Christie’s Geneva Auction: 202-ct Yellow Diamond Tops Season with $6.6 Mn Sale

The recent Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction showcased a stunning array of luxurious pieces, headlined by an extraordinary 202-carat yellow diamond. This remarkable gemstone captivated collectors and connoisseurs alike, ultimately selling for an impressive $6.6 million. This sale not only highlights the diamond’s exceptional beauty and rarity but also crowns it as the top-selling jewel of the Geneva season, setting a new benchmark for excellence and opulence in the world of fine jewellery.

The Magnificent Jewels auction in Geneva totalled $54,215,662, with deep bidding from a full saleroom, on the phones and online, and was 97% sold by lot and 98% sold by value.

Max Fawcett, Head of Jewels Europe commented: “There is nothing better as an auctioneer than a full and engaged sale room, and to achieve such strong results — 97% by lot and 140% of the low estimate — is remarkable. The market for coloured gemstones and signed jewellery is on fire and I could not think of a better way to start the 2024 season. We now look forward to Hong Kong, New York, Paris and London.”

In addition, the auction included an important selection of coloured gemstones, including an important pink sapphire of 25.20 carats, which sold for $1,514,976, tripling its pre-sale estimate and an exceptional 11.03 carats Kashmir blue sapphire and a cushion-shaped 5.03 carats Burmese ruby each of which sold for US$1,381,755.

Amongst the selection of emeralds was Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain’s early 20th century sugarloaf and oval-shaped cabochon emerald and diamond brooch, which sold for $208,089.

Once more signed jewellery shone including pieces by Buccellati, Cartier, Georges Fouquet, Tiffany & Co., Jean Schlumberger, Marina B, Van Cleef & Arpels, Sterlé and JAR. Pieces from the 1960s to 70s signed by Van Cleef & Arpels were much sought-after with a suite of turquoise and diamond Liberté jewellery selling for $860,101 against an estimate of $2,41,944 – $3,51,969.

Signed animal pieces also proved popular with three fantastic lots, two signed by René Boivin and one by Cartier. Boivin’s spectacular lion shoulder brooch sold, after heated bidding lasting just under 4 minutes, to a buyer in the room for $554,904, while his elephant multi-gem necklace achieved $2,76,996.38.

Revolutionary designs from the Art Deco period signed by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mauboussin and Rubel Freres were much in demand. The highlight was an early Art Deco diamond and onyx brooch signed by Cartier, realising  $638,140.

Here are some standout lots:

The yellow rose unmounted coloured diamond weighing 202.18 carats. The pear-shaped brilliant-cut diamond is of Fancy Intense Yellow natural colour, with SI1 clarity, excellent polish and symmetry, medium blue fluorescence. Price request: $6,710,595.
The platinum ring set with a 25.20-carat cushion-shaped pink sapphire Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Price realised: $1,514,976
Important Ruby And Diamond Ring featuring a cushion-shaped Burmese ruby of 5.03 carats, with a surround of old-cut diamonds, set om 18-karat yellow gold and platinum. Price realised: $1,381,755
Exceptional Cartier Art Deco diamond and onyx platinum brooch set with old and single-cut diamonds, calibré-cut, pear, square and fancy-shaped onyx. Circa 1920, signed Cartier, New York. Price realised: $638,140.
Exceptional platinum ring set with cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 11.03 carats, and fancy-shaped diamonds. Price realised: $13,79,546
Rare René Boivin ‘Elephant’ Multi-Gem Necklace studded with old-cut diamond, cabochon emerald, round rubies and sapphires, round and baguette-cut diamonds, set in 18-karat yellow gold and silver (French marks). The elephant is reversible and may be worn both sides. Circa 1976; pendant signed R. Boivin; maker’s mark (Yves Galtié). Price realised: $2,76,996.38
Van Cleef & Arpels suite of turquoise and diamond ‘Liberté’ Jewellery comprising a necklace, a pair of earrings and a tiara. The suite is fashioned with pear and cushion-shaped cabochon turquoises and round diamonds set in 18-karat yellow gold (French marks). The pendent drops to the necklace may be detached to form pendent earrings and a tiara. Circa 1960s; necklace and earrings signed Van Cleef & Arpels, tiara signed V.C.A, each with maker’s mark and numbered, light grey fitted Van Cleef & Arpels cases. Price realised: $860,101
Rare René Boivin multi-gem ‘Lion Couché’ shoulder brooch, encrusted with round yellow, orange and brown diamonds, marquise-shaped sapphires and emeralds, round diamonds, set in 18-karat yellow gold (French marks), circa 1985. Articulated body, signed R. Boivin, maker’s mark (partially indistinct). Price realised: $554,904
Cartier Art Deco emerald, diamond, onyx and enamel bandeau / bracelet designed with cushion-shaped emerald, cushion-shaped, old and rose-cut diamonds, buff-top onyx, black enamel, platinum (French marks). Circa 1930 and later, signed Cartier, Paris, Londres, numbered, central emerald panel of possible later addition, with original black silk ribbon and gold buckle clasp, now detached, gold (French mark), signed Cartier, maker’s mark, with identical number, associated red Cartier case. Price realised: $1,38,554
Van Cleef & Arpels suite of multi-gem jewellery comprising a bracelet, a pair of earrings, a brooch and a ring, all adorned with oval-shaped cabochon and round rubies, sapphires and emeralds, round diamonds. Bracelet mounted in 18-karat yellow gold and platinum (French marks); earrings, brooch and ring mounted in 18-karat gold. Circa 1965. Earrings with detachable pendants, bracelet signed Van Cleef & Arpels, maker’s marks (Péry & Fils), earrings signed Van Cleef & Arpels, brooch signed V.C.A., earrings and brooch numbered, ring unsigned. Price realised: $2,35,294

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