The auction houses probably have a little swagger in their step today, as both Christie's and Sotheby's are coming down from record-setting jewelry sales over the past two days.
Yesterday, Sotheby's brought in a record $43.2 million — nearly a third above the $31.1 million high estimate. The sale was 88 percent sold by lot and 95 percent sold by value, and was the highest total that Sotheby's has ever achieved during a spring jewelry auction — nearly $4 million more than last year's $39.4 million sale. In total, seven pieces fetched more than $1 million. The top lot was a marquise-shaped fancy blue diamond ring, which sold for eight times its $300,000 low estimate, bringing in $2.4 million for the auction house. The 3.54-carat ring was designed by Tiffany & Co. circa 1900.
The day before in Rockefeller Center, the Christie's sale brought in $70.7 million and was 95 percent sold by lot and 97 percent by value. At that sale, the "Clark Pink" diamond — a 9-carat , cushion-cut pink diamond ring designed by Dreicer & Co., once owned by copper heiress Huguette M. Clark, and locked in a safety deposit box for decades — soared over its $6-8 million estimate to hammer down at $15.8 million, a record for a pink diamond sold in the U.S. In total, the Clark collection brought in $20.8 million, more than twice the $9 million estimate.
At both sales, the top lot went to Brett Stettner of Stettner Investment Diamonds, who is a private dealer and runs a diamond investment fund. Other buyers include a mix of trade professionals (U.S., Asian, and "International"), some private Asian collectors, and a handful of bidders listed anonymously.
The New York jewelry extravaganza continues today at Phillips de Pury, where the gem sale begins at 4pm.
To see jewelry from the Christie's, Sotheby's, and Phillips de Pury sales, click the slide show.