GENEVA – Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale on 11 May 2022 achieved a total of CHF68,990,650 / $69,668,694 / €65,939,460, led by The Rock, which sold for CHF21,681,000 / $21,894,082 / €20,722,133. Weighing 228.31 carats, The Rock is the largest white diamond ever to be sold at auction.
Another highlight lot of the auction, The Red Cross Diamond realised CHF14,181,250 / $14,320,624 / €13,554,068, with a significant portion of the proceeds benefiting the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The auction was 98% sold by value and 92% sold by lot, and witnessed global participation with registrants from 20 countries across 4 continents. The next generation of collectors were active in the sale, with millennial collectors comprising 50% of new registrants to the sale.
Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Christie’s Jewellery, said: “During a momentous week for Christie’s, when Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn set the record price for a 20th century work of art, The Rock, the largest white diamond ever sold at auction achieved almost $22m. Weighing 228.31 carats, The Rock is the largest white diamond ever to appear for sale at auction. The final lot of the auction presented another extraordinary gemstone of over 200 carats, the sensational Red Cross Diamond. It was a privilege to present this legendary stone, which was first sold at Christie’s in 1918 as part of the Red Cross Appeal. Over a century since that first sale, the diamond sold after 11 minutes of competitive bidding for CHF14.1 million, a world auction record for a fancy intense yellow diamond. We are delighted that a significant share of the proceeds will benefit the humanitarian efforts of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Strong prices were seen throughout the sale including the selection of JAR jewels – we now look forward to our New York Magnificent Jewels sale highlighted by the 103 carat D Colour Flawless Light of Africa diamond and twelve jewels by JAR from the Estate of Ann Getty.”
“For nearly half a century, our family has had the privilege of safeguarding the Red Cross Diamond. Since it was first brought to market in 1918, the legacy of this symbol of humanity has always been the support of communities ravaged by war, famine and other hardships endured by people across the world. At this moment in history, we honour the call others have made before us. A significant share of the proceeds will be donated to the great institution whose name it bears as we acknowledge the tireless efforts of the volunteers of the International Committee of the Red Cross”, added the consignor of The Red Cross Diamond.
Additional notable results of the sale included the Fürstenberg Tiara (estimate: CHF400,000-600,000), which achieved CHF2,394,000 / $2,417,528 / €2,288,123. This pearl and diamond tiara bears the mark of the famous Austrian jeweller Gustav Flach, and previously belonged to H.S.H. The Princess of Fürstenberg, née Countess Irma of Schönborn Buchheim (1867-1948), a member of one of the pre-eminent aristocratic families in the Habsburg Empire.
An important selection of Jewels by JAR were highlighted by a pair of sphalerite and diamond ‘hard-boiled egg’ earrings, 2011, (estimate: CHF160,000-220,000), which realised CHF327,600 / $330,810 / €313,120. The earrings were showcased in the 2013 retrospective of Mr. Rosenthal’s work at New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Christie’s Geneva Luxury auctions continue with Jewels Online: The Geneva Edit including a Private Collection of Cartier Jewels, open for bidding until 18 May.