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Diamonds Hold Steady at Sotheby’s New York Auction

Apr 23, 2009 8:06 PM   By Amber Michelle
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RAPAPORT...  In keeping with auction tradition, fine signed and decorative jewelry sold well at Sotheby’s New York sale as, no matter what happens in the economy, strong prices are always realized for these items. The sale tallied up $11,098,638 and was sold 68 percent by lot and 55 percent by value.

The top lot of the sale was a diamond necklace, which sold to a European private collector for $698,500. An Asian private collector nabbed the second top lot of the sale — a 13.98-carat GVS2 diamond ring for $482,500, or $34,514 per carat. Although the sale lacked the very special large DIF stones that generally sell at auction, there was still movement in diamonds, but mostly in the under-10-carat range.

Bidding was primarily from the private sector, with some in the trade holding back from buying diamonds because they felt that prices were a bit steep or they weren’t the stones the dealers could flip quickly. On the upside, it provided consumers with an opportunity to buy diamonds more easily than in the past couple of years when prices were soaring over the estimates. Privates took advantage of the new more realistic diamond prices and bought stones that are easily wearable for everyday.

Notably, sapphires, emeralds and natural pearls did well at this sale. Natural pearls are becoming a hot item at auction as buyers from the Gulf region scoop up these wonders of the sea prized for their rarity.

Tags: Consumers, Economy, Jewelry, Sotheby's
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