Last year's jewelry sales brought leading auction houses Sotheby's and Christie's a total of more than a billion dollars. A significant part of these sales, including the world records, were made by Hong Kong, which confirms the role of Asian buyers in the warming up of the jewelry market. As in the previous year, the historical highest price was set by pink and blue colored diamonds.
Despite Sotheby’s falls slightly behind its competitor on overall jewellery final prices, the auction house owns the world record of the most expensive piece of jewellery sold at an auction: a 59.6-karat saturation pink diamond. The pure stone, dubbed “The Pink Star,” went under mallet for more than $71 million at the April auction in Hong Kong. Chow Tai Fook, chinese conglomerate, claims ownership of this diamond, and is still the largest seller to jewellery retailers. In 2013, “The Pink Star” went for $83,187,381, however, the gambler, who had then dubbed it “Pink Dream,” overestimated his capabilities and was not able to pay for the diamond. Star was then in storage at Sotheby’s until 2017. The price of the untreated stone, with an initial weight of 132.5-karats, was $56 million. It was originally extracted from De Beers field in South Africa in 1999.
Sotheby’s employees sighed with relief when a pair of earrings were separated for auction purposes, but then were bought by one bidder. The 16-karat saturated pink diamond, “Artemis,” and the 14.54-karat blue diamond, “Apollo,” brought the auction house $57.4 million, setting a new historical record in the price of earrings.
The "First Creation" necklace, holding the largest diamond in the world (163.41-karats, originally a historical 404-karats) was sold at Christie's auction in Geneva for $ 33,701,000. This highest-transparency Angolan nugget is the largest emerald cut diamond ever to appear at an auction. To create this necklace, 14 masters of De Grisogono production spent a total of more than 1,400 hours. 1% of the proceeds went to the Brilhante Foundation, which deals with positive social changes in the primal areas of Angola.
This ring, holding a 14.93-karat pink diamond, is one of the rarest in the world in color- the brightest pink- and purity. Christie’s dubbed it the "Picasso in the world of pink diamonds," and it reached an auction price of $31,861,000 and set a new price record for the karat value of a pink diamond- $ 2.13 million.
In 2017, a new price record for wrist watches was also set. This Rolex Daytona watch belonged to actor and race car driver, Paul Newman, and the bidding began at a million. The watches in a steel case, sold for $17,800,000, and was given to Newman by his wife, actress Joan Woodward, with the words: "Drive Carefully - Me." Part of the proceeds went to Paul Newman's daughter’s charity fund- the Nell Newman Foundation.
The largest diamond in the form of a heart is 92.15 karats and among the first to appear at an auction, setting a record price for a stone of this cut at Christie's auction in Geneva. The elegant pearl necklace of the jewelry company Boehmer et Bassenge went under the hammer for $15 million.
A light pink 19.07-carat diamond sold at the Sotheby's November auction in Geneva for $14.4 million, perhaps the piece with the richest royal provenance. For its three-century history, “Le Grand Mazarin” was in the possession of namesake and first minister of France, Giulio Mazarini, and later was passed onto at least 7 different royals, including the “Sun King” and Napoleon I.
The price record for a single owner’s collection was set in November at the Christie’s auction in Geneva. At the auction "Gorgeous Jewelry from the European Collection," 100% of the presented decorations in the style of art nouveau and art deco were sold. The necklace, designed by Rene Lalik, is decorated with diamonds, pearls and enamel. It became the most expensive adornment of art nouveau in the world and Lalik’s most expensive creation, having sold for $978,480.
Colored diamonds were not the only jewellery pieces to set price records in 2017- In June, a new price cap for 1-Karat of emeralds was set at $305,000 in New York. The 18-karat emerald ring was bought by the Harry Winston jewelry firm for $ 5.5 million for its museum in New York.
Every year, jewelry and watches set new records, which are difficult to imagine. The growth of collectibles markets in 2017 only confirms the idea that in 2018, the trend will continue.
After all, this market has a high percentage of profitability, low volatility and stable growth without reaction to foreign economic factors. This makes jewellery and watches not only a wonderful gift and a unique specimen of jewellery art, but also a reliable direction for alternative investments.