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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

28-Carat Kashmir Sapphire Sets World Auction Record

A 28.18-carat square emerald-cut Kashmir sapphire sold for nearly $5.1 million. It achieved $180,731 per carat, setting a world auction record of a price per carat for a sapphire.

“With its exceptional quality and deep color, I knew as soon as I saw it that the stone had the potential to reach historic heights,” Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York, said in a statement.

The untreated gem on a ring is framed by 32 tapered baguette diamonds with a mounting by Oscar Heyman & Brothers. It is described by the American Gemological Laboratories as “a gem of singular importance.” The proceeds of the sale will go toward charity, according to the auction house.

The sapphire was one of three colored gems that took top honors in Sotheby’s spring auction of Magnificent Jewels held Tuesday in New York.

The top lot of the auction went to a 15.23-carat fancy intense orangy pink diamond on ring that sold for $6.1 million (pictured above). The cushion-cut diamond with VS2 clarity “displays a soft, feminine color reminiscent of pink diamonds in historic and royal collections,” according to the auction house.

In addition, a 36.53-carat emerald-cut Colombian emerald, known as the “El Dorado,” fetched more than $2.1 million (pictured above). Mounted on a ring it is flanked by two triangle-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 6 carats.

Jewelry from the estate of American entertainer Eydie Gorme sold for $2.2 million. Almost all of the jewels in the collection were given to Gorme by her longtime husband and partner, award-winning singer Steve Lawrence. Top lots of this collection included a 15.44-carat platinum and diamond ring that sold for $677,000. The center diamond is flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 3 carats. And a 17.40-carat platinum and diamond ring by Harry Winston that sold for $569,000 (pictured above). The center diamond was flanked by two diamond baguettes. Both sold for well above their high estimate.

Sotheby’s auction of 445 lots fetched more than $44.3 million, with 81.8 percent sold by lot and 87 percent sold by value.

“Our results reflect the global participation of bidders throughout the day, with significant interest from private collectors, as well as the steady, strong market for diamonds and gemstones of outstanding quality,” Schuler said.

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