New York arm to host event after demand for specialised gem auction.
Bonhams New York is set to host the first auction of gems, minerals and lapidary works of art by an international auction house, after recognising “a need for such a specialised auction”.
The auction house will sell an array of gem and mineral items, including two large consignments of gemstones from retired jeweller Robert Wander and a London-based stone dealer, which will include packets of gemstones – in particular spinels – of all different colours and carat weights.
Bonhams gemmologist and co-consulting director of its natural history department, Claudia Florian, said: “In recent years we have seen a watershed phenomenon of baby boomers inheriting a great number of gemstones which they desire to dispose of and yet have few outlets to do so.
“There is an increasing demand for an auction in this niche field and the quantity of property consigned recently was so abundant that it warranted its own auction. Much of the auction is to be offered without reserve.”
The first of the two main lots consists of gemstones purchased by US jeweller Robert Wander over three decades but were never used in his jewellery collections. He worked under the name of his company, Winc Creations, and is known for his cutting style called mirror-faceting, which incorporates a large table facet and virtually no crown facets, allowing a view into the interior of the gemstone.
The second main collection of gemstones to be auctioned comprises more than 60 lots and is property de-accessioned by a London stone dealer who had a fifty-year career specializing in the sale of fine quality rubies, sapphires and spinels.
The stones will be sold in parcels sorted by size and can be used as side or accent stones or in pavé settings. Bonhams says it expects the parcels will attract designers and jewellers alike because of “their beauty and enticing prices”.
Both of these collections are to be sold without reserve to the highest bidders.
Another section of the sale will be dedicated to the 100 Carats Club, where stones will be sold that are considered too big to mount in jewellery but will look impressive as “cabinet specimens”.
This section will include citrines, smoky quartzes, aquamarines, a 250ct grape-purple amethyst, a stunning 1,300ct blue topaz and an exceptional peridot of 232ct.
Rare natural pearls compose will also be up for auction, including a set of brilliant orange Melo pearls from Vietnam, conch pearls from the Caribbean and a rare white tear-drop pearl from a giant clam shell.