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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Updated: Fancy Colored Diamond Earrings Sell For World Record $57.4 Million


The Apollo and Artemis fancy colored diamond earrings sold for $57.4 million—a world record for earrings sold at auction.

The mismatched earrings were sold separately and were the top two lots at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale Tuesday.

The 14.54-carat, pear-shaped Apollo Blue was the big prize of the pair. It sold for more than $42.08 million (including buyers premium), within its estimate of $38 – $50 million.

Meanwhile, the 16-carat, pear-shaped Artemis Pink, sold for more than $15.3 million (including buyers premium), within its estimate of $12.5 – $18 million.

The two diamonds are named after the twin brother and sister who are among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities.

Update: Sotheby’s said later in the evening that both diamonds were purchased by the same person, who was not identified. “I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division and chairman of Switzerland, said following the sale.

The 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 Artemis Pink is a fancy intense pink diamond 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 is exceedingly rare. According to the GIA, of all diamonds it grades each year, “no more than 3% are classified as colored diamonds; less than 5% of those colored diamonds are predominantly pink.”

Other updated information:

In other news from the Sotheby’s sale, a 7.04-carat diamond by Piaget sold for more than $13.2 million, setting auction records for a fancy intense purplish pink diamond and for the price per carat for such a diamond at more than $6 million per carat.

The sale for the first time held at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva, totaled more than $151.5 million, well above the presale estimate in the region of $100 million, with a sell-through rate of 90%. Three lots sold for more than $10 million and five sold for more than $5 million. Two-thirds of the lots sold above high estimate.

Other notable results from the auction include:

* Gem and jewels from a “Superb Private Collection” of diamonds and gemstones as well as signed jewels from iconic jewelry houses, doubled presale estimates to realize a combined total of $15.9 million and a sell-through rate of 96%. Items include the following:

- A 32.42-carat pear-shaped diamond ring by Harry Winston doubled its low estimate to realize more than $3.3 million;
- An emerald and diamond ring by Harry Winston achieved five times its estimate selling for $929,465; and
- A ruby and diamond brooch and ear clips by Van Cleef & Arpels which sold for a combined total of $477,551.

* A ruby, onyx and diamond bracelet by LaCloche, circa 1925, soared above estimate to achieve $748,498.

* A jadeite onyx, ruby and diamond pendant brooch by Cartier, Circa 1925, formerly in the collection of Mona, Countess von Bismarck, sold for $374,500, more than double its high estimate.

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