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Graff Vivid Yellow Sets New World Record at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale

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Today’s Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels set seven new records, including a new world record for a jewelry sale as it achieved a total of $141.5 million. (See end of post for list of new records.)

The second headlining record came from the sale’s starring lot, the Graff Vivid Yellow, which caused an interesting turn of events during the sale. At its first pass, the 100.09-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond failed to meets its minimum estimate and was thus left unsold. Then, around lot 516, David Bennett, Sotheby’s Chairman of Europe & the Middle East International Jewelry, announced that he will reopen the bidding for the sunshine-colored diamond. With a single bid at 200,000 CHF more, the Graff Vivid Yellow sold for $16,347,848 USD, setting a new world record for a yellow diamond ever sold at auction.

David Bennett commented on the stone, “100 carats is a magical number when it comes to diamonds. With its exceptional size and a superb daffodil color, the Graff Vivid Yellow is a truly extraordinary diamond with immense presence.”

Graff Vivid Yellow

A handful of other diamonds also sold with multi-million dollar prices, and they include:

Magnificent Diamond

The 70.33 cushion brilliant-cut diamond, D Flawless Type IIa, fetched a total of just over $14 million.

Natural pearls in the sale did exceptionally well, with nearly all of those offered achieving sale prices far beyond their high estimates. Of the 54 lots featuring natural pearls, twelve sold for close to or more than ten times their respective estimates.

Important Natural Pearl Necklace

An important natural pearl and diamond necklace, composed of a strand of graduated natural pearls measuring from approximately 7.75 to 12.15mm, the clasp decorated with a pearl within a floral motif millegrain-set with pear-shaped, single-cut and rose diamonds, sold for close to $3 million.

  • An important natural pearl and diamond necklace (est. $253,656 – $355,118) sold for more than eight times its high estimate, fetching nearly $3 million.
  • natural peal, ruby and diamond necklace (est. $152,194 – $253,656) earned roughly four times its high estimate with a final price of $1,020,261.
  • natural pearl necklace (est. $33,821 – $67,642), composed of natural pearls measuring from approximately 6.85 to 12.05mm, sold for $830,864, more than 12 times its high estimate.

The Suzanne Belperron jewels also faired notably well in the sale, led by 21 pieces from the collection of Madame Picha-Eisenstein. In total, the Picha-Eisenstein pieces by Belperron fetched a combined total of $1,334,088. However, the top earning Belperron jewel in the sale, a diamond cuff-bracelet circa 1940, hailed from a private collection and sold for $397,958, more than double its high estimate of $186,014.

Composed of two bands pavé-set with circular- and single-cut diamonds, between a domed 'toit' motif channel-set with step-cut diamonds, inner circumference approximately 160mm, French assay and maker's marks for Groëné & Darde, safety clip to reverse possibly later added.

This diamond cuff bracelet by Suzanne Belperron sold for $397,958.

Flora Sassoon’s stunning diamond necklace (est. $405,850 – $704,600), circa 1900, sold for nearly twice its high estimate at $1,223,186. Of the four Lalique pieces that sold, the natural pearl, enamel and diamond devant de corsage (est. $118,373 – $152,194), circa 1900, fetched $316,789, more than twice its high estimate. The gold and diamond ‘Fighter Jet’ necklace, by Van Cleef & Arpels, from the collection of Jacqueline Auriol (est. $22,000 – $33,000) achieved a sky high sale price of $276,204.

1402 Sassoon Diamond Necklace

Flora Sasson’s stunning diamond necklace, circa 1900, fetched a total of $1,223,186.

Big ticket pieces that surprisingly did not sell include the Victory Diamond (est. $5,028,026 – $8,004,256), an important 26.92-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring (est. $1,240,096 – $1,803,776) and a rare and magnificent unmounted Burmese sapphire weighing 121.00 carats (est. $1,300,000 – $1,800,000).

A rare and magnificent unmounted Burmese sapphire weighing 121.00 carats (est. $1,300,000 - $1,800,000)

A rare and magnificent unmounted Burmese sapphire weighing 121.00 carats (est. $1,300,000 – $1,800,000) did not sell at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale.

 

Seven Records Set by the Sale

World auction record price per carat for a round colorless diamond at $246,710
Very Important Diamond ring weighing 25.32 carats, D Color, Internally Flawless, Type IIa (lot 487)
Sold for CHF 5,541,000 ($6,246,702) – $246,710 per carat
Previous record set by a 28.86 carat brilliant-cut diamond, D color, Flawless
Sold for $6,907,692 ($239,352 per carat) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2014

World auction record price per carat for a round colorless diamond at $246,710
Very Important Diamond ring weighing 25.32 carats, D Color, Internally Flawless, Type IIa (lot 487)
Sold for CHF 5,541,000 ($6,246,702) – $246,710 per carat
Previous record set by a 28.86 carat brilliant-cut diamond, D color, Flawless
Sold for $6,907,692 ($239,352 per carat) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2014

World auction record for a Jewel by Graff
The ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’, Sensational and Rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring, Graff. Cushion-shaped
Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond, weighing 100.09 carats, VS2 Clarity (lot 507)
Sold for CHF 14,501,000 ($16,347,847)
Previous record set by a 5.00 carat cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink ring, Graff
Sold for HK$83,540,000 ($10,776,660) – $2,155,332 per carat at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2009

World auction record price per carat for a Fancy Pink diamond at $601,228
Very Fine Fancy Pink diamond ring, weighing 12.07 carats, Internally Flawless (lot 522)
Sold for CHF 6,437,000 ($7,256,816) – $601,228 per carat to David Morrison, London Jeweler
Previous record set by a 8.59 carat a Fancy Pink diamond ring, JAR
Sold for HK$ 27,540,000 ($3,571,938) – $415,825 per carat at Christie’s Hong Kong in November 2012

World auction record price per carat for a Fancy Light Pink diamond at $393.071
Fine Fancy Light Pink diamond ring, weighing 10.11 carats, VS2 Clarity (lot 525)
Sold for Sold for CHF 3,525,000 ($3,973,944) – $393.071 per carat
Previous record set by an unmounted 5.08 carat brilliant-cut Fancy Light Pink diamond
Sold for $280,807 per carat at Sotheby’s New York in November 2012

World record for a various owner jewelry sale at $143,135,770
Previous record at $111,836,526 set by Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2012

World record for a jewelry sale at $143,135,770
Previous record: $137,235,675 set by the Elizabeth Taylor sale at Christie’s in December 2012

 

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