Sotheby’s recent Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction held in Geneva on May 13th 2014, set a new record for jewellery sales topping a staggering £84 million. The auction’s success has been attributed in part to the sale of a 100 carat yellow diamond known as The Graff Vivid Yellow which brought in over £8 million by itself. This stunning gem is likely to precipitate an increase in demand for fancy coloured diamond engagement rings.
The previous record, held by Christie’s, was set in 2011. The historic sale of the jewellery collection that once belonged to Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor was auctioned by Christie’s and at the time brought in a record £82 million.
Sotheby’s record was very nearly missed altogether due to a buyer’s confusion about currency conversion. The buyer eventually requested that the bidding be restarted after the stunning yellow diamond was initially pulled from the sale due to disappointingly low bids. The ring, which will surely spur the sale of many yellow diamond engagement rings, eventually sold for £8 million even though this still missed the low estimate point of £9 million.
Vashi Dominguez, a London-based on-line gem dealer commented that, “Fancy colour diamonds are more volatile and risky from a value standpoint, but also have greater opportunity for significant returns compared with the broader diamond market.” He went on to mention that, “within fancy colour diamonds, generally pink commands the highest prices, followed by blue, and yellow on the other side of the spectrum.”
The notable Sotheby’s auction also set per carat records for fancy pink diamonds and round colourless ones, which are one of the most popular types used in diamond engagement rings. Gems of these colours brought in sale prices ranging from £3.7million to over £4 million.
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