1. Star-studded affair

Star-studded affair

Sotheby’s recent Geneva auction of jewels realises $160 m; ‘Sunrise Ruby’ from Myanmar sells for record $30 m

By: | Published: May 24, 2015 2:38 AM

A 25.59-carat ‘pigeon blood’ ruby sold for a world-record $30.33 million at an auction in Geneva recently, while a rare pink diamond, believed to have once belonged to Napoleon’s niece, fetched $15.9 million, Sotheby’s said. After competitive bidding, the ruby went to an anonymous telephone bidder for 26.25 million Swiss francs, with costs. The ‘Sunrise Ruby’ from Myanmar, part of a collection of Cartier jewels up for auction, had been expected to sell for between $12 million and $18 million. It set a record for a ruby and was also a record for a Cartier jewel at auction, Sotheby’s said.

“The Sunrise Ruby sold for just over $30 million, which is, I think, over three times the previous record, which was for the Graff Ruby,” says David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division, referring to a stone sold in November. The large, pigeon-blood red ruby “is amongst the rarest of all gemstones”. “I mean, in 40 years, I’ve ever only seen one this colour, this size, so they are beyond rare,” Bennett says.

Another ‘extremely rare’ stone, a fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats, sold for 14.8 million Swiss francs ($15.9 million) at the spring Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels auction. The stone, known as ‘The Historic Pink’, is believed to have been part of the collection of Princess Mathilde, niece of French Emperor Napoleon I, as per the Gemological Institute of America. The origins of the stone remain unclear. The technical characteristics of the stone and the fact that it is so old suggest it may have been found in the famous Golconda mines of India, as per Bennett. The market for coloured diamonds and precious stones has never been so dynamic, as per Sotheby’s, with pink diamonds among the rarest. In October 2014, Sotheby’s sold a 8.41-carat pink diamond, which was cut differently, for $17.8 million.

Now in India

ZURICH-BASED watch brand SevenFriday has launched its latest P2-01 watch in India. Made in rose gold, the watch is an intricate amalgamation of mechanics. Encased in a stainless steel shield, the watch comes with a sandblasted finish. Its open-balance wheel movement, with a special minute hand, makes the SevenFriday P2-01 an enviable possession. The watch costs R93,850.

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