A new world record for any jewellery auction was set yesterday when Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva realised $175,097,419 (£121,324,718), eclipsing the previous record of $160.9m (£111.4m) also set by Sotheby’s in the equivalent sale last year (May 2015).
The sale was led by the striking ‘Unique Pink’, a supremely rare Fancy Vivid Pink diamond weighing 15.38 carats that sold for an exceptional $31,561,200 (£21,866,287).
Speaking after the sale, David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, commented: “Exactly one year after having set the world record for a jewellery sale, Sotheby’s Geneva has raised the bar once again with a great sale and a great result for the Unique Pink.
“It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term vivid pink than this outstanding stone. The colour is simply astonishing and, for its size, it is in my experience truly unique. We set out to curate a sale that would speak to today’s collectors and the response has been overwhelming – confirmation, if ever it were needed, that when you have the right material, demand is as deep as it’s ever been. This was a sale that had the perfect mix of great gemstones and jewels, the vast majority of which were sourced from private collections.”
83% of the goods at the auction were sold by lot. Three lots sold for over $10 million, while six lots sold for over $5m.
The auction also saw a new record for an online purchase in a live auction at Sotheby’s. Lot 462, a pair of Important pear-shaped fancy blue and fancy orangy pink diamond earrings totaled $6million (£4m). In addition there was a 41$ increase in the number of ltos sold online compared to the equivalent sale last year.
The seller of the most expensive polished diamond ever sold at auction (the Blue Moon of Josephine, Nov 2015) was also the person behind selling the Unique Pink at Sotheby’s Geneva.
Ehud Laniado, chairman of Cora International, seller of The Blue Moon and The Unique Pink, said:
“I am truly delighted that Cora International has brought a third record-breaking diamond to auction. The Unique Pink is the largest Fancy Vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered and sold at auction. In November 2015, we sold the exceptional 12.03-carat Blue Moon Diamond for a record of $48.5 million to become the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction. Back in 2011, Cora International sold the Sun-Drop Diamond, which remains the largest known pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond to be sold at auction.”