Sotheby’s will offer a 93.94-carat Paraiba tourmaline at its upcoming Geneva sale, the largest “top-quality” stone of its kind ever to come to auction, the company said.
The stone, which is set into a bespoke necklace created by Adler Joailliers, will be one of the star lots in the November 8 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, Sotheby’s said Monday. The auction house expects it to fetch between $1.3 million and $2.5 million.
The necklace, called the Blue Lagoon, features a “waterfall” of round and marquise- and pear-shaped diamonds with a total weight of more than 76 carats, the company noted. It will be offered with the original sketch.
Hailing from Mozambique, the stone is distinguished by “an extraordinary electric blue hue,” which recalls the “crystalline waters of a tropical paradise,” Sotheby’s said. Finding Paraiba tourmalines of this size, with such strong saturation and color, is extremely difficult, the auction house added.
Adler is a family business, created in 1886 by Jacques Adler in Istanbul. His grandsons, Franklin and Carlo, opened a boutique in Geneva in 1972. Since 2015, it has been run by the next generation of Adlers — Allen, who is CEO, and his wife, Daisy, who is chief operating officer.
Sotheby’s raked in $13.1 million at its most recent jewelry sale in New York, with more than half of the goods surpassing their high estimates.
The lead item at the September 12 Important Jewels sale was a Harry Winston ring set with a round, 15.18-carat, E-color, VS2-clarity diamond, which brought in $69,440 per carat, for a total of $1.1 million, Sotheby’s said Wednesday. That amount was well above its $750,000 upper estimate.
Overall, Sotheby’s sold 84% of jewels on offer at the auction.
Here are some of the other top pieces from the sale:
The 303.10-carat Golden Canary fetched $12.4 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels in New York on Wednesday, becoming the third most valuable yellow diamond ever sold at auction, the company reported.
The pear-shaped, fancy-deep-brownish-yellow stone is the world’s largest known internally flawless diamond. It is also the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Sotheby’s said Thursday. The auction house offered the piece without reserve, but predicted it would bring in more than $15 million.
The diamond was initially discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the early 1980s. Originally called the Incomparable Diamond, the stone was recut from its previous 407-carat shield shape to deepen the color and brighten the hue.
“The Golden Canary captivated me from the moment I saw it — with its monumental size, golden hue and impeccable clarity — it is truly an extraordinary diamond with immense presence,” said Quig Bruning, head of jewelry for the Americas at Sotheby’s.
A blue diamond weighing 5.53 carats failed to find a buyer at Sotheby’s Geneva on Wednesday despite being billed as the star of the auction.
The cushion brilliant-cut, fancy-vivid-blue diamond is part of an eight-piece group called the De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, which Sotheby’s has spread between its various Magnificent Jewels sales. No bids matched the stone’s threshold price for sale, according to a post-auction report by the Fancy Color Research Foundation (FCRF). The piece carried a presale estimate of $11 million to $15 million.
“The blue is an exceptional stone in every sense,” Sotheby’s told Rapaport News Thursday. “It attracted significant interest prior to yesterday’s sale. While we didn’t get to see it sell in the room last night, we are confident it will find a new home very soon.”
Meanwhile, a number of items set records at the November 9 sale, including a 20.16-carat sapphire and diamond ring from Cartier. That piece, which fetched $2.8 million against a high estimate of $2 million, saw a record price per carat for any blue sapphire of Burmese origin ever sold at auction. A 20.58-carat, pink sapphire ring also broke the record for per-carat price, bringing in $1.9 million, or $91,690 per carat, well above its $808,368 upper price tag. A pink sapphire and diamond brooch weighing 92.01 carats by Jean Schlumberger sold for $1.8 million, outstripping its $505,278 high estimate and setting a record price for a piece of jewelry by the designer.
Another notable item at the sale was a pair of unmounted oval-cut, D-flawless diamonds weighing 20.03 and 20.19 carats. The duo fetched $4.2 million, within estimates. A step-cut, 33.13-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity diamond ring by Cartier brought in $2.9 million, also within its expected range.
The entire Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction garnered $50 million. Sotheby’s will offer two more blue diamonds from the De Beers collection at its upcoming New York Magnificent Jewels sale on December 7.
Sotheby’s will offer a yellow diamond weighing more than 300 carats at its upcoming New York auction, where it is expected to bring in more than $15 million.
The pear-shaped, 303.10-carat, fancy-deep-brownish-yellow stone is one of the largest polished diamonds in the world. It is also the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), Sotheby’s said Monday.
Initially called the Incomparable Diamond, the stone was recut from its original 407-carat shield shape to deepen the color and brighten the hue, and renamed the Golden Canary. As the highlight of the December 7 Magnificent Jewels sale, it will be offered without reserve, with bidding starting at $1, Sotheby’s noted.
The Golden Canary was first discovered in the early 1980s in a pile of rubble by a young girl playing in the backyard of her uncle’s house, Sotheby’s noted. Miners from the nearby Miba diamond deposit had considered the stone to be too bulky to be diamond bearing and had discarded it. The girl gave the 890-carat rough to her uncle, who sold it to local diamond dealers. The diamond has since been displayed in multiple museums.
“The demand and appetite for [extraordinary colored diamonds] continues to grow,” said Quig Bruning, head of jewelry for Sotheby’s Americas. “Steeped in history, the Golden Canary is one of the most exquisite diamonds to ever be discovered, not only for its sheer size and intensity in color, but for its stunning beauty that is sure to captivate collectors around the world.”
Sotheby’s will showcase the diamond on a world tour prior to the auction, with stops in cities including Dubai; Taipei, Taiwan; Geneva; and Hong Kong.
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 Key 10138, the rare pear-shaped diamond, that was auctioned at Sotheby’s on Friday, has been sold for $12.3 million using cryptocurrency. It was sold to an anonymous private collector.
At the time the auction was announced, the piece became the first time a diamond of such size had been offered for public purchase with cryptocurrency. Now it has now become the highest price achieved for any jewelry or gemstone bought with cryptocurrency.
“We are thrilled to witness a historical moment, when one of the Earth’s oldest and rarest treasures was purchased using humanity’s newest universal currency,” said Wenhao Yu, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery in Asia, in a statement. “By introducing this innovative payment option to our luxury sale, we open up new possibilities and expand our reach into a whole new clientele, many of whom are from the digitally savvy generation. The result today not only attests to the resilient demand for top quality diamonds, but also reinforces Sotheby’s position as a pioneer in the luxury field.”
The 101.38 carat diamond from which it takes its name is the second largest pear-shaped diamond to appear on the public market and came from the world-leading diamond company Diacore, the auction house says.
The Key 10138 has achieved the highest gradings in both colour (D colour – the highest grade for a white diamond) and clarity (completely flawless, both internally and externally). It also belongs to the rare subgroup comprising less than 2% of all gem diamonds, known as Type IIa. Diamonds in this group are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency.
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.