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Bonham London’s Fine Jewellery sale sets three new world records
The prices achieved reflect the buoyancy of the market for coloured gem stones of the highest quality: Bonhams
By: Diamond World News Service
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Dec 8 2015 8:55AM
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Reference: 12372  

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Image Courtesy: Bonhams
Image Courtesy: Bonhams
World records went down the hammer at Bonhams London's last Fine Jewellery sale of 2015 which took place on December 5th. The sale attracted strong bidding competition for the two top lots, which both exceeded their high estimates. The lots were – the fancy greyish-blue, 2.97cts step-cut diamond, set in a ring designed by the society jeweller Andrew Grima. It sold for £1,482,500 against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000-700,000. This set a new world record price per carat for a fancy greyish-blue diamond and a new world record for a Grima creation.

The other top lot was a pair of late 19th-century earrings set with two cushion-cut 7.92cts and 7.96cts Kashmir sapphires which were the property of a European Princess. This achieved a sale price of £1,538,500, against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to £800,000.

Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery for UK and Europe at Bonhams, said: "These lots attracted interest from around the globe because of their exceptional quality and rarity. The prices achieved reflect the buoyancy of the market for coloured gem stones of the highest quality."

Overall the sale offered jewellery from celebrated designers including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels. The sale achieved £6.79 million, with 88 per cent of lots sold by value.

There was good competition also seen for rubies from Burma and Madagascar (with no heat). A Belle Époque ruby and diamond pendant circa 1915, set with an exceptional 3.83 cts Burmese ruby, sold for £128,500, triple its high estimate of £40,000. According to Jean Ghika, "This ruby possessed all the hallmarks of a top-quality Burmese gem and was admired for its glowing vibrant red colour. Unheated Burmese rubies of this calibre are increasingly rare to find, hence the participation from international bidders from all four corners of the globe." A 10.28 cts Madagascan ruby single-stone ring sold for £236,500, setting a new world record price per carat. Natural pearls were also much appreciated, with a pair of bouton-shaped natural pearl earrings of approximately 14.63mm and 14.41mm and matched in terms of colour, lustre and shape, sold for £158,500, (pre-sale low estimate of £100,000).

Signed jewellery from Cartier saw bidder interest. An innovative art deco diamond flexible bar brooch, circa 1934, also a rare survivor from a limited period of pre-war production sold for £84,100.

Jean Ghika said: "The market is led by coloured stones and coloured diamonds of the finest quality. Our selected lots performed extremely well and we achieved some outstanding results. We anticipate 2016 to be very much the year of colour. It is exciting to see such wonderful pieces being appreciated by a discerning international clientele."

Daniel Struyf, Senior International Jewellery Director, said: "It was excellent to end the 2015 London Fine Jewellery Sales with three new world records. Our last two sales in Hong Kong and London have demonstrated that the market is strong for coloured gemstones, signed jewellery and pearls. Next stop is our New York Fine Jewellery sale on December 8th, our last international auction of 2015."

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