Wednesday, May 14, 2014



Sotheby’s Geneva Sets
The Auction of Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels Totals CHF 125.5 million ($141.5 million / €103 million)

Seven Records set, including
The ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’ sells for CHF 14,501,000
($16,347,847/ €11,904,321)

Two Diamonds over 100 carats,
Exceptional Gems and Jewels with Important provenance Attract Buyers from over 30 countries

Geneva, 13 May 2014 - Today, Sotheby’s Geneva set a world record for a jewellery auction. The sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels totaled an outstanding CHF 125,507,450 ($141,492,079 /€103,032,964) (est. CHF 82.4-125.5 million/ $92.9-141.5 million). In total, seven records were established. 

A record for a yellow diamond was established when the sensational ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’, an exceptional 100.09 carat daffodil yellow diamond ring sold for CHF 14,501,000 ($16,347,847/ €11,904,321). This gem of extraordinary beauty, fire and brilliance is one
of the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world.

Following today’s sale, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland and Chairman of the Jewellery Department for Europe and the Middle East, commented: “100 carats is a magical number when it comes to diamonds. 

With its exceptional size and a superb daffodil colour, the Graff Vivid Yellow is a truly extraordinary diamond with immense presence. These rare qualities led to the record price achieved tonight. 

Throughout the day, we witnessed intense bidding from all corners of the globe for exceptional diamonds, gemstones and signed jewels. Once again, fine pieces with important provenance were highly sought after. 

We were particularly pleased by the excitement surrounding were Suzanne Belperron’s creations, which further confirms her reputation as one of the greatest jewellery designers of the 20th century”.

Today’s star lot, the ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’ eclipsed the previous record at $12,361,558 established by the Sun-Drop (renamed The Lady Dalal) at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2011*. 

Estimated at CHF 13,400,000- 22,300,000 ($15,000,000- 25,000,000), the ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’ (lot 507) is listed as one of the few rare yellow diamonds greater than 100 carats in Ian Balfour’s reference book Famous Diamonds, published in 2008.

Exceptional Diamonds
In addition to the ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’, the sale featured an exceptional offering of important diamonds. Colourless diamonds were high in demand tonight, with a stunning 70.33 carat cushion brilliant-cut diamond, D Colour, flawless, Type IIa selling for CHF 12,597,000 ($14,201,354) (lot 500, est. CHF 10,700,000-14,300,000 / $12,000,000-16,000,000).

Tonight’s sale was marked by the sale of another diamond weighing over 100 carats. A spectacular diamond ring by Graff, set with a 103.46 carat round brilliant-cut diamond sold for CHF 4,309,000 ($4,857,794). 

Like the ‘Graff Vivid Yellow’, the gem, which is one of the largest known round diamonds, appears on the list of the ‘World’s Largest Cut Diamonds’ in Ian Balfour’s Famous Diamonds’ (lot 506, est. CHF 3,200,000-4,460,000 / $3,500,000-5,000,000).

The selection of coloured diamonds comprised a delightful ring of toi et moi design, set with two potentially flawless diamonds: one a Fancy Vivid Blue of 3.08 carats and the other a Fancy Intense Blue weighing 2.83 carats. The exquisite jewel realised CHF 5,765,000 ($6,499,230) (lot 526, est. CHF 3,570,000-6,200,000 / $4,000,000-7,000,000).

A Fancy Pink diamond ring, claw-set with a marquise-shaped stone weighing 12.07 carats sold for CHF 6,437,000 ($7,256,816) and set a record price per carat for a Fancy Pink diamond at $601,228 (lot 522, est. CHF 3,570,000-6,200,000 / $4,000,000- 7,000,000).

Coloured Gemstones
Today’s auction also included a rich assortment of exceptional gemstones, led by a very important ruby and diamond ring, set with a cushion-shaped ruby weighing 12.46 carats which made CHF 3,301,000 ($3,721,415) (lot 461, est. CHF 2,500,000- 4,250,000 / $2,800,000-4,800,000).

A fine example of Kashmir sapphires was found in an important sapphire and diamond ring, set with a 10.96 carat cushion-shaped sapphire which realised CHF 1,565,000 ($1,764,318) (lot 492, est. CHF 1,100,000- 1,400,000 / $1,200,000-1,600,000).

Natural Pearls
Throughout the day, natural pearls performed extremely well, with many lots selling for many multiples of their high estimates. An important natural pearl and diamond necklace sold for CHF 2,629,000 (2,963,829 USD), more than eight times the pre-sale high estimate (lot 505, est. CHF 225,000 - 315,000/ $250,000-350,000).

Jewels with Important Provenance
Jewels from the Collection of Flora Sassoon
The subject of strong interest, jewels with royal, noble and important provenance performed very well today. 

Among them were jewels from the collection of the Indian-English businesswoman and philanthropist Flora Sassoon (1859–1936) which almost tripled pre-sale expectation and totalled CHF 2,973,000 ($3,351,642/ €2,440,628) (est. CHF 844,500-1,346,500/ $850,740-1,356,451). 

The selection was led by a ravishing diamond necklace which achieved CHF 1,085,000 ($1,223,186/ €890,710) (lot 459, est. CHF 360,000-625,000 / $400,000-700,000).

Suzanne Belperron Jewels from the Collection of Madame Picha-Eisenstein
Sotheby's Geneva has led the market for Suzanne Belperron jewels since the sale of the jeweller’s personal collection in 2012. Today, the woman widely recognised as the greatest female jewellery designer of the 20th century was notably represented by jewels from the Collection of Madame Picha-Eisenstein. 

As for the 2012 auction, all 19 pieces presented today found a buyer, bringing a combined total of CHF 916,850 ($1,033,620/ €751,565), more than doubling the pre-sale high estimate (est. CHF 304,500-430,500 / $306,750-433,681). 

Leading this group was a diamond cuff bracelet, ‘Mon Bracelet’, 1942, composed of three tapered bands set with circular-cut diamonds which realised CHF 158,600 ($178,799/ €130,200) (lot 249, est. CHF 37,000-50,000 / $40,000-53,000). 

The sale also included a superb diamond-cuff bracelet, 1940s from a private collection, which sold for CHF 353,000 ($397,958/ €289,789) (lot 465, est. CHF 110,000-165,000/ $120,000-180,000).

The Necklace of the “Fastest Woman in the World”
A fragment of aviation history was brought to life through a gold and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels from the collection of Jacqueline Auriol (1917-2000), which achieved CHF 245,000 ($276,203/ €201,128), more than 10 times the pre-sale low estimate (lot 432, est. CHF 20,000-30,000 / $22,000-33,000). 

A great beauty, Jacqueline Auriol was one of the most daring pilots of the 20th century. France’s first female test pilot, she not only became the first European woman to break to sound barrier, she was also named “the fastest woman is embellished with a gold Mystère IV fighter jet and a line of graduating circular-cut diamonds.

World auction record price per carat for a round colourless diamond at $246,710
Very Important Diamond ring weighing 25.32 carats, D Colour, Internally Flawless, Type IIa (lot 487)

Sold for CHF 5,541,000 ($6,246,702) - $246,710 per carat
Previous record set by a 28.86 carat brilliant-cut diamond, D colour, Flawless
Sold for $6,907,692 ($239,352 per carat) at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April 2014

World auction record for a yellow diamond
The 'Graff Vivid Yellow', Sensational and Rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring, Graff. 

Cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond, weighing 100.09 carats, VS2 Clarity (lot 507)
Sold for CHF 14,501,000 ($16,347,847)

Previous record set by the Sun-Drop diamond (renamed “The Lady Dalal”) – a fancy vivid yellow pear-shaped diamond weighing 110.03 carats

Sold for CHF 11,282,500 ($12,361,558) - $112,347 per carat at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2011

World auction record for a Jewel by Graff
The 'Graff Vivid Yellow', Sensational and Rare Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring, Graff. 

Cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond, weighing 100.09 carats, VS2 Clarity (lot 507)
Sold for CHF 14,501,000 ($16,347,847)
Previous record set by a 5.00 carat cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink ring, Graff
Sold for HK$83,540,000 ($10,776,660) - $2,155,332 per carat at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2009

World auction record price per carat for a Fancy Pink diamond at $601,228

Very Fine Fancy Pink diamond ring, weighing 12.07 carats, Internally Flawless (lot 522)
Sold for CHF 6,437,000 ($7,256,816) - $601,228 per carat to David Morrison, London Jeweller

Previous record set by a 8.59 carat a Fancy Pink diamond ring, JAR
Sold for HK$ 27,540,000 ($3,571,938) - $415,825 per carat at Christie’s Hong Kong in November 2012

World auction record price per carat for a Fancy Light Pink diamond at $393.071
Fine Fancy Light Pink diamond ring, weighing 10.11 carats, VS2 Clarity (lot 525)
Sold for Sold for CHF 3,525,000 ($3,973,944) - $393.071 per carat

Previous record set by an unmounted 5.08 carat brilliant-cut Fancy Light Pink diamond
Sold for $280,807 per carat at Sotheby’s New York in November 2012

World record for a various owner jewellery sale at $143,135,770
Previous record at $111,836,526 set by Sotheby’s Geneva in May 2012
World record for a jewellery sale at $143,135,770

Previous record: $137,235,675 set by the Elizabeth Taylor sale at Christie’s in December 2012

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