Appraisal News

The Top 10 Jewelry Auction Sales So Far in 2016

July 28, 2016

New York–So far, 2016 has been one for the record books when it comes to the auction world.

This spring auction season achieved more than $800 million in sales between the months of March and July, according to a recent article from the Gemological Institute of America. Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the two largest auction houses for high-end gem and jewelry sales, broke last year’s half-year record by more than $140 million.

Fancy colored diamonds and colored gems continued to set records across the world as they hit the auction block, with one blue diamond, the “Oppenheimer Blue” becoming the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction in May.

And that hasn’t been the only notable blue stone to go up for auction this year. In fact, in the top 10 lots alone in the first half of 2016, five were fancy blue diamonds.

There also was a 15.38-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond that sold for more than $31 million, as well as the “Aurora Green,” which set the world auction record for a green diamond. Rounding out the top 10 were two ruby pieces and a pair of earrings featuring two fancy vivid orange-yellow oval diamonds.

Had Lesedi la Rona sold at auction, it would’ve topped the list–the 1,109-carat rough diamond was estimated at $70 million, but bidding at the June 29 auction held by Sotheby’s London didn’t reach the reserve price.

Here’s what the jewelry auction world has been up to so far in 2016, with the top 10 lots in descending order.

1_Oppeinheimer_Blue 1. The rectangular-cut 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, the largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever sold at auction, also became the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction when it garnered $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in May.
2_Millennium_Diamond 2. The10.10-carat De Beers Millennium Jewel 4, one of the dozen rare diamonds De Beers assembled to mark the year 2000, sold for $31.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in April.
3_Unique_Pink 3. The 15.38-carat Unique Pink, a fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond, sold for $31.6 million, or about $2.1 million per carat, at Sotheby’s Geneva in May. The largest and most expensive fancy vivid pink pear-shaped diamond ever offered at auction went to an unnamed buyer from Asia.
4_Cullinan_Dream 4. The 24.18-carat fancy intense blue diamond dubbed the Cullinan Dream sold for $25.4 million at Christie’s New York last month. Flanked by baguette-cut diamonds totaling 2.36 carats, the stone now is the largest, most expensive fancy intense blue diamond offered at auction, according to Christie’s.
5_Pear_Blue 5. This 7.32-carat, internally flawless pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond ring went for $17.1 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May.
6_Aurora_Green 6. The Aurora Green, a 5.03-carat fancy vivid green diamond, garnered $16.8 million when it hit the auction block at Christie’s Hong Kong in May, becoming the most expensive green diamond ever sold at auction. Hong Kong-based manufacturer and retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery purchased the stone.
7_Jubilee_Ruby 7. The oval-shaped 15.99-carat Jubilee Ruby, set in an 18-karat gold and platinum Verdura ring, sold for $14.2 million at Christie’s New York in April, making it the most expensive colored gemstone ever sold at auction in the United States.
8_Reza_Brooch 8. This brooch from Alexandre Reza features a marquise-shaped fancy intense blue diamond weighing 6.64 carats, two pear-shaped fancy intense blue diamonds weighing 2.01 and 1.01 carats and similarly shaped white diamond accents. It sold for $13.7 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May.
9_Ruby_Earrings 9. This pair of ruby and diamond ear pendants, weighing 10.02 carats and 9.09 carats, set a world auction record for a pair of ruby earrings when they went for $11.6 million at Christie’s Hong Kong in May.
10_Oriental_Sunrise 10. This pair of earrings, dubbed The Oriental Sunrise, garnered $11.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in May. Each earring features a fancy vivid orange-yellow oval-cut diamond, weighing approximately 12.20 and 11.96 carats, a marquise-cut diamond link and an oval-cut diamond surmount.