Sapphires soar at Bonhams

Bonhams sapphire

Sapphires and diamonds from Harry Winston achieved top prices under the hammer at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London yesterday (20 April 2016).

Bidders in the New Bond Street saleroom, online, and on the telephones, competed for 129 lots during the auction which achieved £4.98 million with 88% lots sold by value.

Gracing the front cover of the sale catalogue and headlining Bonhams London’s first Fine Jewellery sale of the year was a 15.52ct step-cut diamond single-stone ring by Harry Winston. The diamond – D colour and VVS2 clarity, potentially flawless – attracted interest from across the globe and went to a telephone bidder for £1,094,500 against its pre-sale estimate of £700,000- £900,000.

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A striking pair of marquise-cut and pear-shaped diamond earrings, also by the famed American jeweller, proved popular with bidders. The earrings, totalling 25.37 carats, were the subject of fierce bidding, eventually selling for £266,500 against their presale estimate of £150,000-£200,000.

Sapphires Soar

A striking Kashmir cabochon sapphire, weighing 7.13cts, was one of the sale’s star performers, selling to a telephone buyer for £506,500 against its pre-sale estimate of £50,000-£70,000. The unheated sapphire, set in a ring surrounded by old brilliant-cut diamonds, boasts the coveted ‘Royal Blue’ colour, a term reserved only for the very best examples of these rare gemstones.

Another Bonhams’ client was tickled pink after successfully bidding for a rare ovalcut pink sapphire from Burma, weighing 17.15cts. This was much admired during Bonhams’ jewellery previews in Geneva, New York, Hong Kong and London ahead of the sale. The sapphire, set in a ring by Cartier, sold for £140,500 against its pre-sale estimate of £30,000-£40,000.

Elsewhere in the sale, an antique cushion-shaped diamond bangle featuring 13 graduated diamonds, including a central 9.50ct fancy yellow diamond, sold for £206,500, while a private collection of bird brooches by Cartier proved popular with bidders. Collected during the 1960s, each of the five birds featured a different gemstone. The collection reached a total of £123,750.

Jean Ghika, head of Bonhams Jewellery for UK and Europe, says: “The sale performed exceptionally well, generating interest from buyers in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia.

“We were delighted to see our headline lots achieve strong prices, demonstrating that top quality diamonds, coloured gemstones and signed jewels remain highly desirable.”

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