Sotheby’s will offer two diamonds weighing more than 100 carats at its upcoming jewelry sale, with one expected to fetch in excess of $10 million.
The Juno diamond, a pear-shaped, 101.41-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa stone, will lead the June 16 New York Magnificent Jewels sale, the auction house said last week. Only 11 D-color diamonds over 100 carats have ever been sold at auction, Sotheby’s noted.
That stone will be joined by the Earth Star, a pear-shaped, 111.59-carat, fancy-deep-orange-brown diamond, which has returned to the auction block for the first time in nearly 40 years. The piece, which is the second-largest diamond of its color, cut and size to be offered at an auction, carries a high estimate of $2.5 million.
Designer David Webb has created a custom mounting for the stone, which was fashioned from a 248-carat rough discovered at the Jagersfontein mine in South Africa in 1967. The setting uses azurmalachite to resemble the Earth as seen from the perspective of a star, Sotheby’s explained.
Other notable items include an emerald-cut, 26.06-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity diamond ring by Kwiat, which is estimated at up to $3 million, and a pair of diamond and sapphire earrings. The set features two pear-shaped, D-flawless diamonds weighing 4.09 and 4.12 carats; two emerald-cut, D-color diamonds weighing 3.19 and 3.17 carats; and two Kashmir sapphires weighing 9.65 and 9.44 carats. It is predicted to realize up to $3 million. Meanwhile, an Indian-inspired emerald and diamond fringe necklace by Cartier made in 1945 has a price tag of $1.5 million to $2.5 million.
Sotheby’s will auction a stone described as “the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction” on April 27 in Hong Kong.
Sotheby’s estimates that it could bring $48 million.
The 15.1 carat step-cut blue was cut from a rough stone discovered in April 2021. It is “the largest internally flawless step cut vivid blue diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded,” according to a press statement.
“This diamond ranks as one of the best De Beers has ever seen,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group. “It is extremely rare and unique, and as the Home of Diamonds, De Beers is pleased to join together with Sotheby’s to bring this diamond to the world.”
Only five blue diamonds over 10 carats have ever come to auction, Sotheby’s notes. Until now, none has exceeded 15 carats.
“Blue diamonds of any kind are rare on the market, but this is the rarest of the rare; nothing of remotely similar calibre has appeared at auction in recent years,” says Patti Wong, chairwoman of Sotheby’s Asia. “Hundreds of millions of years in the making, this extraordinary blue diamond is surely one of nature’s finest creations.”
The diamond comes from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.
The Medusa necklace, one of the earliest pieces designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, sold for more than 18 times its high estimate at a recent Sotheby’s auction.
The piece, designed in 1904, was last seen at auction 78 years ago. It fetched $3.7 million against an upper estimate of $200,000 following 10 minutes of heated bidding, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. The pendant set a world auction record for a piece by the designer. In total, the December 7 Magnificent Jewels sale achieved $57.1 million, the second-highest figure for a jewelry auction at Sotheby’s New York.
Blue diamonds also performed well, with a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, 6.11-carat, fancy-intense-blue diamond ring garnering $8 million, or $1.3 million per carat, well above its high estimate. A ring bearing a cushion-cut, 3.01-carat, fancy-vivid-blue diamond flanked by two heart-shaped diamonds sold for $3.9 million, or $1.3 million per carat, within expectations.
Other notable items include a group of jewels from an American private collector, which features one of the largest private collections of Bulgari pieces ever to come to market, Sotheby’s noted. Some 93% of those items found buyers, realizing $9 million, above their combined $8.2 million high estimate.
Meanwhile, a ring set with a pear-shaped, 62.65-carat, D-color, VVS2-clarity diamond bracketed by two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 2.04 carats and 2.01 carats fetched $2.9 million, in the middle of its presale valuation. A ring containing a cut-cornered rectangular step-cut, 1.03-carat, fancy-red diamond framed by shield-shaped diamonds hammered for $2 million, the upper end of its estimate.
Sotheby’s sold 84% of goods on offer, with 68% of those achieving prices above their high estimates and 13 pieces going for more than $1 million. Participants came from more than 45 countries.
Sotheby’s will offer a fancy-vivid-yellow diamond ring at its New York sale next month, estimating the piece could fetch up to $3 million.
The cut-cornered square step-cut, 73.11-carat, VS2-clarity jewel by Mayfair designer Glenn Spiro, called The Sienna Star, is one of the largest fancy-vivid-yellow diamonds to come to auction, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. The piece is one of the top items at the June 9 Magnificent Jewels sale. The auction will feature jewelry for the “Roaring Twenties 2.0” as people return to the social scene following long lockdowns, Sotheby’s noted.
A private collection of six jewels with a combined estimate of more than $13 million are another headline lot at the New York sale. Those include a necklace by Andrew Clunn, set with 28 oval-shaped diamonds totaling over 168 carats, which carries a high estimate of $3 million, and an emerald-cut, 23.59-carat, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamond ring with an upper valuation of $2.8 million.
A Colombian emerald and diamond garland necklace by Harry Winston, estimated at up to $2.5 million, and a 13.02-carat Burmese ruby ring, mounted by Carvin French, with a $2 million high valuation, are also part of the collection. Proceeds from the sale of those six items will be donated to charity.
Additionally, Sotheby’s will showcase a Bulgari ring with a 25.29-carat Kashmir sapphire flanked by diamonds, which it expects will bring in up to $3 million. Meanwhile, a modified square brilliant-cut, 3.75-carat, fancy-intense-pink, VVS1-clarity diamond ring, accented by triangle-shaped and round diamonds, is estimated to fetch up to $2.5 million.
The auction house will present jewels from the collection of philanthropist Margaret Jonsson Rogers, the daughter of Texas Instruments founder and Dallas mayor J. Erik Jonsson, as well as property from the estate of Mary Ethel Weinmann, the daughter of Count and Countess André de Limur, it added.
A Cartier emerald and diamond ring blew past five fancy colored diamonds to become the top lot at Sotheby’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction held Wednesday. It fetched $3.6 million, more than three-and-a-half times its high estimate.
The ring features a 21.86-carat Colombian square-emerald-cut emerald flanked by diamonds and mounted on 18k yellow gold. The emerald is described in the grading report as having “minor clarity enhancement” and a “richly saturated medium deep slightly bluish green, slightly included with a few surface reaching inclusions, and the girdle bearing a chip and a few nicks, noticeable under 10x magnification.”
The ring was from the collection of Cecile Zilkha, best known for her lifelong interest in the arts, particularly The Metropolitan Opera.
Private collections featuring a variety of signed jewels were an important part of this sale, with many items from these collections far exceeding estimates. All 29 jewels from the Cecile Zilkha collection sold, fetching a total of $11.7 million, nearly double the estimate for the collection. Eleven jewels from the collection of Marylou Whitney, the philanthropist, thoroughbred breeder, arts patron and society hostess, all sold fetching a total of $1.7 million.
The sale overall was quite successful, taking in a total of $46.9 million, the highest total for a Sotheby’s jewelry auction since 2017. In addition, 91% of the lots sold, with 74% of the lots fetching prices above their high estimates and nine pieces surpassing $1 million.
Fancy colored diamonds, including three heart-shaped gems, made up the top five lots prior to the sale. However two of the gems failed to meet the reserve price. The first was the anticipated top lot of the sale, a pink gold and platinum ring set with a 5.03-carat cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy vivid pink diamond, accented with two cut-cornered triangular step-cut fancy intense blue diamonds. Its estimate was $9 million – $12 million.
The second was a ring centered with a 2.28-carat fancy vivid blue heart-shaped diamond, encircled by round yellow and framed by white diamonds with an estimate of $2.25 million – $3.25 million.
The three remaining fancy colored diamond lots sold within estimates and were the next three top lots of the sale. They are:
* A 1.71-carat heart-shaped fancy red diamond with SI2 clarity surrounded by white diamonds and mounted on an 18k white and pink gold pendant for a necklace. It fetched more than $3.1 million.
* A 3.67-carat fancy intense blue diamond in a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond. The stone is flanked by two emerald-cut diamonds and mounted on an 18k white gold ring. It fetched more than $2.6 million.
* An 18k white and pink gold ring centered with a 2-carat fancy vivid orange diamond framed and accented by round diamonds that fetched nearly $1.9 million.
As mentioned, private collections were an important part of this sale. In addition to the Cartier emerald ring, the Cecile Zilkha collection comprised of 28 other signed and historic jewels. Among the standouts:
* Emerald and diamond earclips by Bulgari that fetched more than $1.1 million, double its high estimate;
* A 1930s diamond rivière by Bulgari that fetched $806,500, well above its high estimate;
* A silver-topped gold, sapphire and diamond brooch that fetched $625,000, more than double its high estimate;
* Earclips by Harry Winston featuring two cut-cornered square modified brilliant-cut Fancy Intense yellow diamonds weighing 15.24 and 14.22 carats that fetched $528,200, within estimates; and
* A ruby and diamond bracelet by Harry Winston that fetched $441,000, well above the high estimate.
The sale ended with 11 jewels from the collection of Marylou Whitney. The top lot in this collection was a Cartier necklace composed of 32 rare natural pearls with a diamond clasp. It fetched more than $1.6 million, more than three times its high estimate.
In addition, two David Webb pieces from the Whitney collection performed extremely well. The first was a platinum bracelet set with 10 emerald-cut diamonds weighing 21.16 carats. It fetched $352,800, above estimates. The second was a showstopper Mughal-inspired necklace that boldly displays a 181.95-carat translucent carved emerald and 10 cabochon emeralds that weigh a total of 126.30 carats, along with rubies and diamonds. The necklace sold for $327,600, more than triple its high estimate.
While Cartier, Bulgari and Harry Winston dominated the headline sales, jewels from Van Cleef & Arpels may have had the biggest impact overall. Twenty-eight jewels by the Parisian luxury brand were sold at the auction. The top lot from Van Cleef & Arpels was a mystery-set sapphire and diamond brooch designed as a flower from a New York collector that sold for more than $1.1 million, nine times its high estimate. That was certainly a headline sale.
An indication that private collections and signed jewels were going to dominate came at the very beginning of the sale. The first 10 lots from a private family collection were by Van Cleef & Arpels. They all sold well above their estimates.
Other auction highlights included:
* A jadeite, natural pearl and diamond necklace by Raymond Yard, circa 1935, sold for $1.6 million after competition from three phone bidders, more than four times its high estimate. The piece was offered from the estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler.
* A Cartier sapphire and diamond bracelet in a fan design, circa 1960s, that fetched just over $1 million, just topping its high estimate.
* A ring set with a 1.08-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond accented by round diamonds sold for $927,500, above estimates. The piece was offered by a Texan collector.
A 102.39 carat D color flawless oval diamond was sold in a single lot auction for more than $15.6 million. The sale by Sotheby’s Hong Kong was the first time a diamond of more than 100 carats was sold in a combined online and live auction and such an important diamond was offered without reserve.
The diamond was purchased by a private Japanese collector who requested anonymity, Sotheby’s said in a statement. The person named the gem, “Maiko Star” after his second daughter. The same collector bought the 88.22 carat “Manami Star” at Sotheby’s in April 2019.
The sale of the Type IIa diamond the purest and rarest kind of mined diamond resulted in the highest price achieved for a diamond sold online and earned the most bids for a world class diamond. In addition, it was only the eighth diamond of more than 100 carats ever sold at auction. The auction house describes the diamond as “perfect,” not only because of its top color and clarity grades, but also for its “excellent polish and symmetry.”
However, the total price fell far short of what similar diamonds sold for at auction.
Sotheby’s will sell a 118.88-carat, royal-blue, unheated Burmese sapphire in Hong Kong next week, the largest of its kind the auction house has offered in 20 years.
The cushion-shaped stone, surrounded by pear-shaped diamonds weighing a total of 16.06 carats, will lead the October 7 Magnificent Jewels sale, Sotheby’s said Monday.
A pear-shaped, 4.84-carat, fancy-vivid-blue, internally flawless diamond ring is also set to go under the hammer. The piece, which also features two brilliant-cut diamonds, each weighing 1.10 carats, has a high estimate of $8.5 million.
Also up for auction are a pair of pendant earrings featuring brilliant-cut, fancy-intense-blue diamonds weighing 1.95 and 1.63 carats. Those stones suspend two pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless, type IIa diamonds weighing 5.95 and 5.24-carats. The set has a presale value of up to $4.6 million.
In addition, Sotheby’s will feature a cushion-shaped, 6.41-carat, pigeon’s blood Burmese ruby ring surrounded by French-cut white diamonds. The jewel, which was designed and mounted by Hong Kong-based jeweler Forms, carries an upper estimate of $2.9 million. Meanwhile, a ring containing a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, 18.68-carat, fancy-light-purplish-pink diamond is set to fetch up to $2.2 million at the Hong Kong sale.
“The jewelry market has proven to be highly resilient, with our clients in Asia eyeing the best quality jewels on offer,” said Wenhao Yu, Sotheby’s deputy chairman of jewelry for Asia.
Sotheby’s will showcase the pieces in Hong Kong from October 3 to 6 prior to the sale.
Five pieces created by contemporary high jewelry artist, Anna Hu, will be among the jewels being offered at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on October 7.
The high jewels on offer will come from Hu’s latest collection, “Silk Road Music Collection.” Unveiled in Paris during the first week of July, it consists of a group of about a dozen jewels inspired by musical and cultural exchanges that took place on the Silk Road – an ancient trade route connecting the eastern and western parts of the world.
Leading the five pieces at the upcoming auction is the “Dunhuang Pipa Necklace,” set with a 100.02 carat fancy intense yellow diamond provided by Sotheby’s. Its estimate is $5 million – $6.25 million. The silhouette of this necklace resembles a Chinese pipa a four stringed Chinese lute attached to lines of a western musical staff in 18k white gold that flows in twists and waves, and sparkles with pavé diamond along the neckline.
Hu was inspired by images of women playing the pipa depicted on murals in Dunhuang, considered an oasis for travelers in China’s northwest desert area along the Silk Road. The necklace can be transformed into a brooch and earring.
“It is absolutely a pleasure to collaborate with Sotheby’s on this project and be given the opportunity to work with the 100.02 carat yellow diamond, which is a true gift from nature,” Hu said.
Yvonne Chu, acting head of department, Jewellery, Sotheby’s, said this necklace “is one of the most important jewelry pieces on offer this season.”
As with much of Hu’s work, this latest collection combines her passion for music and western art with the Chinese themes from her upbringing in Taiwan. A resident of New York for many years, Hu’s brand is known for creating one-of-a-kind pieces with rare gemstones crafted by skilled French-trained artisans.