Download audio MP3.
Rapaport News presents special close-up footage and interviews from the April auction of magnificent jewels out of Christie's and Sotheby's New York.
Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels sale garnered $31,792,875 and was 80% sold by lot, 71% sold by value. Top lots included a cut-cornered rectangular-cut D, IF diamond of 37.16 carats that sold for $4,450,500; a square emerald-cut fancy vivid blue, IF diamond of 3.25 carats that sold for $3,666,500; a rectangular-cut, fancy intense pink diamond of 6.61 carats, VS2, sold for $3,554,500; a modified cushion-cut, fancy vivid yellow, VS1, diamond ring of 50.29 carats, by Carvin French sold for $2,546,500; a pear-shaped, D, VS1 diamond ring of 16.41 carats, by Van Cleef & Arpels, fetched $1,082,500; a rectangular-cut, D, VVS2 diamond ring of 9.68 carats, by Harry Winston, sold for $962,500. The sale was held in Manhattan on April 12, 2011.
Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry for Christie’s Americas, commented: “While we were disappointed that the 10-carat purple-pink diamond did not find a buyer, top-quality white, blue, pink and yellow diamonds fared very well, with a strong price of $3.67 million, or $1.1 million per carat achieved for a fancy vivid blue diamond.
''In all, five top jewels exceeded the $1 million mark, with heavy competition among both trade buyers and private collectors for colorless diamonds, large gemstones, and signed jewels,” Kadakia said.
Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale, which was held on April 14, in New York, achieved $39,367,350, exceeding the pre-sale high estimate of $35.6 million and selling 84.2% by lot and 93% by value. The sale total represented the highest-ever for Sotheby's New York spring auction of jewelry.
Competition was especially fierce for Magnificent Jewels from a Distinguished Family Collection–a wonderful group featuring romantic diamonds and fabulous Cartier designs from the firm’s creative peak–that brought $7,885,125, more than double its high estimate.
“Today’s results reflect the continued appetite for well-design jewels, from period pieces by Cartier to contemporary designs by JAR and Taffin,” said Lisa Hubbard, chairman of Sotheby's North & South America international jewelry division. “Nowhere was that more evident that in the spectacular prices achieved by the Distinguished Family Collection, which featured diamonds evocative of the Belle Époque era, as well as signed pieced by two of the best designers of the period: Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier.”
Gary Schuler, director of jewelry at Sotheby's New York, added, “Collectors are willing to pay a premium for diamonds with charm, and that was a hallmark of today’s sale. Whether they feature old-world cuts or magnificent and unique colors, the opportunity to compete for these stones is exactly why buyers come to auction.”
There were approximately 10 bidders fighting over an exquisite Diamond Jabot Pin, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., circa 1920, featuring a pear-shaped D color, type IIa diamond of 15.31 carats and VVS2 clarity before it eventually achieved $1,986,500, more than double the pre-sale high estimate of $800,000.
An elegant platinum and diamond pendant, circa 1915 set with a D, VS2, type IIa pear-shaped diamond of 20.74 carats brought $2,154,500. A fluted emerald and tumbled ruby bead necklace with a ruby and diamond clasp, circa 1740 saw the fiercest and most prolonged competition of the group, eventually selling for an incredible $758,500, more than 10 times its high estimate.
Strong prices for diamonds were seen during Sotheby's auction, led by a magnificent emerald-cut diamond of 30.52 carats, D, VVS1, with excellent polish and excellent symmetry that brought $3,386,500, as well as a fancy vivid blue diamond ring that fetched $3,274,500. The piece features an internally flawless marquise-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond of 3.18 carats, set within a contemporary openwork diamond mounting. A magnificent and rare fancy vivid pink diamond ring set with a cushion-shaped diamond of fancy vivid pink color weighing 3.62 carats sold for $1,874,500, while a fancy vivid yellow diamond ring, Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., 1972 featuring a whimsical “bee” motif mounting sparked a bidding war in the morning session, leading to a $1,082,500 result that was more than twice the low estimate. The ring comes from a private collection, and is set with a spectacular cushionshaped diamond of fancy vivid yellow color weighing 11.13 carats, VS2 clarity.
Leading the colored stones on offer was an important emerald and diamond ring, by Harry Winston, circa 1955 set with a Colombian emerald of 16.93 carats that has remained in the same family for decades, which soared over its high estimate to reach $1,874,500. A ruby and diamond brooch, Chaumet, France, circa 1920 centering a cushion-shaped Burma ruby of 10 carats set within an Art Deco diamond plaque met expectations when it sold for $986,500. The platinum, sapphire and diamond ring featuring a certified “royal blue” cushion-shaped Burma sapphire of 24.60 carats led the sapphires in the sale, bringing $794,500.
The Sotheby's auction featured strong prices for unique period and signed jewels, led by a pair of 18-karat gold, silver, diamond, sapphire and emerald earclips by JAR, Paris, which far exceeded their estimate in selling for $326,500. The 18-karat gold and plique-à-jour enamel pendant-brooch and chain, Marcus & Co., circa 1900, one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau jewels ever to be offered at auction, achieved an incredible $302,500, more than five times the high estimate.