On the heels of yesterday’s record-breaking sale at Sotheby’s, Christie’s answered big time as its Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction broke the day-old record for a jewelry auction with a sale total of $154.1 million. With 85 percent selling by lot and 94 percent by value, the auction saw 27 lots sell for more than $1 million and set four new world auction records.
The astronomical total was helped by the auction’s top lot, The Blue, the largest flawless fancy vivid blue diamond in the world at 13.22 carats, which sold for $23.8 million. Renamed The Winston Blue in honor of its buyer, Harry Winston, the blue diamond also set a new world record for a price per carat for a blue diamond at $1,799,953 per carat.
The other major diamond jewels in the sale also garnered eight figure prices, led by the sale’s cover star, the Belle Époque diamond devant de corsage brooch (est. $$7,350,101 – $12,438,632), by Cartier, which sold for $17,917,285 after an intense bidding war between a buyer on the phone and one in the room. The latter, from London-based estate jewelry dealer Symbolic & Chase, had the winning bid.
The 75.97-carat pear-shaped diamond (est. $13,908,652 – $15,830,986) graded D Flawless Type IIa fetched $14,751,088, while the The Ocean Dream (est. $7,689,336 – $9,611,670), a fancy vivid blue-green triangular-cut diamond weighing 5.50 carats, achieved a total of $8,798,637. The Ocean Dream achieved a new world auction record for a blue-green diamond. Setting a new auction record for a light pink diamond, the spectacular colored diamond necklace (est. $7,123,944 – $10,177,062), by Leviev, which features a 76.51-carat light pink cut-cornered square-cut diamond, contributed $10,191,763 to the sale’s overall record-breaking total.
Other top performing diamonds in the sale include:
- The Rajah Diamond (est. $3,053,119 – $5,088,531), a 26.14-carat old-mine brilliant-cut diamond graded D color, VS2 clarity, Type IIa, fetched $4,112,664.
- A 11.11-carat fancy light pink brilliant-cut diamond ring (est. $1,017,706 – $1,526,559) sold for more than double its estimate at $3,352,777.
- A 53.66-carat pear-shaped diamond (est. $1,922,334 – $2,600,805) beat its high estimate with a winning bid of $3,099,481.
- A three-stone colored diamond ring (est. $904,628 – $1,130,785), by Bulgari, featuring a 2.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, a 1.51-carat fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond, and a 1.47-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond, sold for $2,972,833, nearly double its high estimate.
Diamonds weren’t the only star stones of the day, sapphires also performed well throughout the sale. Notable sapphires include:
- A sapphire ‘toi et moi’ ring (est. $848,089 – $1,413,481), composed of a 16.16-carat Burmese sapphire and a 15.62 Kashmir sapphire, beat its high estimate with a final sale price of $2,719,537.
- A 49.04-carat pink cushion-shaped sapphire (est. $248,773 – $294,004) shattered its high estimate as it sold for $2,041,067, nearly 10 times its estimate and new world auction record for a pink sapphire.
- A 31.12-carat Ceylon sapphire (est. $282,696 – $395,775) sold for a staggering $1,226,902.
Another rare gemstone of note that sold is the exceptional 21.41-carat unmounted alexandrite (est. $508,853 – $735,010), which achieved a total of $1,498,290 and set a new world auction record for an alexandrite.
Natural pearls continued to be in high demand as indicated by the following natural pearl jewel highlights:
- An impressive natural pearl and diamond necklace (est. $565,392 – $791,549), suspending a drop-shaped natural pearl, measuring approximately 16.5-16.0 x 31.5 mm, sold for $3,099,481, more than quadruple its high estimate.
- A beautiful pair of natural pearl and diamond pendant earrings (est. $305,312 – $508,853), by Cartier, realized a winning bid of $656,986.
- A natural pearl and diamond brooch (est. $260,080 – $361,851) sold for nearly double its estimate with a final sale price of $629,847.
While the number of pieces that did not sell had little impact on the overall results, it is worth noting a few of the jewels that didn’t sell, including a five-strand natural pearl necklace (est. $2,035,412 – $3,053,119), a 16.94-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire (est. $1,130,785 – $1,696,177), and a diamond necklace (est. $452,314 – $565,392), by René Bry.