Sotheby’s New York Spring Jewelry Auctions, consisting of three component sales, offering over 400 lots, held on April 18 and 19, 2018, registered total sales of USD 34.8 million, with a rare 3.47-carat fancy intense blue diamond ring offered at the Magnificent Jewels Sale and estimated at USD 2.0 – 2.5 million selling for a much enhanced value of USD 6,663,300 million, setting a new world auction record price-per-carat for a blue diamond of USD 1,920,259. While the auction total realized by THE MAGNIFICENT JEWELS SALE was USD 26.2 million, the second component of the sale, THE JEWELER’S EYE: THE PERSONAL COLLECTION OF FRED LEIGHTON, realized USD 2.8 million and the third sale, FINE JEWELS, realized USD 5.8 million
Commenting on the results of THE MAGNIFICENT JEWELS SALE Gary Schuler, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division, Americas commented: “Our results affirm that the auction market continues to flex its strength in top-quality diamonds, important gemstones and jewels with distinguished provenance. We are proud to continue the long line of exceptional blue diamonds at Sotheby’s, with the sale of the Fancy Intense Blue diamond, that soared to $6.7 million after competition from three bidders. Online bidding and buying also contributed significantly to our total, including the historic Emerald and Diamond Necklace by Tiffany & Co. formerly in the collection of Betsey Cushing Whitney, which we were honored to auction again 20 years after the original sale of her collection.”
Top lot of THE MAGNIFICENT JEWELS SALE, A RARE FANCY INTENSE BLUE DIAMOND RING, assigned LOT 138 was set with a cut-cornered rectangular step-cut, I1 clarity, Fancy Intense Blue diamond weighing 3.47 carats, and sold for a much enhanced price of USD 6,663,300 which was more than three times the lower estimate of USD 2.0 million and 2.7 times the upper estimate of USD 2.5 million. This works out to a price-per-carat value of USD 1,920,259 which is a new world auction record price-per-carat for a blue diamond.
LOT 137 – DIAMOND BRACELET – with an estimate of USD 1,000,000 – 1,500,000, was the 2nd highest selling lot of the sale, which sold within the estimate for USD 1,395,000. The 7-inches (17.8 cm), platinum bracelet, stamped PT950, is designed as a line of 22 alternating cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamonds and cut-cornered rectangular step-cut (emerald-cut) diamonds, with a total weight of 72.96 carats.
LOT 115 – DIAMOND RING, TIFFANY & Co. – was the 3rd highest selling lot of the sale. The size 5, platinum ring set with a rectangular step-cut/emerald-cut, D color, VS1 clarity but potentially Internally Flawless diamond weighing 13.70 carats, sold for USD 1,155,000 which was twice the lower estimate of USD 600,000 and 1.5 times the upper estimate of USD 800,000.
Among the colored stone lots two lots that performed significantly well were lots 135 and 53. Lot 135 – AN EXCEPTIONAL EMERALD, with an estimate of USD 400,000 – 600,000, was the 4th highest selling lot of the sale. The unmounted emerald-cut emerald weighing 6.33 carats, has a slightly bluish-green hue, medium tone and strong saturation, with notably high clarity, a few inclusions faintly visible under 10X magnification. Both GIA and AGL certified that the emerald is of Classic Colombian origin, with no indications of clarity enhancement. It is very rarely one comes across an emerald without clarity enhancement, which means oil treatment. Perhaps it is because of this rare feature of the emerald that the unmounted emerald sold for an enhanced price of USD 1,095,000 which was 2.7 times the lower estimate of USD 400,000 and 1.8 times the upper estimate of USD 600,000.
LOT 53 – AN IMPRESSIVE KASHMIR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING, CIRCA 1920 – is the other colored gemstone lot, that performed exceptionally well at the auction and was the 5th highest selling lot of the sale. Ring size 6¼, circa 1920 white metal ring, is claw-set with a cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire weighing 11.24 carats, accented by numerous single-cut diamonds on the upper hoop of the ring. The sapphire presents a very pleasing outline and a richly saturated velvety blue with no apparent color zoning Both AGL and GGL certified that the sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating. The lot sold for USD $999,000 which was 3.33 times the lower estimate of USD 300,000 and twice the upper estimate of USD 500,000. The price-per-carat value of this sapphire works out to USD 88,879.
The 6th highest selling lot of the sale assigned LOT NO 134 titled AN EXQUISITE EMERALD AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, TIFFANY & CO., was a historic jewel with celebrated provenance that once belonged to the estate of Betsey Cushing Whitney, hailing from one of the most prominent American families in modern times that once sold as Lot 91 at a Sotheby’s New York Sale, 20 years ago, on October 19, 1998. The 14 inches (35.6 cm) choker length platinum necklace signed Tiffany & Co. is composed of a line of 16 marquise-shaped diamonds alternating with 16 step-cut emeralds. Total weight of emeralds approximately 5.60 carats, with a medium slightly bluish-green color, slightly to moderately included, some with surface reaching inclusions and minor abrasion, visible under 10x magnification.
The second component of Sotheby’s New York Spring Sale, was THE JEWELER’S EYE: THE PERSONAL COLLECTION OF FRED LEIGHTON – that realized a total sale of USD 2.8 million.
The personal collection of Fred Leighton, representing his philosophy to collect the beautiful and eclectic, bidders eagerly vied for pieces evocative of the celebrated jeweler’s unencumbered eye and exceptional taste. Largely formed by his extensive travels around the world, the jewels on offer spanned centuries of design and featured a wide-range of materials including moonstone, demantoid garnets, rubies, emeralds and many more.
A Gold, Turquoise and Diamond Grande and Petite Repeating Desk Clock with Alarm by Cartier led the sale when it sold for $275,000 – over three times its high estimate of $80,000.
LOT 209 – DIAMOND NECKLACE-BRACELET COMBINATION, CHAUMET, FRANCE – was the 3rd highest selling lot of the Fred Leighton sale, which sold within the estimate of USD 80,000 – 120,000 for USD 112,500. The circa 1930, 15.25 inches (38.7 cm), Art Deco platinum necklace, detachable into five segments for variety of wear, with French assay marks for platinum and partial maker’s marks for Chaumet, is composed of geometric links set with old European, single-cut and baguette diamonds. Total weight of diamonds approximately 40.00 carats, average color-grade G-I color and clarity-grade VS clarity.
LOT 386 – RUBY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, MARCHAK, FRANCE – with an estimate of USD 60,000 – 80,000 was the 4th highest selling lot of the Fred Leighton sale, which sold for an enhanced price of USD 100,000, 1.7 times the lower estimate of USD 60,000 and 1.25 times the upper estimate of USD 80,000. The circa 1950, 15 inches (38 cm) choker length platinum and 18k yellow gold necklace, signed Marchak, with French assay and workshop marks is composed of braided gold ropework, interspersed with baguette diamonds, embellished with carved rubies and floral motifs set with ruby beads and round and baguette diamonds
The third component of Sotheby’s New York Spring Sale was the FINE JEWELS sale, that realized a total sale of USD 5.8 Million. Commenting on the results of the Fine Jewels Sale, Kendall Reed, Head of Sotheby’s Fine Jewels in New York, said, “We are absolutely thrilled with the results of today’s sale, which closed out the jewelry season in New York with a stellar 87% of lots sold. There was tremendous competitive bidding for jewels by established makers like Cartier, David Webb and Van Cleef & Arpels, including no fewer than 18 bidders for the Cartier Sapphire and Diamond Ring, the top lot of the sale and the top price ever achieved in our Fine Jewels auctions in New York. It’s very encouraging to see the response to jewelry offered across all price points, which attracted a broad international group of buyers.
Top lot of the FINE JEWELS SALE, was LOT 613, SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING, CARTIER, PARIS, a classic Ceylon Sapphire and Diamond Ring by Cartier, Paris, which generated a bidding competition between no fewer than 18 bidders, achieving the top price ever recorded in a Fine Jewels auctions held in New York. The lot sold for a much enhanced price of USD 879,000 which was seven times the lower estimate of USD 125,000 and 5.9 times the upper estimate of USD 150,000. Ring size 6¼, platinum ring signed Cartier Paris, numbered 010634, with French assay marks for platinum and workshop marks, is set with a cushion-cut Ceylon/Sri Lanka blue sapphire weighing 52.89 carats, the mounting highlighted with round and marquise-shaped diamonds. The sapphire is a medium intense very slightly violetish-blue, slightly included with minor abrasions. AGL report no. 1089983 states that the sapphire is of Classic Ceylon origin, with no indications of heating.
LOT 617 – DIAMOND, RUBY AND SAPPHIRE RING – is the second highest selling lot of the sale, registering a price of USD 162,500 which is 1.6 times the lower estimate of USD 100,000 and 1.3 times the upper estimate of USD 125,000. The Van Cleef & Arpels designed platinum ring of ring size 5¼, the shank made of three separate bands soldered together, the central band signed V.C&A. and Stamped PLAT, has as its centerpiece a colorless round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 7.16 carats, highlighted by a surround of five circular-cut and two square-cut diamonds, three circular-cut rubies and two circular-cut sapphires.
The 3rd highest selling lot is a ruby lot, assigned LOT NO. 612 and titled RUBY AND DIAMOND RING, which sold for USD 100,000, five times the lower estimate of USD 20,000 and 3.33 times the upper estimate of USD 30,000. Ring size 5¼, iridium-platinum ring, stamped IRID PLAT, has as its centerpiece an oval-shaped ruby weighing 6.77 carats highlighted by a circular-cut diamond surround. The ruby is a medium deep-red, moderately included with some surface-reaching inclusions.
Total weight of circular-cut diamonds approximately 4.75 carats; average color-grade F-G color and average clarity-grade VVS-VS clarity. Fitted with an internal sizing band. AGL report no. 1089984 states that the ruby is of Thai origin, with no indications of heating.
LOT 752 – DIAMOND RING – is the 4th highest selling lot, selling above the estimated range of USD 40,000 – 60,000 for USD 93,750. Ring size 5½, Iridium-Platinum alloy ring stamped 10% IRID. PLAT on the shank, is set with an emerald-cut diamond weighing 7.91 carats, flanked by two tapered baguette diamonds on the shoulders of the ring. GIA report no. 5181907069 in respect of the emerald-cut, 7.91-carat diamond states that the diamond is K-color and VS2 clarity.
LOT 699 – GOLD AND DIAMOND RING – with an estimate of USD 50,000 – 70,000 is the 5th highest selling lot of the sale, selling above the estimated range for USD 87,500. Ring size 6¼, 18k yellow gold ring of rope design, stamped 18k, is set with a round brilliant-cut colorless diamond weighing 5.03 carats. Gross weight of ring approximately 13 dwts. GIA report no. 2195168053 in respect of the 5.03-carat, round brilliant-cut diamond, states that the diamond is G-color and SI1 clarity.