Wed, Apr 22, 2015

Art & Auctions
Ultimate emerald-cut diamond goes for $22m

A Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels yesterday achieved $65.1 million, marking a new record total for a jewelry auction at its New York salesroom. 

The auction was led by an extraordinary 100.20-carat ‘perfect diamond’ in a classic emerald-cut, which sold for $22.1 million ($220,459 per carat). 

This result garners several superlatives for the D color, Internally Flawless, type IIa stone: it marks the largest perfect diamond with a classic emerald-cut ever sold at auction; the first 100+ carat perfect diamond sold at auction in New York; and the highest price for any colorless diamond auctioned in New York.

Lisa Hubbard, Chairman, North & South America, Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, comments: “This diamond is exceptional in every sense of the word, and we were thrilled to see it achieve such a strong result. The stone captivated people around the world throughout our extensive travels this spring, but it was a particular privilege to offer it at our New York headquarters. Including today’s result, only six perfect diamonds weighing over 100 carats have sold at auction in the last 25 years – a testament to the incredible rarity of these stones. Sotheby’s sold five of those spectacular diamonds, including sales in Geneva, Hong Kong, and now New York.”

Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York, says: “It was encouraging to see the impact of private collectors throughout the day, including at the highest end of our sale: eight of our top ten pieces were purchased by private individuals. Our strong results spanned each of the categories that have driven the auction market in recent seasons: top-quality diamonds and gemstones, signed and historic jewels, and pieces with notable provenance. Online bidding and buying also contributed heavily to our record total, including the second-highest price of the day: $3.3 million for a magnificent 22.30 carat DIF diamond ring.”

Among other highlights:

• A magnificent platinum and diamond ring - with an oval-shaped diamond of 22.30 carats, D color, Internally Flawless, type IIa - sold to an online bidder for $3.3 million.

• A magnificent platinum, 18-karat gold, pink diamond and sapphire ring, sold for $2.4 million. It features a beautiful colour combination of an unmodified pear-shaped fancy purplish pink diamond weighing 6.24 carats, set in a unique mounting with two cushion-cut Kashmir sapphires.

• The Baron de Rothschild Necklace - an rare platinum, emerald, sapphire, lapis lazuli and diamond pendant-necklace designed by Charles Jacqueau for Cartier, Paris, circa 1924, sold for $2.6 million. This Mughal empire-style necklace was exhibited recently at the Denver Art Museum exhibition ‘Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century’. Created by Cartier’s chief designer Charles Jacqueau, the blue and green necklace – highlighted by three colored stones carved with Mughal floral motifs – was acquired by Baron Eugene de Rothschild in 1924 for his new American wife Catherine.

• An 18-karat gold, platinum, Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch designed by Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co, France, sold to an online bidder for $1 million. Designed as a stylized flower, this brooch dating from the 1960s and set with a sapphire of approximately 17 carats, was formerly in the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon.

• An Important platinum, emerald and diamond pendant, from the Estate of Mary Lily Kenan Flagler, sold for $2.8 million. The Flagler Emerald, an exquisite 35.02 carat Classic Colombian emerald jewel belonged to the wife of American industrialist Henry Flagler.

• A superb Cartier platinum, Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1915, sold to an online bidder for $1.9 million. The ring’s cushion-cut sapphire weighs 11.90 carats, and is accompanied by Gubelin Gem Lab Report stating that the stone “possesses a richly saturated and homogenous color, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut”.

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby’s became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby’s presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby’s BidNow programme allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world.  

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