Christmas has come early for a number of successful buyers at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London today (Sunday 4 December 2016).
The top lot in the sale - an extremely rare Kashmir Sapphire single-stone ring, weighing 14.13 carats, was the subject of fierce bidding on the 'phones, in the salesroom and online, with it eventually going under the hammer for £1,385,000 ($121,000 per carat), against its pre-sale estimate of £600,000 to 800,000.
Jean Ghika, Head of Jewellery for Bonhams UK and Europe, says: "2016 has certainly been the year of the Kashmir sapphire. They have performed well at our auctions in London, New York and Hong Kong and are amongst the most highly prized gems for serious collectors.
"This Kashmir sapphire, weighing over 14 carats and with no indication of heat treatment, is a very rare specimen and there was strong competition from buyers worldwide wishing to add it to their collection."
Diamonds perform strongly
No Christmas sale would be complete without the eternally classic white diamonds. A 12.08 carats Pear-Shaped Diamond single-stone ring, D colour, VVS1 clarity, came from a private collection created in the 1970s and sold to a telephone bidder for £773,000 ($79,000 per carat) against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to 700,000.
An equally impressive 11.17 carats Brilliant-Cut Diamond single-stone ring, E colour, VVS2 clarity, sold for £557,000 ($61,700 per carat) against a pre-sale estimate of £380,000 to 400,000.
Coloured diamonds also proved popular with a 21.33 carats step-cut Fancy Pink-Brown Diamond ring which sold to a telephone bidder for £725,000.
Emeralds attract global interest
Emeralds also took centre stage at the auction, which was taken by Matthew Girling, Bonhams Global CEO and Group Head of Jewellery. These included a 1920s Art Deco Emerald single-stone ring, set with an impressive step-cut emerald weighing 14.70 carats, which sold for £209,000 against its pre-sale estimate of £150,000 to 200,000.
Elsewhere an Art Deco Emerald and Diamond bracelet, by Cartier, circa 1935, was much admired during Bonhams' Fine Jewellery previews in London, Hong Kong and New York. The bracelet, designed with a series of undulating square-shaped links pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds, each centrally set with a cut-cornered step-cut Colombian emerald, sold for £257,000, over three times its pre-sale estimate.
Staying with Cartier, a striking Lapis Lazuli, Onyx, Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond 'Panthère' brooch, circa 1995, also caught the interest of buyers. The "Panthère" is one of Cartier's most famous and enduring jewelled motifs which has been constantly reinvented over the years. The brooch went under the hammer for £173,000.
Van Cleef & Arpels jewellery highly sought after by collectors
Signed jewellery from Van Cleef & Arpels performed extremely well in the sale. Notable lots included:
A Gold and Diamond necklace/bracelet combination, Earclip and Ring suite by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1970. This sold for £60,000 against its pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to 50,000.
A Cultured Pearl, Turquoise, Sapphire and Diamond necklace and Earclip suite by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1975. This sold for £35,000 against its pre-sale estimate of £15,000 to 20,000.
A Gold and Diamond 'Ludo-Hexagone' bracelet by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1937-40. This sold for £50,000 against its pre-sale estimate of £25,000 to 30,000.
Rare Bulgari Serpenti sells at the sale
A rare surviving example of the famed Bulgari Serpenti design bracelet-watch dating from circa 1965 attracted a lot of admirers during the sale previews and was highly sought after. The Enamel and Emerald 'Serpenti' bracelet-watch sold for £60,000.
Eternally elegant pearls
One of the most elegant and classic of lots natural pearls also sold well during the three-hour sale. A Single-Strand Natural Pearl necklace. The 93 natural pearls, graduating in size from 5.3mm to 12.00mm sold for £221,000, against their pre-sale estimate of £80,000 to 120,000.
In total, the Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale achieved £6,809,625, with 95% of lots sold by value.
Details and full information on all 115 lots featured in the sale can be found here.
Bonhams New York Fine Jewellery sale takes place on Tuesday 6th December and Bonhams Knightsbridge sale will take place on Monday 12th December.
Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions annually.
Bonhams Fine Jewellery is also on Instagram on @BonhamsJewels.