Buyers Continuing to Pay Top Prices for Colored Diamonds, Natural Pearls and Signed Pieces
A selection of outstanding diamonds, natural pearls and important signed pieces were the highlights of the Fine Jewelry Sale that took place on the 8th December at Bonhams, New Bond Street. The sale realized £4.1 million with 82% sold by lot and 90% sold by appraise.
Jean Ghika, Director of the Jewelry Department comments, "We are delighted with such a fantastic result, ending an exceptional year of Fine Jewelry sales at Bonhams. With sale totals up 70% on 2010 and the most expensive lot sold in the UK this year (a diamond and blue diamond crossover ring by Bulgari that realized £1.9 million), Bonhams has re-affirmed its position as UK market leader in jewelry."
In a difficult economic climate the jewelry market is stronger than ever and Bonhams has received much attention from international clients, who are keen to purchase top quality jewelry. Jean comments, "Over the past year we have certainly seen increasing interest in tangible assets such as diamonds. We are aware that our clients are very discerning, selective and considered, and want to be sure of the quality of the pieces they are buying. As a result, clients are prepared to pay high prices for pieces that are the very best of their type, whether 19th century antique jewelry, art deco pieces or GIA certified diamonds."
Exceeding the presale estimate at £150,000 – 200,000 a cut-cornered step-cut diamond ring, weighing 9.06 carats sold for £289,250 after much enthusiastic bidding in the room and on the telephone. The largest diamond in the sale, a brilliant-cut diamond ring weighing 24.47 carats, sold for £253,250.
A rare, un-mounted, cushion-shaped diamond of fancy intense bluish-green, weighing 3.64 carats, sold for £253,250. Colored diamonds are the rarest of all diamonds and the term "fancy" is used to describe a diamond of intense color.
Interest in natural pearls shows no signs slowing down, with buyers continuing to compete for highly sought after pieces. A pair of rare natural pearl and diamond pendent earrings estimated to sell for £40,000 – 60,000, realized £193,250. The large pearl drops (12.95mm and 11.05mm) were suspended from a brilliant, single and baguette cut mount.
The antique jewelry section of the sale also achieved very strong prices. A 19th century emerald and diamond girandole brooch sold for £34,850, over double the presale estimate of £10,000 – 15,000. A copper and gold Shakudo necklace and earring suite circa 1860, depicting various scenes of birds, sold for £63,650 and a rare 19th century pink topaz and diamond brooch sold for £32,450.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son and Neale UK. 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 five throughout the UK. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Boston in the USA; Toronto, Canada; and France, Monaco, Hong Kong, Australia and Dubai. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 57 specialist areas. By the end of 2009, Bonhams had become UK market leaders in ten key specialist collecting areas.For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.