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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rivière ‘Triple X’ Necklace Tops $1.2 Million At Bonhams Auction

Photo by Anthony DeMarco

A diamond rivière necklace with 51 “Triple X-cut” rated diamonds sold for $1.2 million (including premium) at Bonham’s New York Fine Jewelry sale. It was the top item of the sale held Monday by the international auction house.

Triple X (also known as “Triple Ex”) is an informal designation, mostly within the trade, that means a diamond that has received excellent polish, symmetry and cut grades. Only round and round brilliant cut diamonds can receive this designation.


Each diamond in the necklace is accompanied by a Gemological Institute of America report that states it’s three excellence grades. The graduated line of 51 round brilliant-cut diamonds weighs more than 70 carats. They are joined together by a heart-shaped diamond clasp weighing 2.04 carats. The diamonds are mounted in platinum.

Even though the necklace commanded a seven-figure price, it sold below its $1.4 million - $1.8 million estimate.

There were a number of items that failed to sell along with some pieces that shattered estimates. In many ways it reflected the inconsistent spring auction season for jewelry, which quietly came to an end.

Colored gems, very popular in recent years, did well, as well as Art Deco and Belle Époque and Art Deco pieces. Signed pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier and Tiffany & Co. also saw mixed results. Several colorless diamonds rings sold well.

Susan Abeles, Bonhams director of US Jewellery, was pleased with a number of sales throughout the auction.

“Color I think was outstanding,” she said following the auction. “Emeralds and other fine colored stones did very well. We saw more interest in large round diamonds. Beautiful signed items retained their value and worldwide interest.”

Among the top sellers were:

Photo by Anthony DeMarco

* A 25-carat sapphire and diamond ring by the M. Gerard French jewelry house (pictured above) sold for $581,000, beating its high estimate. The richly colored crystal sapphire’s unusual octagonal cut makes this a very rare find. The sapphire is flanked by triangular-cut diamonds and is mounted in 18k gold.


* Emerald and diamond earrings, each suspended by an emerald bead (30 carats total) with a yellow gold cap and topped with two round brilliant-cut diamonds (3.80 carats total) that sold for $118,750. Nearly double its high estimate of $60,000.

* Two diamond rings sold for the identical price of $106,250. A 3.51-carat cut-cornered rectangular step-cut diamond on a ring flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds and mounted in platinum. The other was a ring centered by a 7.37-carat round diamond set in 18k gold and platinum.


* Early in the auction a turn of the century imperial topaz and diamond pendant brooch, circa 1900 (pictured above), centered by an oval cushion-cut imperial topaz and suspended by a detachable imperial topaz briolette sold for $87,500, totally smashing its high estimate of $9,000.

* A fancy colored diamond and sapphire ring designed as a pavé-set diamond with a geometric plaque that sold for $52,500, within its estimate. The plaque centers a lozenge brilliant-cut light gray-blue colored diamond weighing 0.92 carat with acalibré-cut sapphire surround;


* A colorful black opal ring (pictured above) flanked by diamonds and mounted in platinum sold for $16,250, smashing its $7,000 high estimate.

Among the items that were passed by bidders were:

* A 3.56-carat cut-cornered, rectangular-cut fancy intense pink diamond on a ring with an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, enhanced by a pavé-set diamond surround and mounted in 18k white and yellow gold;

* A ring designed as a pavé-set diamond star with an oval modified brilliant-cut fancy deep blue diamond in the center, which weighs 0.71 carat (est. $250,000 - $350,000);

* A 5.02-carat cut-cornered, square modified brilliant-cut fancy yellow diamond on a ring flanked by fancy-cut diamonds within a pavé-set diamond surround (est. $50,000 - $60,000).

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