‘THE APOLLO & ARTEMIS DIAMONDS’
THE MOST VALUABLE EARRINGS EVER TO APPEAR AT AUCTION
COMPOSED OF A FANCY VIVID BLUE AND A FANCY INTENSE PINK DIAMOND
Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels
16 May 2017
MANDARIN ORIENTAL, GENEVA
‘THE APOLLO BLUE’ ‘THE ARTEMIS PINK’
Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Fancy Intense Pink Diamond weighing 14.54 carats weighing 16.00 carats
Internally Flawless, Type IIb VVS2 clarity, Type IIa
Estimate $ 38 – 50 million Estimate: $ 12.5 – 18 million (CHF 38.1 – 50.2 million) (CHF 12.5 – 18.1 million)
Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva will be led by the ‘Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’. Individually, these captivating diamonds – one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink – are truly exceptional stones and when considered as a pair, they enter a class of their own: the most important earrings ever to appear at auction.
Offered separately as individual lots, ‘The Apollo Blue’ will be presented with an estimate of $38 – 50 million (CHF 38.1 – 50.2m) and ‘The Artemis Pink’ is estimated between $12.5 – 18 million (CHF 12.5 – 18.1m).
Speaking ahead of the sale, David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said, “’The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’ will be the stars of our May sale in Geneva – by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction. These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking.
"We have named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we are honoured that Sotheby’s has been chosen to bring them to auction in May.”
THE APOLLO BLUE
Graded Fancy Vivid Blue by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and weighing an impressive 14.54 carats, the ‘Apollo Blue’ is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever to be offered at auction. It has been cut and polished into a beautiful unmodified pear-shape which flatters its exquisite and truly outstanding colour.
The GIA has also determined that the ‘Apollo Blue’ is a Type IIb diamond – a group which contains less than one half of one per cent of all diamonds. The stone has had an auspicious start to its world tour, having already received many accolades on its exhibition in Hong Kong.
In recent times, the only mine to produce blue diamonds with any regularity is the Cullinan mine in South Africa. When in full production, less than 0.1% of diamonds sourced showed any evidence of blue colour, according to the GIA. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue.
The ‘Apollo Blue’ will be offered as a single lot on 16 May with an estimate of $38 – 50 million (CHF38.1 –
THE ARTEMIS PINK
The ‘Artemis Pink’ stands as an exquisite and rare treasure in its own right, displaying an elegant and delicate Fancy Intense Pink hue. Weighing 16 carats, the stone has been carefully cut into a captivating pear shape, matching the Apollo Blue, which perfectly showcases the stone’s colour and clarity. The GIA has declared the ‘Artemis Pink’ to be a ‘Type IIa’ diamond, describing this category as ‘the most chemically pure type’ of diamonds, which ‘often have exceptional optical transparency’.
The occurrence of pink diamonds remains exceedingly rare: according to the GIA, of all diamonds submitted to their specialists each year, ‘no more than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds; less than 5% of those coloured diamonds are predominantly pink’. Thus, a Fancy Intense Pink stone of such rich colour and impressive size can only be described as phenomenally rare.
The ‘Artemis Pink’ will be offered as a single lot on 16 May with an estimate of $12.5 – 18 million (CHF12.5 –
THE MYTH OF APOLLO AND ARTEMIS
In Greek mythology, Leto (Latona in Latin), daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, had a liaison with Zeus and became pregnant with twins. When Hera, wife of Zeus, discovered this, she forbade Leto from giving birth on terra firma, the mainland, any island or any place under the sun.
Leto eventually found the barren floating island of Asterios, later named Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island, and gave birth there, promising the island wealth from the worshippers who would flock to the obscure birthplace of the splendid god who was to come. Leto gave birth to Artemis, the elder twin, without difficulty, but she laboured for nine nights and nine days with Apollo, according to Homer. In Greek and Roman mythology, diamonds were believed to be the tears of the gods.
Artemis, Diana for the Romans, became one of the most venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. She was the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls. Also referred to as the goddess of the moon, she was often depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrow, and deer and cypress were sacred to her.
Apollo is one of the most important of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros, he has been recognised as the god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, and poetry. In Hellenistic times, as Apollo Helios, he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.
AUCTION MILESTONES FOR PINK DIAMONDS
‘The CTF Pink Star’ ‘The Graff Pink’
Fancy Vivid Pink diamond Fancy Intense Pink diamond
59.60 carats 24.78 carats
Oval Mixed-cut Round-cornered rectangular step-cut
Internally Flawless, Type IIa VVS2 Clarity, Type IIa
Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 2017 Sotheby’s Geneva, November 2010
Sold US$ 71,192,517 Sold US$ 46,158,674
US$ 1,194,505 per carat US$1,862,739 per carat
WORLD AUCTION RECORD PRICE FOR ANY DIAMOND AND ANY WORLD AUCTION RECORD PRICE FOR A FANCY INTENSE PINK
‘The Princie Diamond’ ‘The Unique Pink’
Fancy Intense Pink diamond Fancy Vivid Pink
34.65 carats 15.38 carats
Cushion-cut Pear-shaped, VVS2 Clarity, Type IIa
VS2 clarity, Type IIa Sotheby’s Geneva, May 2016
Christie’s New York, April 2013 Sold US$31,561,200
Sold US$39,323,750 US$2,052,094 per carat
US$1,134,885 per carat
AUCTION MILESTONES FOR BLUE DIAMONDS
‘The Oppenheimer Blue’ ‘The Blue Moon of Josephine’
Fancy Vivid Blue diamond weighing 14.62 carats Fancy Vivid Blue diamond weighing 12.03 carats
Step-cut, VVS1 Clarity Cushion-shaped, Internally Flawless, Type IIb
Christie’s Geneva, May 2016 Sotheby’s Geneva, November 2015
Sold for US$57,541,779 Sold for US$48,468,158
US$3,935,826 per carat US$4,028,941 per carat
WORLD AUCTION RECORD PRICE FOR A BLUE DIAMOND WORLD AUCTION RECORD PRICE PER CARAT FOR ANY DIAMOND AND ANY GEMSTONE
‘The Zoé Diamond’ ‘The Millenium Blue’
Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond weighing 9.75 carats The De Beers Millenium Jewel 4
Pear-shaped, VS1 clarity Fancy Vivid Blue diamond weighing 10.10 carats
Sotheby’s New York, November 2014 Oval, Internally Flawless Sold for US$32,645,000 Sotheby’s Hong Kong, April 2016 US$3,348,205 per carat Sold for US$31,830,766
US$3,151,561 per carat
HONG KONG TAIPEI SINGAPORE LONDON DUBAI NEW YORK GENEVA
AUCTION MAGNIFICENT JEWELS AND NOBLE JEWELS
16 MAY 2017