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Emerald Ring Blows Away Estimate at Sotheby’s

Dec 13, 2020 5:27 AM   By Rapaport News
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An emerald and diamond ring was the top lot at the Magnificent Jewels sale at Sotheby’s in New York, fetching nearly four times its presale valuation.

The square emerald-cut, 21.86-carat stone, flanked by baguette diamonds, brought in $3.7 million against a high estimate of $1 million, the auction house said last week. The piece was one of 29 up for sale from the collection of philanthropist Cecile Zilkha. That group sold in its entirety, achieving $11.7 million, well over its $6.4 million high valuation. Overall, the auction garnered $46.9 million, the highest total for a Sotheby’s New York auction since 2017.

Another private collection, belonging to American socialite Marylou Whitney, was also 100% sold, bringing in $3.2 million. The top seller was a natural-pearl and diamond necklace by Cartier, which fetched $1.7 million. It was purported to have belonged to Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III.

Other notable items included a heart-shaped, 1.71-carat, fancy-red diamond and diamond pendant necklace, which sold for $3.2 million — toward the upper end of its estimate. A ring containing a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut, 3.67-carat, fancy-intense-blue diamond, bracketed by two emerald-cut diamonds, went for 2.6 million, within its estimate. Meanwhile, a ring featuring a heart-shaped, 2-carat, fancy-vivid-orange diamond, surrounded by diamonds, brought in $1.9 million, surpassing its high valuation.

In total, Sotheby’s sold 91% of items on offer, with 74% of those realizing prices above their high estimates, the auction house noted. However, the lot that was expected to lead the sale, a ring set with a 5.03-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond and two fancy-intense-blue diamonds, failed to find a buyer. That piece was estimated at up to $12 million.

“This was a fantastic sale for those who love and appreciate jewelry as an art form,” said Catharine Becket, senior specialist and head of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels in New York. “It was not only defined by important stones that brought exceptional results, but also by iconic designs that continue to transcend time and trends.”

Image: The 21.86-carat emerald ring. (Sotheby’s)
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Tags: Cartier, Catharine Becket, Cecile Zilkha, Magnificent Jewels, Marylou Whitney, Rapaport News, Sotheby’s, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels New York, Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels, Sotheby’s New York
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