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!

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Boucheron Adds to the Animal Collection

Boucheron Animal Collection Hera Sapphire Ring

Each year, Boucheron expands its whimsical Animal Collection and this year it is two exotic birds. The Hera rings, peacocks rendered in white diamonds or blue sapphires, can be worn together for a majestic statement across the hand, and the newest Nuri ring, an Indonesian parrot, features white diamonds with a sparkling emerald eye.

Boucheron Animal Collection Hera Diamond Ring

Boucheron Animal Collection Nuri Diamond Ring

Anniversary Edition Quatre Ring by Boucheron

Boucheron Quatre Anniversary White

Following up the haute joaillerie collection Hôtel de la Lumière, the celebration of the 120th anniversary of opening shop on the Place Vendôme continues for Boucheron. Only available to buy at the 26 Place Vendôme boutique in Paris, two special editions of the iconic Quatre ring have been created with four tiers in either white or yellow gold and a band of diamonds. Given that the Hôtel de la Lumière collection was nearly all-white, my choice for the occasion would have to be the white metal version!

Boucheron Quatre Anniversary Yellow

Fall 2013 Auction Schedule

118.28 carat diamond sold by Sotheby's in Hong Kong (Reuters).

118.28 carat diamond sold by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong (Reuters).

The Fall 2013 major jewelry auction season opened yesterday with the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong. The main highlight of the $95 million total sale was the white 118.28-carat internally flawless D-color diamond that set a world auction record for price of a white diamond at $30.06 million. It was the largest white diamond ever offered at auction. What was expected to be another auction highlight did not turn out so well, as the 7.59-carat vivid-blue round diamond known as the ‘Premier Blue’ failed to sell. Other top lots included a double strand of jade beads that sold for $5.5 million and a ruby ring by Cindy Chao that sold for $3.8 million.

'Premier Blue' diamond.

‘Premier Blue’ diamond.

Jade double-strand necklace.

Jade double-strand necklace.

Cindy Chao Ruby Ring

Cindy Chao Ruby Ring

Following up this sale is a Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva on November 13, where a pink diamond is expected to set a new record. The ‘Pink Star’ is a 59.60-carat internally flawless, vivid-pink diamond (the highest color-rating for pink) that is already being called the world’s most valuable gemstone. Keeping in mind that the current auction record for any stone is held by the Graff Pink, which is less than half the size at 24.78 carats and was sold in 2010 for $46.2 million by Sotheby’s in Geneva, it is very likely that a new record will be set with this truly one-of-a-kind gem. See a video about the stone here. Another interesting piece hitting the block is the famous ‘Walska Briolette Diamond’ brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, which features a vivid-yellow 96.62-carat briolette diamond that once belonged to opera singer Ganna Walska. The brooch can be disassembled, with the diamond becoming a pendant, the wings separating as earrings and the tail as another brooch. It is expected to fetch around $8 million.

Also on the calendar is another Magnificent Jewels sale in New York on December 11.

The 59.60-carat Pink Star Diamond Ring (REUTERS/Ruben Sprich)

The 59.60-carat Pink Star Diamond Ring (REUTERS/Ruben Sprich)

Van Cleef & Arpels Walska Briolette Diamond Brooch.

Van Cleef & Arpels Walska Briolette Diamond Brooch.

Meanwhile at Christie’s there are a number of interesting pieces going up for auction this fall. In New York on October 15 will be the Magnificent Jewels auction, which will have a number of very high value colored diamonds, a Van Cleef & Arpels brooch of the Argentine flag that once belonged to Eva Perón, and pieces from the collections of Newport grand dame Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel and San Francisco society queen Diana Dollar Knowles.

While never officially confirmed, the nearly 20-ctw Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring being offered as Lot 194 is heavily rumored to be Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring from short-term husband Kris Humphries. The uncanny resemblance and matching description of the ring certainly makes it a compelling case. Kardashian is no Elizabeth Taylor, but the celebrity caché will likely lift the selling price over the $300,000-$500,000 estimate.

Following New York are sales in Geneva (November 12) and Hong Kong (November 26).

Van Cleef & Arpels Brooch once the property of  Eva Perón (Lot 392).

Van Cleef & Arpels Brooch once the property of Eva Perón (Lot 392).

David Webb Earrings from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 363).

David Webb Earrings from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 363).

David Webb Bangle from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 373)

David Webb Bangle from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 373)

David Webb Brooch from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 358).

David Webb Brooch from the Estate of Mrs. Noreen Stonor Drexel (Lot 358).

Ruby and diamond necklace from the Estate of Diana Dollar Knowles (Lot 44).

Ruby and diamond necklace from the Estate of Diana Dollar Knowles (Lot 44).

Boucheron necklace from the Estate of Diana Dollar Knowles (Lot 32).

Boucheron necklace from the Estate of Diana Dollar Knowles (Lot 32).

Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring (Lot 194).

Lorraine Schwartz diamond ring (Lot 194).

Kim Kardashian wearing her Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring.

Kim Kardashian wearing her Lorraine Schwartz engagement ring.

Bonhams joins in on October 17 in New York with a fine jewelry sale featuring a light pink 8.06 carat pear-shaped diamond, a large selection of Jean Schlumberger pieces (most made for Tiffany & Co.), and items from the estate of Margaret Nielsen Stiegele, daughter of the creator of the Nielsen television rating system. Highlights from the Stiegele collection are a William Goldberg diamond bracelet, a circa 1935 emerald and diamond bracelet by Cartier, and an emerald and diamond brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels. During the preview for this sale, pieces from the collection of Barbara Taylor Bradford going up for auction December 5 in London will be available for viewing (see a video here on that sale).

Also on the calendar for Bonhams are sales in Hong Kong (November 23) Sydney (November 26) London (December 5) and again in New York (December 9).

Pink 8.06 carat diamond at Bonhams October 17 New York Auction (Lot 283).

Pink 8.06 carat diamond at Bonhams October 17 New York Auction (Lot 283).

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Ring (Lot 95)

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Ring (Lot 95)

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Bracelet (Lot 112)

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Bracelet (Lot 112)

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Brooch (Lot 96)

Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Brooch (Lot 96)

Star Sapphire Bracelet circa 1935-1940 from the Estate of Margaret Nielsen Stiegele.