Geneva this evening set a world auction record for yellow diamond when it sold the Sun‐Drop Diamond for CHF 11,282,500 ($12,361,558). Weighing 110.03 carats, this exceptional stone ranks as the largest known pear‐shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world. Tonights sale concluded with a total of CHF 64,048,000 ($70,173,551), against the pre‐sale estimate of CHF 65‐93 million ($72‐102 million). Throughout the day the sale room was packed and there was very active bidding which contributed to an extremely high sell‐through rate of 82% by lot and one of Sothebys highest totals ever for a sale of Jewellery.
Commenting on the results of tonights sale, David Bennett, Chairman of Sothebys Jewellery Department in Europe and the Middle East and Co‐Chairman of Sothebys Switzerland, said: We are thrilled with the price achieved by this spectacular daffodil yellow diamond; it is one of the most impressive I have had the pleasure of selling. The Sun‐Drop Diamond has immense presence and is truly stunning. The Sun‐Drop Diamond is only the fourth diamond over 100 carats in size ever to be sold at auction and all of them have been sold at Sothebys in Geneva. We are absolutely delighted that Cora International trusted Sothebys to present this stone to the international market. Todays strong sell‐through rates are a reflection of the continued strength and resilience of the international Jewellery market.
In a sale series which has witnessed many strong prices for diamonds, the highpoint of the evening came when the Sun‐Drop Diamond sold for CHF 11,282,500 ($12,361,558) (Est. 10.2‐14 million/$11‐15 million, lot 506). Weighing 110.03 carats, this fabulous diamond has been graded Fancy Vivid Yellow, the highest colour grading for a yellow diamond, by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). This exceptional stone ranks as the largest known pear‐shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond in the world, and has a purity of VVS1. The stone was exhibited earlier this year at Londons Natural History Museum. The rough for the Sun‐Drop Diamond was discovered in South Africa in 2010, and was cut and polished by Cora International, one of the worlds leading manufacturers of exceptional diamonds, with its headquarters in New York.
Diamond and Coloured Gemstones
In addition to the Sun‐Drop diamond, the sale included a group of diamonds and exceptional coloured gemstones.
An impressive 38.88 carat cushion‐shaped diamond achieved CHF 6,354,500 ($6,962,244). The stone has not only achieved the highest colour and clarity grade from the GIA for white diamonds, D Colour, Flawless Clarity, but has also been found to be part of the rare Type IIa subgroup, which comprise less than 2% of all gem diamonds, are chemically the purest of all diamond crystals and often have extraordinary optical transparency (estimated in the region of $6.5 million, lot 501).
A fancy vivid blue cut‐cornered rectangular modified brilliant‐cut diamond weighing 4.16 carats, sold for CHF 3,890,500 ($4,262,587). (est. CHF 3,100,000‐4,000,000/$3,300,000‐4,300,000, lot 491).
The offering of coloured stones included a superb 12.01 carat Muzo emerald which rose above its pre‐sale estimate, selling for CHF 1,314,500 ($1,440,219), and setting a per carat record price for emeralds at auction (Est. CHF 365,000‐550,000/$400,000‐600,000, lot 467).
Fine Period and Signed Jewels
The sale comprised a wide range of fine period jewels signed by the most famous and celebrated jewelers of the 20th century. Among them was Cartier represented by an important and very fine natural pearl and diamond necklace designed in the 1930s, which sold tonight for CHF 3,050,500 ($3,342,250) (Est. CHF 715,000‐1,100,000/ $765,000‐1,225,000, lot 505). A testament to the exaltation and joie de vivre that characterised the between‐the‐wars era it is composed of five graduated rows of natural pearls and enhanced by two shieldshaped plaques, featuring circular‐ and single‐cut diamonds.
Among great contemporary signatures featured tonight was JAR, widely acknowledged as being the most talented jeweler of his generation. Two superb creations by JAR featured in the sale: a fine and rare rock crystal and diamond brooch dating from 1987 sold for CHF 338,500/$ 370,874 (Est. CHF 230,000‐410,000 /$250,000‐450,000, lot 503), and a very attractive morganite and diamond pendent dating from 1984 achieved CHF 338,500 ($370,874) (est. CHF 95,000‐180,000/ $100,000‐200,000, lot 502).