Jewels for Hope auction totals £24m for 32 charities and companies.
Christie’s Geneva last week held an auction of jewellery owned by Lily Safra, the Brazilian philanthropist, with 100% of the items sold by value totalling £24m, and two world records broken.
The money raised by the auction will be donated in full to 32 charities and organisations.
The top lot of the sale was a 32.08ct cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Chaumet – also known at the Hope Ruby – sold for US $6,742,440 (£4.2m), against an estimate of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000, setting a new world record price for any ruby sold at auction.
A collection of 18 jewels by JAR – Joel Arthur Rosenthal – was the largest ever seen on the market from a single-owner collection, sold 100% by lot and by value, totalling $11,473,920 (£7.3m), becoming the most valuable private-owner collection of JAR jewels ever sold at auction.
Of the lots sold, four items sold for more than $2 million (£1.3m) and seven lots went under the gavel at more than $1 million (£634,179).
Lily Safra commented on the auction: “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who participated in this evening’s success. I am overjoyed, knowing that so many people in need around the world will benefit.
“Like the jewels sold tonight, these extraordinary organizations make the world a more beautiful place, and it is a great privilege to be able to support them. I am also delighted to announce that due to the success of the auction, 12 additional organizations will each receive $1 million in support of their work”.
The 32 charities and organisations set to benefit from the auction include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Hope and Homes for Children Romania, Royal Opera House London and the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.
Rahul Kadakia, head of Christie’s Geneva and New York jewellery departments, commented: “After having achieved a world record total for a jewellery charity auction, Mrs. Safra received a standing ovation as she walked into the saleroom at the end of the sale to thank every buyer and bidder who contributed to this evening’s great success.
"Christie’s is proud to have been part of such a major philanthropic event”.