Sotheby’s New York sale of Magnificent Jewels saw its highest total ever for an April sale bringing in $39,367,350. Seven of the top ten lots each soared past $1 million and bidding sometimes became so frenetic that even the auctioneer lost track of the action as multiple bidders on the phone, in the room and online competed fiercely for their lots.
The top lot of the sale was a 30.52ct D color and VVS1 clarity emerald-cut diamond which sold for $3,386,500, an astounding $110,960 per carat. The second top lot of the sale was a 3.18ct internally flawless ‘fancy vivid-blue’ marquise diamond, notable not only for its pure color, but also because it was used as the center stone in a paved open work floral design ring. It sold to an Asian private for $3,274,5000, an impressive $1,029,717 per carat.
Rapaport suggests that perhaps it was the sunshine and the feel of spring in the air, but buyers were in the mood to spend on the rare and the beautiful. How about the fact that their $US are rapidly depreciating in value? Could this possibly account for the fact that jewelry dealers and diamond dealers alike left their offices and made the trek to the Upper East side to be at the sale in person and the trade jumped into the action often winning the bidding battles that were frequent throughout the sale? I wonder, did anyone mention inflation? Is this a dirty word in journalism today? A number of museum caliber pieces, colored gems and natural pearls were highly desired and bidding for each item took as long as ten minutes, although bidding for diamonds was quicker and more decisive with solid, but not over-the-top prices garnered.