Coloured gemstone prices soar in Bonhams sale

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Auctioneers Bonhams is celebrating the success of its first fine jewellery sale of 2015, highlighting the importance of emeralds, rubies and sapphires and pieces by Chanel.

The sale, which took place on April 22, demonstrated a huge appetite for coloured stones, with fierce bidding taking place in the salesroom, on the telephone and online from buyers across the globe.

The fine jewellery sale achieved £4.34m, with 83% sold by value and 128 lots going to new owners.

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Highlights included a 21.27ct sugarloaf cabochon Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring (pictured) with a pre-sale estimate of £50,000-£80,000. It sold for £290,500, more than three times its estimate.

Additionally, a 17.97ct Burmese sapphire and diamond ring also sold for three times its pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £60,000, achieving a final selling price of £182,500.

Another star performer at the auction was an exceptionally rare retro citrine-set twist necklace by Chanel (circa 1954-71). The signed piece was hotly contested with buyers from the UK, Europe and the US fighting it out in the sale room, online and on the telephone.

The piece outstripped its pre-sale estimate by more than ten times selling for £68,500 to Hancocks, London, the well-established jeweller that specialises in rare and collectible jewels.

Jewellery from the 1970s by Andrew Grima continues to be very much in demand by collectors and private buyers. Two pieces by Andrew Grima featured in the auction. A gold and diamond-set ‘super shell’ necklace sold for £15,000 and an 18ct gold, wood opal and diamond pendant and ring (circa 1972/73) sold for £8,750.

Jean Ghika, Bonhams head of jewellery for UK and Europe, says: “We achieved outstanding results across the board which underlines the buoyancy of the market.

“The sale performed exceptionally well and generated strong interest from buyers in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia. I was particularly delighted to see many of our coloured gemstones sell so well, some by up to 10 times their pre-sale estimate, which is an excellent indication of how strong the market is.

“The sale also reinforced the enduring appeal and strong demand for good quality, signed pieces of jewellery such as the Chanel necklace which sold for more than ten times its pre-sale estimate.”

Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions annually. It has tracked a significant increase in the price per carat achieved for coloured gemstones in its auctions over the last decade and has proclaimed 2015 as the year of the coloured gemstone.

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