The spring auction season concluded in New York City with two astounding sales at Christie’s and Sotheby’s. Both auction houses presented smaller, well curated sales that highlighted signed jewels and important stones.
Christie’s Garners $62 Million
Christie’s sale led with the 31 lot Magnificent Jewels of Anne Eisenhower, granddaughter of the late U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ms. Eisenhower was an interior designer with a refined eye for elegance and design and her jewels exemplified her sense of style. The top lot of that portion of the sale was the Van Cleef & Arpels Jarretière ruby and diamond bracelet that Marlene Dietrich purchased from the jeweler in 1937; it sold for $4,527,000 (all prices include buyer’s premium).
The Light of Peace
The sale continued with another 122 lots, some from private collections. The top lot from this part of the sale was the 126.76-carat, D/Internally Flawless, Type IIa The Light of Peace diamond which sold for $13,635,000 ($107,565 per carat). The bidding started in the sale room with a dealer who was vying for the stone along with a couple of phone bidders. It ultimately went to one of the phone bidders. The super stone was formerly owned by the Zale Corporation, which used it to raise money for charitable causes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this stone will be donated to the USA for UNHCR the UN Refugee Agency.
According to Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery for Christies:
“We had $62 million of live jewelry sales followed by $4 million of online jewelry sales, demonstrating the continued strength of the jewelry market. Diamonds, colored stones, and natural pearls all remain at very healthy levels and signed jewels in particular outperformed pre-sale estimates by many multiples.”
Sotheby’s Sets New Records
The next day at Sotheby’s the sale totaled a whopping $95.9 million, for 98 lots, the highest total for any jewelry auction ever staged at Sotheby’s New York. The total was powered in part by the sale of two spectacular gems.
Estrela de Fura
The sale room noticeably filled up in anticipation of the highly publicized Estrela de Fura, an impressive 55.22-carat Mozambique ruby — the largest to ever come to auction — forecast to sell for over $30 million. After some competitive bidding, it was purchased by a private collector in the Middle East, for $34.8 million ($630,288 per carat) establishing a new world auction record for a ruby as well as for any colored gemstone ever sold at auction.
Eternal Pink Diamond
The second stone tying for the top spot in the sale was the 10.57-carat internally flawless fancy vivid purplish pink Eternal Pink Diamond. It set a world auction record for a purplish pink diamond, also selling for $34.8 million setting a new record price per carat of $3.3 million, a history-making sum predicted in April. It’s the first time two gems have sold for over $30 million in the same sale.
Quig Bruning, Head of Sotheby’s Jewels, Americas & EMEA Concludes:
“We witnessed the historic sale of not one, but two of the most exquisite and important gemstones to ever hit the auction block. Today’s results are further proof that there is continued demand for the finest diamonds and gemstones of the very highest order.”