By David Brough
GENEVA – The mood at Christie’s Geneva was buoyant after the sale of the star lot, a 17.61-carat blue diamond, Bleu Royal, for USD $43.8 million (USD $2.5 million per carat), comfortably within its USD $35-50 million estimate.
“We were very pleased with the results,” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s international head of jewellery, told Jewellery Outlook straight after the sale on November 7, 2023.
A vigorous flurry of telephone bids culminated in the sale of the Bleu Royal, the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond to come to auction, to a collector.
Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 7, 2023. The auctioneer is Max Fawcett early in the sale. Francois Curiel, Chairman, Christie’s, is in the foreground walking towards the camera.
The upbeat mood was palpable as Christie’s staff gathered for food and drinks after the well-attended sale in the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva, the regular venue for Christie’s high-value jewellery auctions.
A senior dealer, who had predicted a result at around USD $40 million, said privately that the outcome was solid for both buyer and seller.
The strong sale result comes against a backdrop of intense global economic uncertainty, underscoring the resilience of the top end of the jewellery market.
More than 90 percent of lots were sold across the sale, auctioneer Max Fawcett said.
Bright spots included a coloured natural pearl pendant, which multiplied its estimate; Kashmir sapphires which outperformed; and signed jewels by well-established maisons which continued to see strong demand.
The focus turns now the the Sotheby’s Geneva magnificent jewels sale, starting at 14.00 hours CET on November 8, 2023, which is showcasing an exceptionally rare Paraiba tourmaline, weighing more than 93 carats, set in a diamond necklace.
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