Thursday, May 17, 2018



 The Old and the New Discovered 300 years apart, three diamonds dazzle at Sotheby’s Geneva 

One of the Foremost Historic Diamonds THE FARNESE BLUE Soars to CHF 6.7m ($ 6.7m) after 300 years in the same family 

TWO OF THE LARGEST, PUREST WHITE DIAMONDS EVER TO COME TO AUCTION Sell for a combined total of CHF 17.4 m ($17.4m) 

Both weighing over 50 carats & perfect by all critical criteria Participants from 50 Countries bring today’s Jewellery Sale Total to CHF 85.7 million ($85.6 million) 

Caroline Lang, Chairman of Switzerland auctioneering the Farnese Blue 2 Geneva, 15 May 2018 – 

Tonight, three world-class diamonds, discovered 300 years apart, dazzled in Sotheby’s Geneva jewellery sale. 

One of the foremost historic diamonds known to man, The Farnese Blue, soared to CHF 6,719,750 ($6,713,837), well above estimate (lot 377, est. CHF 3.5 – 5 million / $3.6 – 5.2 million). Given to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, as a wedding present in 1715 and subsequently passed down through four of the most important royal families in Europe, the mesmerising 6.16-carat pear-shaped blue diamond was appearing on the market for the first time this evening, after three centuries in the same family. 

Alongside it were two highly impressive white diamonds, a 51.71-carat round diamond and a 50.39-carat oval diamond which both sold above the high estimate for CHF 9,260,000 ($9,251,851) (lot 350, est. CHF 7 – 7.7 million / $ 7.3 – 8 million) and CHF 8,131,000 / $ 8,123,845 (lot 376, est. CHF 7 – 7.7 million / $ 7.3 – 8 million) respectively. 

Discovered in Botswana, both stones are perfect according to all the critical criteria against which the world’s greatest diamonds are measured. 

They are D-Colour (the most coveted hue for white diamonds), have Flawless clarity and belong to the highly rarefied ‘Type IIa’ group, made up of just 2% of gem diamonds with the highest optical transparency. 

Testament to the increasingly global nature of the market, 50 countries participated in today’s “Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels” sale which also saw strong results for other white and coloured diamonds, signed pieces and jewels with aristocratic provenance and concluded with a combined total of CHF 85,705,050 ($ 85,629,630) (est. CHF 62.5 – 88 million / $62.2 – 87.6 million). 

Speaking after the sale, Daniela Mascetti, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe and Senior International Jewellery Specialist and said: “The timeless appeal of diamonds was reasserted tonight in Geneva, with three exceptional stones cut centuries apart capturing the attention of international collectors. 

"The Farnese Blue is quite simply an unforgettable diamond, and everyone who set their eyes on it was mesmerized by its extraordinary colour: the rich blue of the deepest ocean. 

"As was evidenced by the competition between bidders this evening, the response from collectors has matched our own excitement for this diamond. We were also delighted be the results achieved by the two white diamonds over 50 carats in the sale, whose colour, cut and clarity are synonymous with 21st-century perfection.” 

The sale in figures: 82 % the lots sold 70 % the lots sold above high estimate 650 people registered to take part in the sale 50 countries participated in the sale No fewer than 5 auction records 15 sold above $1 million 

Other highlights in today’s sale include:


 A superb 2.63 carat fancy vivid purplish pink diamond realised CHF 2,415,000 ($2,412,875) – an auction record for a fancy vivid purplish pink diamond. 

It is cut in a round modified brilliant-cut shape, which allows the extraordinary hue and life of the stone to be shown to their full potential (lot 374, estimate CHF 1,920,000 – 2,880,000 / $ 2,000,000 – 3,000,000). 

 An impressive pink sapphire and diamond pendant, set with an oval pink sapphire weighing 95.45 carats brought CHF 2,295,000 ($2,292,980) – an auction record for a pink sapphire (lot 372, est. CHF 580,000-960,000 / $600,000-1,000,000). 

  A Fancy Light Purplish Pink diamond weighing 9.70 carats sold for CHF 2,595,000 / $ 2,592,716, setting a new world auction record price and a world auction record price per carat for a Fancy Light Purplish Pink diamond (lot 363, estimate CHF 480,000 – 675,000 / $500,000 – 700,000). 

 A Fancy Purple-Pink diamond ring weighing 5.04 carats sold for CHF 1,455,000 / $ 1,453,720 setting a new world auction record price and a new world auction record price per carat for a Fancy Purple-Pink diamond (lot 367, estimate CHF 1,160,000 – 1,730,000 / $1,200,000 – 1,800,000). 

 Kashmir Sapphires were high in demand tonight: an opulent 1930s ring adorned with a 4.01-carat gemstone boasting highly coveted “royal blue” colour realised an above-estimate price of CHF 1,815,000 ($1,813,403) (lot 365, estimate CHF 950,000 – 1,430,000 / $ 1,000,000 – 1,500,000) and a beautiful step-cut sapphire weighing 11.64 carats made CHF 1,455,000 ($1,453,720) (lot 351, estimate CHF 830,000 – 1,160,000 / $ 860,000 – 1,200,000). 

PERIOD JEWELS OF ILLUSTRIOUS PROVENANCE In addition to The Farnese Blue, the sale included a selection of very fine period jewels with illustrious aristocratic provenance, which totalled CHF 9.5 million ($9.5 million), far exceeding the pre-sale expectations (est. CHF 5.8-8.5 million / $6-8.7 million). 

 An arresting 19th-century emerald cameo and diamond bracelet generated a great deal of enthusiasm and sold for CHF 250,000 ($249,780), four times the high estimate (lot 303, est. CHF 50,000-60,000 / $50,000-60,000). 


 A gem set and diamond necklace, designed by Cartier in 1930s, a decade in which the illustrious house produced some of its finest and most iconic designs brought CHF 337,500 ($337,203), above estimate (lot 324, est. CHF 200,000 – 300,000 / $ 200,000 – 300,000). 

 Animals and birds have long been a central theme in Cartier’s creations, going back as far as the First World War. A delightful ‘Parrot’ ring, set with a cushion-shaped very light pink diamond weighing 3.77 carats achieved CHF 275,000 ($274,758) (lot 337, estimate CHF 200,000 – 385,000 / $ 200,000 – 400,000). 

 A fabulous example of the iconic “Zip” necklace designed by Van Cleef and Arpels in the 1950s – widely regarded as the period of their greatest influence – sold for ten times the estimate at CHF 507,000 ($506,554). 

Thanks to its innovative design, the necklace set with diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds can also be worn as a bracelet and is paired with matching ear clips (lot 325, estimate CHF 50,000 – 65,000 / $50,000 – 70,000). 


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