RAPAPORT... A vivid pink diamond ring from Graff, the highlight of Christie's Jewels: The Hong Kong Sale, fetched $10,776,660 or $2,155,332 per carat, against a presale estimate of $5.1 million to $7.13 million. This sale price broke Christie's previous record of $7.4 million, which it achieved for a 19.66-carat stone auctioned in Geneva 15 years ago. This year's Christie's sale earned a total of $48,001,545, with 89 percent sold by lot.
The record-breaking Graff ring was set with a 5-carat, cushion-shaped, type IIa fancy vivid pink diamond, which was flanked on either side by a shield-shaped diamond mounted in platinum and 18-karat rose gold. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) graded the diamond in July 2009 as a natural color with VS1 clarity, indicating that the clarity was potentially flawless. Type IIa pinks have been found in a number of mining regions around the world. Historically, they were found in India and more recently, in Brazil and Africa.
Vickie Sek, the director of Christie's Asia jewelry and jadeite department, said, "The vivid pink was the glittering star of Christie’s Hong Kong, where record prices were achieved across all categories throughout the week."
The pink diamond generated the highest per-carat price achieved for any diamond worldwide and at $10.8 million, the diamond was the most expensive jewel sold at auction in 2009, Sek added.
"The saleroom showed immense depth at all levels, with sensational results realized all through the day. Eight out of the 10 most expensive jewels were acquired by discerning Asian private collectors, confirming once again Hong Kong’s position as a major market for the finest gemstones," according to Sek.
Another Graff ring fetched $1,537,355 at the Christie's sale, which was slightly higher than its top presale estimate of $1.2 million. The 9.03-carat diamond ring was set with an oval-shaped, fancy vivid yellow diamond flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond and mounted in platinum and yellow gold. The GIA graded this diamond as a type Ia, fancy vivid yellow, natural color with VVS1 clarity.
A sapphire and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels, called the "Pierres de Caractere," sold for $2,408,436, well above its presale estimate of $1.04 million. The ring was set with a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 16.65 carats and featured a baguette and brilliant-cut diamond openwork gallery and half-hoop mounted in 18-karat white gold. In June 2004, the Gübelin Gemmological Laboratory graded the sapphire as being of Kashmir origin with no indications of thermal enhancement.
A round, 16.99-carat, D, flawless, type IIa diamond, which GIA assessed as having excellent cut, polish and symmetry, sold for $2,916,567, which fell within its presale estimate range.