|Courtesy of Sotheby's|
A mismatched pair of fancy colored earrings, offered as individual lots, will lead Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, May 16 at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva. Together the auction house says they make up the most valuable set of earrings ever sold at auction.
“The Apollo Blue,” a 14.54-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, will be presented with an estimate of $38 – $50 million and “The Artemis Pink,” a 16-carat fancy intense pink diamond, has an estimate of $12.5 – $18 million.
“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,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division. “These exquisite colored diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking.”
They are named after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities.
The pear-shaped Apollo Blue is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever to be offered at auction, Sotheby’s said. It was graded as a Type IIb diamond, which amounts to less than 1% of all diamonds. In recent years, 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 color, according to the Gemological Institute of America, which graded both diamonds and issued reports on them. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue.
The pear-shaped Artemis Pink, graded by the GIA as a Type IIa diamond, describing this category as “the most chemically pure type” of diamonds. 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 colored diamonds; less than 5% of those colored diamonds are predominantly pink’.
“Thus, a fancy intense pink stone of such rich color and impressive size can only be described as phenomenally rare,” the auction house said.
Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet, the Forbes website and on Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork