RECORD MACHINE: Sotheby’s broke six world records Tuesday evening with its spring Magnificent Jewels Geneva auction, which brought in a total $160.9 million — the highest-ever tally ever for a jewelry auction.
Among the sale’s high-wattage lots was a 25.59-carat Cartier Burmese ruby ring, which sold for $30.3 million. The stone’s sale broke three world records, representing the highest price ever paid for a ruby at auction, the highest price paid at auction for a Cartier-origin jewel, and the highest price-per-carat paid for any ruby at auction. The stone had originally been estimated to garner anywhere between $12 million and $18 million. Its purchaser wished to remain anonymous.
Other notable sales from the event included an 8.72-carat pink diamond ring, believed to have once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte I’s niece, Princess Mathilde, which sold for $15.9 million. A double-strand pearl and diamond necklace sold for just over $7 million — a record price for a pearl necklace with a double-strand design.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division, said that the sale’s outcome is, “evidence that the market for exceptional jewels is going from strength to strength. The galleries have been brimming with collectors during our worldwide exhibitions, and this translated into lively bidding throughout the sale tonight with truly global demand for the finest diamonds, gemstones and signed pieces of the very highest order.”