Unseen Heights of Sotheby’s Geneva

Sotheby’s Geneva jewelry auction boosted the total to unseen heights when a 24.78-carat pink diamond sold for $46 million. What does a $100 million dollar auction and $1,862,739 per carat for a diamond tell you about the economy? Estimated to sell between $27 and $38 million, this modified emerald-cut fancy intense pink diamond was last sold at auction by Harry Winston 60 years ago and is now owned by Laurence Graff, who bid invisibly through Patti Wong, Sotheby’s chairman in Asia.
Graff was accompanied by rigorous competition ‘four bidders competed vigorously from $25 million and the bids quickly mounted,’ until the stone was sold.

Sotheby’s sold an additional $58,893,054 worth of jewels and gems to buyers from 30 countries representing four continents. Reportedly 59 percent of the lots exceeded their presale high estimates, showing great depth and strength of the market and of Sotheby’s ability to source and sell jewels.

Sotheby’s chose classic invisibly set ruby flower jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels to grace the cover of their catalog, the brooch of which fetched $426,135, soaring above the $120,000 to $180,000 estimate while the matching earrings were equally impressive, selling for $329,355 over an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. With significant sales now taking place in London, Paris and other European venues, buyers have the opportunity to buy in their home markets, avoiding tax import duties, which also impact where jewelry will be offered. A consigner in London is best served by having their jewelry sold domestically but enthusiastic bidding by Asians and Americans made this auction a truly global event led the way by European buyers.

When you note that the richest 1% of America totals more net worth than the bottom 90%, it becomes clear that not only is there hard-core oil-exploration, land-grab and water rights claims being fought over but there is also a considerable asset-grab, not least amongst which are sizable and very rare diamonds. The ultra-wealthy are positioning themselves to maintain their wealth through the upcoming depression and you would be advised to understand why such hard assets will be amongst just a few items that maintain their value throughout the upcoming hyper-inflationary decade.

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