Dec 18, 2017

Strong Year for Jewellery Auctions with Many Records Set Say Christie’s and Sotheby’s

The two major auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s both had an extremely strong 2017 with many new records set in the jewellery category, according to separate statements released by both of them.

Both companies staked claim to being crowned the global leader in the jewellery auction segment for 2017 with Christie’s stating that total sales stood at $ 556.7 million, of which Live Auction Sales accounted for $ 547.8 mn and Online Auction Sales standing at $ 8.9 mn. On the other hand, Sotheby’s reported sales of $ 551.3 mn from auctions during the year.

Both companies also recorded a number of new jewellery auction records. Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Jewelry, Christie’s said, “Nine new world record prices were achieved at our sales worldwide driven by intense competition from collectors who bid at the highest levels for important diamonds, rare gems and jewels, and superb objects. We also saw immense growth in our Online sales which encouraged clients to enjoy the auction experience at all price points. As we move into 2018, our global team of jewelry specialists look forward to bringing to market the very best jewels for our clients.”

Among Christie’s record breaking sales was the world record total for a single-owner  collection of Art Nouveau and Art Deco Jewelry, 100% sold, totaling $12,430,343; World auction record for any D-color flawless diamond with the sale of de Grisogono’s 163.41 carat D Flawless diamond; record price per carat for a pink diamond with the sale of The Pink Promise; and the sale of Le Grand Mazarin, most historic diamond ever sold at auction.

Similarly, Sotheby’s reported major milestones such as the World Auction Record for any Diamond or Gemstone with the sale of “The CTF Pink Star” for $ 71.2 million;  the World Auction Record for Earrings and a variety of different coloured diamonds.

David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman, Sotheby’s Jewellery Division said, “2017 has been an exceptionally successful year for Jewellery at Sotheby’s, with all four selling centres – Geneva, New York, Hong Kong and London - performing very well. Innovations this year have included the scaling up of our online-only sales, as well as our very successful new Fine Jewels auctions in Geneva, which totalled $ 8.9 million. We were also very pleased to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our dedicated sales of Noble Jewels in Geneva.”

The Company said that its auctions saw participation from 103 countries with 32% of buyers being first time bidders with Sotheby’s. It said that 23% of lots were sold to online buyers, which included the most expensive jewellery lot bought online – a 12.81-carat diamond ring, which sold during the Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auction in Geneva on 16 May for $ 1,219,011.

Pic caption: The largest D flawless diamond ever offered at auction was part of this de Grisogno necklace which fetched a record price at Christie’s