Displaying the velvety blue hue of a peacock’s neck feathers, a 35.09-carat Kashmir sapphire set a new record at Christie’s Geneva last week when it fetched $7.4 million — crushing the pre-sale high estimate of $4.3 million.
The gem’s per-carat selling price of $209,689 established a new high-water mark for a Kashmir sapphire, narrowly edging out a record set one day earlier at Sotheby’s Geneva. That Kashmir sapphire, a 30.23-carat stunner, had sold for $6.1 million, or $201,786 per carat.
The cushion-shaped record-setting sapphire was set in a ring with triangular-cut diamond shoulders and baguette-cut diamonds accents. An anonymous Asian bidder made the purchase via phone.
Other highlights from the Christie’s auction included the top lot of the night — a 5.18-carat rectangular-cut fancy vivid pink diamond that sold for $10.8 million. The hammer price was on the lower end of the pre-sale estimate of $10.2 million to $13.4 million.
The pink stone is set in a ring with an oval-shaped diamond surround. The purchase by an anonymous buyer translated into $2.1 million per carat.
A pear-shaped flawless Type IIa diamond weighing 55.5 carats was sold to an Asian private buyer via telephone for $9.03 million, or $162,711 per carat. The selling price was within the pre-sale estimate of $8.5 million to $10 million.
Type IIa diamonds are considered the purest of all diamonds because they are composed solely of carbon with virtually no trace elements in the crystal lattice.
The biggest disappointment of the Christie’s sale was a 19th century diamond brooch from Spain’s royal family. Featuring on the cover of the auction house’s catalog, the final bid of 900,000 Swiss francs (about $982,000) failed to reach the secret reserve price set by the seller, thus going unsold.
The brooch had been given by Spain’s King Alfonso XII to the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria for their wedding in 1879 and remained with the family until the 1980s.
Credit: Christie’s Images Ltd. 2015