Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels New York December 11 Results

The 61.35-carat emerald ring that was top lot at $4.6 million.

The 61.35-carat emerald ring that was top lot at $4.6 million.

Sotheby’s closing Magnificent Jewels sale of 2013 was held Wednesday in New York and brought in a total of $60 million. The sale was chock full of interesting highlights, which were not your typical record-breaking flawless stones.

The top lot of the day was an impressive emerald ring of 61.35 carats that sold well above its $1-1.5 million estimate at $4.6 million. The top five lots included white diamonds, a natural pearl necklace, and an emerald bracelet.

18k gold, malachite, purpurine and ivory bracelet by Boucheron, circa 1931.

18k gold, malachite, purpurine and ivory bracelet by Boucheron, circa 1931.

The star of the catalog cover was a very interesting and iconic piece by Boucheron that was especially delightful for jewelry historians to see. One such historian, Vivienne Becker, wrote a fantastic piece for the Sotheby’s website on the significance of the bracelet, which I encourage you to read here. In summary, the piece was made in 1931 and is considered a masterpiece of French 20th century jewelry that shows the influence of Africa on the modernist style of the time. It sold for $797,000.

18k gold, platinum, diamond, faience, enamel and lapis lazuli  Egyptian-revival brooch by Cartier, circa 1923, sold for $1.025 million.

18k gold, platinum, diamond, faience, enamel and lapis lazuli
Egyptian-revival brooch by Cartier, circa 1923, sold for $1.025 million.

Also of historical interest were five pieces by Cartier created in the 1920s when Egyptian-revival was all the rage. Already of influence in design for a few decades, it truly exploded following the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Louis Cartier was a serious collector of Egyptian artifacts and some of his finds surely influenced these unique pieces. Only a handful were ever made, and the pieces on offer at this auction all sold well above their estimates. Again, a wonderful article on the pieces was written by Vivienne Becker which you can read here.

18k gold, platinum, faience, diamond, colored stone and enamel  'Sekhmet' brooch by Cartier, circa 1925, sold for $845,000.

18k gold, platinum, faience, diamond, colored stone and enamel
‘Sekhmet’ brooch by Cartier, circa 1925, sold for $845,000.

For more information on historically interesting pieces that were offered at auction, click here.

This evening brought the 2013 Magnificent Jewels sales calendar to a close, with sales totals for Sotheby’s reaching over $500 million. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings!

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels New York December 10 Results

Christie's Magnificent Jewels New York Diamond

Christie’s closed out its Magnificent Jewels year with a $65 million dollar sale in New York on Tuesday. The star of the auction was the 52.58-carat D-color, flawless Golconda white diamond that sold for $10.9 million. The top four lots were large white diamond pieces, with natural pearls and sapphires rounding out the top ten. See all the results here.

In 2013, the Magnificent Jewels sales brought in $615 million dollars for Christie’s, well over last year’s $500 million total (including the Lily Safra sale).

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong November 26 Results

A flawless, D-color 104.84-carat diamond rivière necklace,  sold for $8.1 million.

A flawless, D-color 104.84-carat diamond rivière necklace,
sold for $8.1 million.

Christie’s is touting its Magnificent Jewels auction in Hong Kong yesterday, with a sales total of $111 million, as the highest total ever for a jewelry auction in Asia, led by four pieces that sold for over $5 million.

The top five lots had two new record holders among the group. Highest price achieved went, unsurprisingly, to the remarkable diamond rivière necklace that contained 104.84 carats of flawless D-color diamonds (pictured above). In second place at $6.4 million was the star of the catalog cover, a ruby and diamond necklace by Etcetera, that now holds the record for most expensive ruby necklace sold at auction. Both of these lots were purchased by private Asian buyers. Next was a stunning ruby and diamond ring that sold for $6 million, followed by a diamond-laden necklace by Harry Winston that sold for $5 million. The second record set was for a 12.85-carat orange-pink diamond, which sold for just under $5 million. Peruse the rest of the auction results here.

A 87.78 ctw ruby and diamond necklace by Etcetera, sold for $6.4 million.

A 87.78 ctw ruby and diamond necklace by Etcetera, sold for $6.4 million.

A 13.21-carat Burmese ruby ring, sold for $6 million.

A 13.21-carat Burmese ruby ring, sold for $6 million.

A diamond Harry Winston necklace (all pear-shaped diamonds are D-color, flawless), sold for $5 million.

A diamond Harry Winston necklace (all pear-shaped diamonds are D-color, flawless),
sold for $5 million.

A 12.85-carat orange-pink diamond, sold for $4.95 million.

A 12.85-carat orange-pink diamond, sold for $4.95 million.

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong Preview

A ruby and diamond necklace by Etcetera (Lot 2109).

A ruby and diamond necklace by Etcetera (Lot 2109).

On Tuesday, November 26, Christie’s will be holding a Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong. I always enjoy looking through the lots of sales in Hong Kong because they are often very colorful, a little more daring in design and feature stones that aren’t regularly seen at top-level jewelry auctions.

The cover star of the auction catalog is the ruby and diamond necklace by Edmond Chin’s Etcetera pictured above, which is listed with a high estimate of $7.5 million. It features 87.78 carats total of Burmese rubies and will be the second last lot of the day, while the matching earrings are the last. Competing with this necklace to be one of the top lots of the day is another ruby of great interest, a 13.21 carat Burmese ruby set in a ring pictured below, which also has a high estimate of $7.5 million. Likely to achieve the highest price, however, is a diamond rivière necklace composed of a total of 104.84 carats of brilliant-cut graduated diamonds that are remarkably all D-color, flawless stones. It has a high estimate of $9.3 million. Also of note is a pair of natural pearl earrings that are exceptional for both size and for the matching of shape and color. They carry a high estimate of $3.6 million.

A 13.21-carat Burmese ruby ring (Lot 2075).

A 13.21-carat Burmese ruby ring (Lot 2075).

A flawless, D-color 104.84-carat diamond rivière necklace (Lot 2103).

A flawless, D-color 104.84-carat diamond rivière necklace (Lot 2103).

A pair of exceptional natural pearl earrings called 'Empresses of the Orient' (Lot 2095).

A pair of exceptional natural pearl earrings called ‘Empresses of the Orient’ (Lot 2095).

And herewith, a selection of some of the more colorful and unusual pieces of jewelry hitting the auction block:

Star ruby and sapphire cluster ring (Lot 2041).

Star ruby and sapphire cluster ring (Lot 2041).

Pink sapphire and diamond earrings by Wallace Chan (Lot 1899).

Pink sapphire and diamond earrings by Wallace Chan (Lot 1899).

A jadeite and diamond necklace (Lot 2017).

A jadeite and diamond necklace (Lot 2017).

A spessartite garnet ring by Bulgari (Lot 1893).

A spessartite garnet ring by Bulgari (Lot 1893).

A sapphire and diamond bracelet by Forms  featuring a 12.52-carat Burmese sapphire (Lot 1913).

A sapphire and diamond bracelet by Forms
featuring a 12.52-carat Burmese sapphire (Lot 1913).

A cat's eye chrysoberyl and diamond bracelet (Lot 2042).

A cat’s eye chrysoberyl and diamond bracelet (Lot 2042).

Jadeite, tsavorite garnet and diamond earrings (Lot 1861).

Jadeite, tsavorite garnet and diamond earrings (Lot 1861).

A diamond and (83.71 carats total Burmese) ruby necklace by Bulgari (Lot 1988).

A diamond and (83.71 carats total Burmese) ruby necklace by Bulgari (Lot 1988).

Pink conch pearl and diamond earrings (Lot 2088).

Pink conch pearl and diamond earrings (Lot 2088).

A five-strand diamond bead necklace with carved emeralds (Lot 2050).

A five-strand diamond bead necklace with carved emeralds (Lot 2050).

A purple star sapphire, tsavorite garnet and diamond ring by Wallace Chan (Lot 2048).

A purple star sapphire, tsavorite garnet and diamond ring by Wallace Chan (Lot 2048).

The sale will be held in one session beginning at 1:30pm in the Convention Hall of the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center.