A 28-carat sapphire engagement ring fetched the second-highest price in an auction held at the world-famous auction house Sotheby’s, earlier this month.

The jewel, which consists of a Kashmir sapphire surrounded by diamonds, set a new price-per-carat world record for this type of stone, selling for over $5 million (roughly £3 million), which adds up to around £181.000 per carat. The reason for the ground-breaking value obtained by this jewel has to do with the scarcity of sapphire jewellery in the current market, particularly stemming from the mine this particular gem was culled from. The stone itself was appraised by experts as being of ‘once in a generation’ quality, justifying the high price it eventually sold for.

This sapphire engagement ring first came into Sotheby’s possession in 1983, trading at the time for a total of $640.000 (£383.000), already a lofty price for the time period, but nothing compared to the price the jewel fetched in this latest auction.

The jewel in question was, however, only one of several to do well at the event. Coloured gems in particular sold steadily, and while none fetched outlandish prices, most traded at a fair price. Even usually less valuable stones were able to benefit from this phenomenon, as diamonds between five and 15 carats saw a fair bit of business. In addition, the only stone to be able to beat out the sapphire engagement ring was a diamond, in this case a fancy orangey-pink diamond which brought in around $1 million (roughly £598.000) more than the Kashmir gem, topping the auction at just over $6 million (£3.58 million).

Also a highlight of the auction was a collection of twenty gems belonging to singer and entertainer Eydie Gorme. This collection sold for roughly $2.2 million (£1.34 million) and included a number of large diamonds, including one weighing in at approximately 16 carats.

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