NEW YORK - An extraordinary type IIa diamond sold for $2,629,000 at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale on December 9, the pinnacle of the day's two jewellery sales which achieved $8,912,188 in total. The unmounted stone weighed 17.82 carats and was a modified pear brilliant-cut. Consigned from a private collection, the diamond more than doubled its pre-sale estimate after a lengthy bidding war.
"Less than 2% of the world's diamonds are type IIa, meaning they contain little - if any - nitrogen. They are considered the most chemically pure of all diamonds, and are renowned for their limpid appearance. This particular diamond was almost like a droplet from a sparkling waterfall," explained Susan Abeles, Bonhams Head of US Jewellery, and Virginia Salem, the Director of the Jewellery Department in New York. "It was a pleasure to offer the diamond after decades in a private collection."
Hundreds of bidders representing almost two dozen countries participated in the Fine Jewellery sale, with notable interest coming from East Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Korea. The Madison Avenue gallery audience was standing room only, as the determined attendees competed with the telephones and those bidding live online. The sale was 88% sold by lot and 82% sold by value.
Diamonds were the order of the day, comprising no less than nine of the top 10 prices achieved for Fine Jewellery. The rainbow array of coloured diamonds on offer attracted significant attention. A 1.12 carat pear shaped, natural fancy intense blue diamond ring tripled its pre-sale estimate to reach $365,000, while a fancy brownish-pink diamond ring, weighing 2.01 carats, more than doubled its estimate to reach $155,000. A fancy intense yellow diamond ring weighing 7.09 carats reached $185,000, while a fancy light yellow diamond ring weighing 7.79 carats achieved $118,750.
Diamond solitaire rings and earrings were also well received. A 5.05 carat diamond solitaire ring from Harry Winston brought $209,000, while a 5.27 carat, E colour diamond solitaire ring with internally flawless clarity realised $293,000. A pair of diamond solitaire earrings, coming from a Charleston, SC estate more than doubled their estimate to reach $125,000.
According to Bonhams Jewellery Department in New York, "We are very pleased with the results today, which confirm the renewed strength of the diamond and fine jewellery market worldwide."
The Fine Jewellery sale on December 9 was immediately followed by the Salon Jewellery sale, which saw excellent prices achieved for diamonds, sapphires, and signed pieces from makers such as Tiffany & Co. and Cartier.
For complete results of the Fine Jewellery sale in New York on December 9, please visit www.bonhams.com/auctions/21035/
For complete results of the Salon Jewellery sale in New York on December 9, please visit www.bonhams.com/auctions/21036/
Bonhams next Fine Jewellery sale in New York will take place in April 2014. For more information please visit www.bonhams.com.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com