Sotheby’s Geneva November 16, 2016, Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale turned out to be the most successful of all the autumn jewelry sales this year coducted by leading auction houses across the world so far, registering not only the highest total sale of CHF 136,734,500 / US$ 136,428,215, but also propelling the total annual jewelry sale at Geneva for the year 2016, to a new record of CHF 307,753,125 / US$ 311,525,634 overtaking the year 2015 annual record of CHF 289.4m /US$300m by approximately US$ 11.5 million. An unprecedented international interest was depicted at the Geneva auctions this autumn, with participants from 46 countries taking part in the auction. Out of 341 lots on offer at the auction 298 lots were sold, working out to a percentage of 87.4%. Out of this 66% of the lots sold, achieved hammer prices over their upper pre-sale estimates. Another parameter that reflects the success of the auction is that 3 lots sold for over US$ 15 million, 4 lots for over US$ 10 million and 5 lots for over US$ 5 million.
A significant feature of the auctions was once again the unprecedented demand shown by rare colored diamonds such as pink and blue diamonds, which claimed eight places out of the ten highlights of the sale, a rare achievement indeed ! A necessary corollary to the unprecedented demand depicted by rare colored diamonds was the setting of three new world records for three categories of colored diamonds – Fancy Deep Blue, Fancy Light Pink and Fancy Light Blue diamonds.
Top Highlight of the sale was Lot 336 – MAGNIFICENT FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND RING – which sold much above the estimated range of CHF11,810,000 – 14,760,000 (USD11,783,546 – 14,726,938) for CHF20,825,000/USD20,778,352, which was 1.7 times the lower estimate and 1.4 times the upper estimate. The 18k white gold ring is set with a step-cut, VVS1-clarity, fancy intense pink diamond weighing 17.07 carats, flanked by triangular-shaped near-colorless diamonds weighing respectively 3.07 and 3.13 carats. GIA report accompanying the diamond states that the diamond is potentially Internally Flawless after minor repolishing. The price-per-carat value of the fancy intense pink diamond works out to US$1,217,244. The buyer of the diamond was none other than Graff Diamonds Ltd.
The second highlight of the sale registering a price of CHF17,112,500/USD17,074,168 is Lot 337 – THE SKY BLUE DIAMOND, SUPERB FANCY VIVID BLUE DIAMOND RING, by CARTIER. The lot sold within the estimated range of CHF14,760,000-CHF24,590,000 (USD14,726,938 – USD24,534,918). The size 51 platinum ring designed by Cartier as a geometric mount, probably during the Art Deco period when such geometric designs were in vogue, is set with a square emerald-cut, fancy vivid blue, VVS1-clarity diamond weighing 8.01 carats, flanked on either side by four octagonal shaped mountings set with baguette-cut diamonds and the gallery and hoop of the ring set with brilliant-cut diamonds. The price-per-carat value of the diamond works out to US$2,131,606 which is around half the world record price-per-carat value of US$4 million achieved by the 12.03-carat Fancy Vivid Blue “Blue Moon of Josephine” diamond sold by Sotheby’s Geneva in November, 2015. The “Sky Blue Diamond” was purchased by an anonymous buyer, whose identity was not revealed.
The third highest selling lot of the sale was another “FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND RING,” assigned Lot No.329 which also sold above the estimated range of CHF8,850,000 – CHF13,780,000 (USD8,830,176 – 13,749,133) for CHF16,268,750/USD16,232,308, which was 1.8 times the lower estimate and 1.2 times the upper estimate. This too was purchased by Graff Diamonds Ltd. The price-per-carat value of this fancy intense pink diamond works out to US$1,229,720. The 13,20-carat, pear-shaped, fancy intense pink, Internally Flawless diamond is set as the centerpiece of the size 52, platinum ring. The image of the diamond above is that of the unmounted diamond.
The fourth highest selling lot is a fancy deep blue diamond lot assigned Lot No.298A and titled, “MAGNIFICENT FANCY DEEP BLUE DIAMOND RING,” with a pre-sale estimate of CHF8,850,000 – 13,780,000 (USD8,830,176 – 13,749,133). The size 51, platinum ring designed by Jacques Timey of Harry Winston, is set with an oval-shaped, fancy deep blue, VVS1 clarity diamond weighing 7.74 carats flanked by colorless shield-shaped diamonds on its shoulders. The lot was sold within the estimated range for CHF13,737,500/USD13,706,728, A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR A FANCY DEEP BLUE DIAMOND. The price-per-carat value of the fancy deep blue diamond works out to US$1,770,895. Lot 298A was purchased by an anonymous buyer whose identity was withheld by Sotheby’s.
Lot 331 – AN IMPORTANT FANCY LIGHT PINK DIAMOND RING – is the fifth highest selling lot of the sale, selling within the estimated range of CHF5,900,000 – 9,830,000 (USD5,886,784 – 9,807,981) for CHF 7,550,000/USD7,533,088, yet setting a new AUCTION RECORD FOR A FANCY LIGHT PINK DIAMOND. The PPC-value of the diamond works out to US$186,925. The size 52, platinum ring is set with a pear-shaped, fancy light pink, VVS2 clarity diamond weighing 40.30 carats. The diamond is depicted above after removing from the mounting. Lot 331 was purchased by Samer Halimeh of New York.
Lot 296, titled, “FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND RING,” is the sixth highest selling lot of the sale, registering a hammer price of CHF4,287,500/USD4,277,896 within the estimated range of CHF2,460,000 – 4,430,000 (USD2,454,490 – 4,420,077). The size 51, platinum ring is set with a cut-cornered square emerald-cut, fancy intense pink, VVS2-clarity diamond weighing 8.73 carats. The PPC-value of this diamond works out to US$490,022. Lot 296 was purchased by European Trade according to Sotheby’s Geneva.
Significantly, after six colored diamond lots the seventh highight of the sale was a colored gemstone and diamond lot, which coincidentally achieved the same hammer price as Lot 296, of CHF4,287,500 equivalent to USD4,277,896. The Lot bearing No. 335 and titled “SUPERB RUBY AND DIAMOND RING, by CARTIER,” had a pre-sale estimate of CHF1,960,000 – 2,940,000 (USD1,955,610 – 2,933,414) but sold for a enhanced price of CHF4,287,500/USD4,277,896, which was almost 2.2 times the lower estimate and 1.5 times the upper estimate. The lot was sold to an anonymous buyer whose identity was not revealed. The PPC-value of this lot works out to US$511,098. The size 51, platinum ring designed by Cartier has as its centerpiece a oval-shaped Burma pigeon-blood ruby weighing 8.37 carats, within a scroll design mount, set with two colorless pear-shaped diamonds on either side, two rectangular step-cut colorless diamonds at the point where the scrolls meet, and smaller round brilliant-cut diamonds set on the scroll itself.
Lot 308 – FANCY VIVID BLUE DIAMOND RING – is another colored diamond lot becomng the eighth highest selling lot of the sale. The lot had a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1,780,000 – 2,770,000 (USD1,776,013 – 2,763,795) but sold slightly above the upper estimate for CHF 2,892,500 equivalent to USD2,886,021. The lot was purchased by an anonymous buyer, The PPC-value of the fancy vivid blue diamond works out to US$1,249, 359. The size 52, platinum ring is set with a marquise-shaped, fancy vivid blue, SI-1 clarity diamond, weighing 2.31 carats. The significant feature of this sale is the high price realized by this blue diamond ring, despite the relatively smaller size of the diamond. This clearly indicates the demand in which rare blue diamonds are held despite the relatively small size of some of these diamonds.
The ninth highest selling lot of the sale is a colorless/white diamond lot, bearing No.302 and titled “PAIR OF ATTRACTIVE DIAMOND EARRINGS” with a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1,480,000 – 2,460,000 (USD1,476,685 – 2,454,490) and selling within the estimated range for CHF2,232,500 equivalent to USD2,227,499. Each of the earrings is set with an oval-shaped brilliant-cut diamond weighing respectively 14.33 carats and 15.06 carats. The 14.33-carat diamond is D-Color, VVS2 Clarity and the 15.06-carat diamond is E-Color and VVS1 Clarity. The PPC-value of the diamonds works out to US$75,791. According to Sotheby’s this lot was purchased by International Trade.
The tenth highest selling lot of the sale is once again a colored diamond lot, bearing Lot No. 311, titled “IMPORTANT FANCY LIGHT BLUE DIAMOND RING,” with a pre-sale estimate of CHF 1,480,000 – 2,460,000 (USD1,476,685 – 2,454,490) and sold within the estimated range for CHF2,172,500/USD2,167,634. The size 52, platinum ring is set with a modified rectangular step-cut, fancy light blue, VVS1 clarity diamond weighing 16.08 carats. The diamond is illustrated unmounted in the image above. The 16.08-carat, fancy light blue diamond has set AN AUCTION RECORD FOR A FANCY LIGHT BLUE DIAMOND. The ring was purchased by an anonymous buyer. The price-per-carat value of the fancy light blue diamond works out to US$134,803.