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Friday, February 6, 2015

Christie’s, Sotheby’s Combine for $1.35 Billion in 2014 Jewelry Sales

The Zoe Diamond, 9.75-ct fancy vivid blue sold for $32.6 million at Sotheby’s

Wealthy investors, jewelry lovers and businesses continue to place their money into collectible jewelry, buying up statement diamonds, gems and pearls as well as signature jewelry collections.

The world’s largest auctions houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, reported record 2014 results in their jewelry departments, combining for more than $1.35 billion in total sales.

The results speak of the demand for high-quality baubles as well as the economic uncertainty and geopolitical tensions throughout the world. Jewelry seems to be one of the few places where the wealthy feel comfortable placing their money.

Christie’s year was the most impressive as the auction house reports a record total of $754.7 million in 2014, saying it is the highest annual result ever achieved for jewelry at any auction house. The total also represents an 11 percent year-over-year increase. Christie’s Geneva led the company’s jewelry sales with $304.4 million total.

The results for the year included 149 jewels that sold for more than $1 million, including seven jewels that sold for more $10 million, 24 jewels that sold above $5 million and 72 jewels that sold for more than $2 million.

The Winston Blue, 13.22-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid blue flawless diamond sold for nearly $23.8 million

Christie’s most valuable sale in 2014 was The Winston Blue, a 13.22-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid blue flawless diamond, sold at Christie’s Geneva in May for nearly $23.8 million, or nearly $1.8 million per carat. It was acquired by the luxury jewelry brand, Harry Winston.

Its other biggest sale also occurred at Christie’s Geneva—this time during the November sale. The Blue Belle of Asia, a 392.52-carat Ceylon sapphire, sold for nearly $17.3 million, a record for any sapphire ever sold at auction.

Meanwhile, Sotheby’s reports that 2014 jewelry totaled $602.5 million—the third consecutive year of record sales for the auction house. The total represents a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase.

The results for the year include 77 jewels that sold for more than $1 million, with 69 percent of all sold lots exceeding their high estimates.

Among the two largest sales for 2014 was the Zoe Diamond, a 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue diamond from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, which sold for $32.6 million at Sotheby’s New York in November. The stone set world auction records for any blue diamond and for the price-per-carat for any diamond, at more than $3.3 million per carat.

The other large sale was the Graff Vivid Yellow, at 100.09 carats, one of the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world. It sold for $16.3 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November, setting world auction records for any yellow diamond and for any jewel by Graff.

The Cartier Hutton-Mdivani Necklace sold for more than $27.4 million.

Jadeite also did well for Sotheby’s Hong Kong. Its best sale in this category for the year was the Cartier created Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, which sold in April for more than $27.4 million, setting auction records for any jadeite jewel, for any non-diamond jewel and for any Cartier jewel and the second highest auction price for any jewel in 2014. It was purchased by The Cartier Collection.

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