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Christie's Geneva Jewel Auction Garners $150M

Nov 12, 2014 7:52 AM   By Francesco Rosa
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RAPAPORT... Christie's Geneva achieved a new highest total for any magnificent jewels sale in the world. The auction house sold  a total of $150,216,738 -- a figure which, in the official currency of the sale, the Swiss Franc, beats the previous record by more than $8 million (CHF 147,256,875 versus CHF 138,963,250). The sale was 89 percent sold by lot and 94 percent sold by value.

The top lot of the evening was The Blue Belle of Asia, a cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire of 392.52 carats, mounted on a diamond necklace, which set a new world auction record for any sapphire when it sold for $17,295,796, or $44,063 per carat. It was purchased by a private collector seated in the saleroom.

International luxury jeweler Laurence Graff purchased the second top lot of the sale, a pair of pear-shaped fancy vivid blue SI2 and fancy vivid pink VS2 diamond ear pendants, which sold for $15,820,731. The two colored diamonds weighed 6.95 carats and 6.79 carats, respectively.

A piece of jewelry by JAR, a U.S. jeweler who lives in Paris, was sold for over $3.5 million, against a pre-sale estimate of $210,000 to $310,000, establishing the second highest price for a creation by the sought after artist jeweler.

More than 600 clients registered to participate in the sale, with final buyers coming from over 30 countries. While international bidders were extremely active on the Internet and in the room itself, phone bidding played the part of the lion with more than 25 telephone lines permanently occupied and often placing the winning offer.

After the sale, Christie's luxury group chairman, François Curiel, told the press, "What we saw tonight is that there is a lot of cash available in the world and very few masterpieces. This evening $150 million changed hands in a few hours under the hammers of Christie's auctioneers and the fact that the room was packed until 11:30 p.m. means that there were many many buyers eager to get some of the jewels we had on offer."

Overall the strong prices recorded throughout the sale for diamonds, colored diamonds, colored stones, natural pearls, period and signed jewels, gave impulse to a "a very very strong sale, which is a reflection of the market at the moment" according to  Curiel.

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Tags: auction, christies, colored diamonds, Francesco Rosa , jewel, Ronen Shnidman, sapphire
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