£25m raised by sales show strong appetite for exquisite jewellery.
Sotheby’s New York sales of Magnificent Jewels and Always in Style, a one-owner jewelry collection, exceeded pre-auction estimates to achieve a combined total of US$39.6 million (£25.7 million) on Wednesday.
The sales had been expected to achieve a pre-sale high estimate of US$35.3 million (£22.9 million).
The Magnificent Jewels sale brought US$34.7 million (£22.5 million) and was 92 percent sold by value and 84 percent sold by lot with colored diamonds, colored stones, and pieces with exceptional provenance dominating the most sought after lots.
The Always in Style: 150 Years of Artistic Jewels collection brought a total of US$4.9 million (£3.2 million) above the pre-sale high estimate of US$4.4 million (£2.9 million) and was 90 percent sold by value and 87 percent sold by lot. The top price of the day was achieved by a fancy vivid yellow diamond necklace, which sold for US$3.6 million (£2.2 million), beating its pre-auction estimate of US$2 million to US$3 million (£1.3 million to £1.9 million).
Lisa Hubbard, chair of Sotheby’s international jewelry department, north and south America said: “The various owners sale today brought the second highest total ever for a Magnificent Jewels auction in New York.
"Having travelled with the highlights around the world for the last two months, it’s clear this is a global market with buyers seeking top quality stones and special pieces wherever they are offered.”