Sotheby’s achieves near-record jewellery auction

The top price of the day was achieved by a fancy vivid yellow diamond necklace, which sold for ?2.2m.

£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.

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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.”

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