‘Tis the season when the world’s premier auction houses – Christie’s and Sotheby’s – hold their semi-annual sales of magnificent diamonds and fine jewels at their headquarters in New York, Geneva, and an increasingly important jewelry market — Hong Kong. International investors, connoisseurs and collectors are gathering at these glittering events through November, with many more bidding anonymously by phone. Here are some previews and some staggering results:
A flawless white oval diamond the size of a small egg sold for $30.6 million at a Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 7, setting a new world record for diamond sales at auction. Two phone bidders competed for the 118-carat white diamond for six tense minutes until one gave up and the hammer came down! The sale beat the previous record of $26.7 million for a white diamond set in May at Christie’s in Geneva.
If you missed the Hong Kong auction action, Christie’s sale of Magnificent Jewels is underway TODAY, October 15, at their Rockefeller Plaza headquarters in New York. Sessions begin at 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (EDT) and you can follow the bidding live online. We showed you a FOX News auction preview in our last post, including a Fancy Intense Pink diamond ring (estimate: $6 million); and a Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring (estimate: $3.5 million). We’ll be sure to post the results next time.
In the same video, Christie’s Head of Jewelry Rahul Kadakia announced that the largest orange diamond in the world will go up for auction at Christie’s November 12 sale in Geneva. The 14.82-carat stone, a rare pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Orange diamond whose color is “like the skin of a mandarin orange” is expected to fetch $20 million or more.
Not to be outdone, Sotheby’s Geneva will hold its sale of Magnificent Jewels the very next night. One of their most anticipated lots is the “Walska Briolette Diamond” Brooch, a 1971 Van Cleef & Arpels design highlighted by a 96.62-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond (estimate: $8 million). This important diamond, once owned by opera singer and jewelry collector Ganna Walska, was subsequently set into a Bird of Paradise design, with yellow and white diamonds, emeralds, and a cabochon sapphire. The center yellow diamond – suspended from the bird’s beak — can be detached and worn as a pendant. The bird’s wings also detach to form a pair of earrings.
But the real star of the show at Sotheby’s Geneva on November 13 is aptly named The Pink Star, which the auction house calls “the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.” Estimated in excess of $60 million, or twice as much as the record-breaking white diamond sold last week in Hong Kong, this 59.60-carat oval-cut pink diamond is the largest internally flawless Fancy Vivid Pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America has ever graded.
Here, as promised, are results from the October 15 Christie’s New York Sale of Magnificent Jewels.