Platinum Gold Ring, led the way by some considerable distance, fetching $250,000 when the hammer finally dropped. The ring boasted a 4.50-carat sapphire and was designed by the legendary jewelry Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co, whom was the first designer given the privilege to sign his name to jewellery.
The most illustrious and perhaps surprising item not to sell was the Ceylon Alexandrite, Diamond, Platinum Pendant-Necklace, which featuring an alexandrite weighing 50.15 carats. It had an estimate of between $800,000-$1,000,000, yet nobody could match the reserve price of $500,000.
London – December 11th
Sotheby’s described the lots on offer at their London Fine Jewels auction as ‘something for everyone’. There was a decadent display of jewels up for grabs, from the 19th century right through to modern day. The auction placed an emphasis on 20th century items, featuring highly desirable pieces from Cartier and Tiffany & Co. to name a few.
An unexpected point in the auction came when the Cartier Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet, which dates back to 1937, went under the block. It sold for £206,250; with an initial higher estimate of £150,000, it performed far better than expert predictions and went on to be the stand out lot.