R409m ring & other jewels that smashed auction records in 2017

Auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's are celebrating a dazzling year that saw multiple record-breaking jewelry sales

22 December 2017 - 00:00 By AFP Relaxnews
A model poses with a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond, known as 'The Pink Star', during a Sotheby's media preview in Hong Kong on March 29, 2017.
A model poses with a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond, known as 'The Pink Star', during a Sotheby's media preview in Hong Kong on March 29, 2017.
Image: Anthony WALLACE / AFP

Sotheby's took a total of  $551.3-million (over R7-billion) worldwide - thanks in part to selling four of the five most expensive jewels ever offered at auction.

The company's highlights reel for 2017 includes setting several records, including the world auction record for any diamond or gemstone, thanks to the sale of 'The CTF Pink Star'.

The 59.60-carat diamond made headlines around the globe when it sold for an eye-watering $71.2-million (R906-million) at auction in Hong Kong in April.

It also set a world auction record for earrings, with diamond pieces 'The Memory of Autumn Leaves' and 'The Dream of Autumn Leaves' fetching $57.4-million (R730-million) in Geneva in May.

The earrings, sold as two separate lots, comprised a 14.54-carat blue diamond deemed the largest gemstone in its category ever to be auctioned, and a 16-carat pink gem that was reported to be one of the world's most "chemically pure" diamonds.

"Innovations this year have included the scaling up of our online-only sales, as well as our very successful new Fine Jewels auctions in Geneva, which totaled $8.9-million (R113-million)," said David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman, Sotheby's Jewelry Division, in a statement.

Rival auction house Christie's also feted several major sales, including the largest diamond ever sold at auction. The gemstone, which went under the hammer at Christie's auction house in Geneva back in November, brought in $33.8-million (R430-million).

The auctioneer also oversaw the sale of the Rockefeller Emerald, which realised $5.5-million (R70-million) in New York in June, setting a world auction record price per carat for an emerald, and the ‘Pink Promise', a diamond ring that commanded $32.16-million (R409-million) in Hong Kong last month, setting a new record price per carat for a pink diamond. 

"This has been a stellar year for jewellery at Christie's," said Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewellery at Christie's, in a statement on the company's website. "As we move into 2018, our global team of jewellery specialists looks forward to bringing to market the very best jewels for our clients." 

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