Geneva Auction Roundup: Colored Diamonds Come Out on Top

Several stones set records at the May sales, including the 202-carat Yellow Rose and the red Argyle Phoenix.

May 23, 2024  |  Leah Meirovich
The 6.21-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond image

Sotheby’s: Winner Withdrawn

Sotheby’s garnered CHF 31.1 million ($34.3 million) from its most recent jewelry sale in Geneva, even as the consignor withdrew the top item, a 101.29-carat, fancy-vivid-yellow diamond.

The round-cornered square brilliant-cut stone, known as the Allnatt diamond, was in a Cartier brooch as the center of a flower with diamond petals and leaves.

The auction house had expected it to fetch up to CHF 6.5 million ($7.2 million) at the May 14 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale.

“It has been a privilege to present the Allnatt to collectors and connoisseurs over the past few months,” a Sotheby’s spokesperson told Rapaport. “Following discussions with the consignor, they have elected to retain this jewel.”

The top-selling item was ultimately an unmounted round-cornered square brilliant-cut, 37.61-carat, E-color, internally flawless diamond, which brought in CHF 3.9 million ($4.3 million), well above its high estimate.

Meanwhile, the Magnificent Jewels part of the sale included a collection called “Iconic Jewels: Her Sense of Style,” containing 46 signed items. That group saw a white-glove result, totaling more than twice its presale estimate. The top jewel was a statement Buddah necklace by Bulgari, which fetched more than six times its predicted price.

Christie’s: Besting estimates

A 202.18-carat yellow diamond was the star of the most recent jewelry sale at Christie’s in Geneva, where it garnered $6.7 million — the second-highest price the auction house had ever seen for a stone of its color and size.

202.18-carat yellow rose diamond image
The 202.18-carat Yellow Rose diamond. (Christie’s)

The unmounted pear modified brilliant-cut, fancy-intense-yellow, SI1-clarity stone, known as the Yellow Rose, originated in South Africa and was only the third of its color over 200 carats to appear at auction. It led the May 15 Magnificent Jewels sale to a total of $54.2 million, with 97% of items on offer finding buyers, Christie’s said.

“There is nothing better as an auctioneer than a full and engaged saleroom, and to achieve such strong results…is remarkable,” said Max Fawcett, head of jewels for Christie’s in Europe. “The market for colored gemstones and signed jewelry is on fire, and I could not think of a better way to start the 2024 season.”
A 25.20-carat pink sapphire also performed well, tripling its presale estimate at $1.5 million. A ring with a cushion-shaped, 11.03-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamonds brought in $1.4 million, beating its $1.3 million upper presale price, while a cushion-shaped, 5.03-carat, pigeon’s blood Burmese ruby on a ring with old-cut diamonds surpassed its $1.1 million high estimate to fetch $1.4 million.

Other popular items included a Tiffany & Co. Hedges and Rows necklace by Jean Schlumberger, which went for $1.4 million, more than three times its upper estimate. Meanwhile, a turquoise and diamond Liberté jewelry set from Van Cleef & Arpels, consisting of a necklace, earrings and a headpiece, garnered $860,101, more than double its high estimate.

Phillips: Rising Pheonix

Phillips sold a pink diamond for $12 million at its second Geneva jewelry auction, which also saw two records for a fancy-red.

The ring containing the 6.21-carat, fancy-vivid-pink, VS1-clarity, type IIa diamond (pictured below) was the leading lot at the May 13 Geneva Jewels Auction: Two, Phillips said. The total, which amounted to $1.9 million per carat, fell within estimates.

Another item that did well was the Argyle Phoenix, a 1.56-carat, fancy-red diamond on a ring. The piece, which nearly tripled its high estimate to bring in $4.2 million, scored a record for both the overall and per-carat price of a fancy-red diamond at auction. The stone came from Rio Tinto’s famed Argyle mine in Australia and sold to Graff for $2.7 million per carat.

Among the other top lots were a 280.84-carat emerald pendant known as the Amazon Queen, which fetched $3.1 million — beating its upper estimate — and a yellow-diamond necklace by Harry Winston that nearly doubled its high estimate at $840,410. A ruby and diamond necklace went for $448,219, just under its highest predicted price. In total, the sale achieved $26.1 million, with 74% of items finding buyers.

“We are thrilled with the result…achieved today, building on the success of Phillips’s first jewels sale in Geneva last November,” said Benoit Repellin, the auction house’s worldwide head of jewelry. “The auction…showcased outstanding pieces, notably the exceptional fancy-vivid-pink diamond ring [that became] the star lot of the season across Geneva auction houses.”

The Amazon Queen “sparked a 30-minute bidding war,” he added. “We eagerly await our next jewels auction in New York, where we are excited to carry this momentum forward.”

Main Image: The 6.21-carat, fancy-vivid-pink, VS1-clarity, type IIa diamond sold at Phillips Geneva. (Phillips)

This article is from the May-June 2024 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.

Stay up to date by signing up for our diamond and jewelry industry news and analysis.


The 6.21-carat, fancy-vivid-pink diamond image Geneva Auction Roundup: Colored Diamonds Come Out on Top

Share with others


Clear all search filters