The top lot of Christie’s Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels was a cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond, the largest to be offered at auction. It sold for SFr.28,725,000 / $28,523,925/ €26,484,450, setting a new auction record for any vivid pink diamond and prompting a burst of applause in the sale room. The stone, which is set as a ring with a double row of pavé-set white diamonds which surround and highlight the main stone, with a third row of small pink diamonds underneath, was bought by a private Asian buyer, who named it ‘Sweet Josephine’ immediately after the sale.
‘We have had a very busy few days here in Geneva as clients have come from all over the world,’ said Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Christie's Jewellery Department after the auction, which fetched SFr.110,264,375 / US$109,492,525/ €101,663,753, selling 80 per cent by lot and 86 per cent by value.
‘Selling the largest vivid pink cushion-shaped diamond to come to auction is a privilege and to sell it for a new world auction record prize is a strong indication that there is still demand from clients from the end of the market for these truly precious stones,’ Kadakia continued. This is also true for pieces of historic or royal provenance which similarly attracted a lot of interest during the viewing and sold above estimate.
‘In particular, rubies were in high demand and the important 27 ruby lots in this auction sold very well. This strong interest is an auspicious sign for our Honk Kong sale in which we will offer an extremely rare 15 carat Burmese Ruby on 1 December 1, 2015.’
Christie’s Switzerland November sales of Finest and Rarest Wines, Important Watches and Magnificent Jewels realised a combined total of SFr.127,338,853 / US$126,447,481. ‘Each auction saw strong bidding in the room, telephone and via the internet, underlining the importance of this central saleroom location to our global client base for all three departments,’ confirmed François Curiel, President of Christie's Switzerland. ‘We were very pleased to re-launch the wine sale this season, which performed extremely well.
‘Less than 24 hours after our colleagues at Christie's in New York set the second highest price for any work of art sold at auction,’ he added, ‘Christie’s Geneva set a record price for any fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction — $1,773,875 per carat. This has been an historic week for the art market.’