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17ct. Sapphire Smashes Estimate at Bonhams

Piece fetches $944,713 at London sale.
May 1, 2019 10:59 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... It’s not often that a jewel sells for almost double its pre-auction estimate, but that happened this week with a rare Kashmir sapphire at Bonhams. The 17.43-carat stone fetched GBP 723,062 ($944,713), or close to $54,000 per carat, beating its high valuation of GBP 400,000 ($521,440).

The cushion-shaped, vivid-blue stone dates to the late 19th or early 20th century, and was formerly owned by a European noble family. It headlined Bonhams’ London sale on Tuesday in its first appearance at auction.

“We have a strong track record of selling Kashmir sapphires at Bonhams, with our international clients eager to add an important gem to their growing collections,” said Emily Barber, director of jewelry at Bonhams UK.

The piece wasn’t the only one that exceeded expectations: A transformable diamond and sapphire necklace by designer Grassy, which can be changed around and worn in five ways, garnered GBP 287,562 ($375,713). The ensemble, which features a 34.59-carat detachable sapphire, beat its estimate of GBP 120,000 to GBP 180,000 ($156,800 to $235,200).

“To discover a necklace like this today, intact and never before seen on the open market, offered with its original design drawings, is not only rare, but illustrates the compelling stories that period jewels can tell,” Barber added.

Other notable items at the sale included a step-cut, 9.07-carat, F-color, type IIa diamond ring with the potential for VVS1 clarity. Originally estimated at GBP 250,000 to GBP 350,000 ($325,900 to $456,260), the piece sold for GBP 250,062 ($326,717).

Additionally, a ring featuring a step-cut, 22.02-carat, Colombian emerald sitting on a mount formed by two marquise and brilliant-cut diamond honeybees and two brilliant-cut diamond leaves brought in GBP 100,062 ($130,736). Its presale estimate ranged from GBP 65,000 to GBP 85,000 ($84,730 to $110,810). The jewel, which is signed by both Tiffany & Co. and designer Jean Schlumberger, was part of the collection of artist Andy Warhol.

Image: The 17.43-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring. (Bonhams)
Tags: Andy Warhol, bonhams, Bonhams’ London sale, Emily Barber, Grassy, Jean Schlumberger, Kashmir sapphire, Rapaport News, Tiffany & Co
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