The kick off for the fall Magnificent Jewels auctions started on October 7th in Hong Kong with the sale of a 8.41 carat purple pink diamond for $17.77 million. The price for the flawless, fancy vivid purple pink diamond was far higher than the $15.5 million top estimate and works out to $2.11 million per carat.
The sale, which took place against the backdrop of street protests in the city, was actually part of a string of auctions of wine and jewels that set new records. Dealers and diamond experts say the sale shows that rising instability in the world, including the protests near the auction itself in Hong Kong, may not be hurting sales of high end collectibles. In fact, experts say global unrest may be driving even more money into hard assets and collectibles like diamonds, art, wine and vintage cars and could push prices even higher.
“Unfortunately, when we have adversity in the world, the people in the 0.0001 percent will put more money into these alternatives,” said Mahyar Makhzani, the London and Geneva based managing director of the Sciens Coloured Diamond Fund. “All of this unrest is not affecting the guy who’s going to pay $10 million or $20 million for a diamond”.
Sotheby’s Hong Kong auctions, which included wine and art, were a big test for the company and the collectibles market, since they were staged in the heart of Hong Kong during the protests. What experts found is that the protests did not affect the auction as most wealthy buyers rarely go to auctions themselves anymore as they can bid by phone, the internet or through dealers.
A side note, another interesting lot in the sale was the Ballerina Butterfly brooch co-designed by Cindy Chao and Sarah Jessica Parker which beat its high estimate and went for $1.2 million.
Fancy brown-yellow diamond, diamond and conch pearl ‘Ballerina Butterfly’ brooch, co-designed by Cindy Chao and Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Modeled as a ballerina portraying a butterfly, the wings set with a cushion shaped fancy brown-yellow diamond weighing 26.27 carats and three diamond plaques of champagne hue together weighing approximately 47.70 carats, embellished by variously shaped diamonds and colored diamonds together weighing approximately 97.95 carats, the body of the ballerina set with two marquise shaped diamonds together weighing approximately 1.85 carats, a pear and a shield shaped diamond weighing 2.52 and 1.04 carats respectively, highlighted by three conch pearls together weighing approximately 10.75 carats, mounted in titanium and 18 karat white gold, signed.
Whew! That’s a lot of big, beautiful jewels!ttfn,Mrs. Jones