Sotheby’s inaugural sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva was headlined by ‘The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’ which sold for US$57,425,478 / CHF 57,118,750, becoming the most valuable earrings ever sold at auction.
The diamond twins—one pink and the other blue—are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality. The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but are being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence. They are, says David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, “by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction.”
Individually, these captivating diamonds – one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink – are truly exceptional stones and when considered as a pair, they enter a class of their own: the most important earrings ever to appear at auction.
THE APOLLO BLUE DIAMOND EARRINGS
Graded Fancy Vivid Blue by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and weighing an impressive 14.54 carats,the ‘Apollo Blue’ is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ever to be offered at auction. It has been cut and polished into a beautiful unmodified pear-shape which flatters its exquisite and truly outstanding colour. The GIA has also determined that the ‘Apollo Blue’ is a Type IIb diamond – a group which contains lessthan one half of one per cent of all diamonds.
In recent times, the only mine to produce blue diamonds with any regularity is the Cullinan mine in South Africa. When in full production, less than 0.1% of diamonds sourced showed any evidence of blue colour, according to the GIA. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue.
ARTEMIS PINK DIAMONDS EARRINGS
The ‘Artemis Pink’ stands as an exquisite and rare treasure in its own right, displaying an elegant and delicate Fancy Intense Pink hue. Weighing 16 carats, the stone has been carefully cut into a captivating pear shape,matching the Apollo Blue, which perfectly showcases the stone’s colour and clarity. The GIA has declared the‘Artemis Pink’ to be a ‘Type IIa’ diamond, describing this category as ‘the most chemically pure type’ of diamonds, which ‘often have exceptional optical transparency’.
The occurrence of pink diamonds remains exceedingly rare: according to the GIA, of all diamonds submitted totheir specialists each year, ‘no more than 3% are classified as coloured diamonds; less than 5% of those coloured diamonds are predominantly pink’. Thus, a Fancy Intense Pink stone of such rich colour and impressive size can only be described as phenomenally rare.
The sale featured jewellery from different collections comprising signed jewels and superb gemstones. Gems from Kashmir, Burma, Colombia rub shoulders with signed jewels from the most iconic and well-known jewellery houses, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Lacloche, Bulgari, Schlumberger and Tiffany.
“The results from today’s sale – which saw more than 90 per cent of lots sold and three new world auction records – yet again underline the strong demand for top quality diamonds, gemstones and jewels. I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings. This has been a wonderful inaugural jewellery sale at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva which far exceeded expectations, with a total of over $150 million. We are greatly looking forward to the upcoming auction of Fine Jewels at Sotheby’s rue Diday in Geneva on the 1st of June,” added Bennett.