COMMENTARY – Rare shapes in coloured diamonds achieve strong auction results


By David Brough

Rare shapes in coloured diamonds achieved strong results in Sotheby’s live Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale Part II on June 23, 2020.

The top-selling lot, a marquise-shaped, 7-carat, fancy-intense-pink diamond ring, sold for $2.8 million, within its $2.4-3.4 million estimate.

“The marquise intense-pink sold, compared to other pinks such as a 4-carat fancy-pink pear shape (that didn’t sell),” Bruno Scarselli of New York-based Scarselli Diamonds said in a Jewellery Outlook webinar on June 24.

“Seeing a marquise in such a colour and saturation is quite rare.”

A grey-blue diamond outperformed for similar reasons, added Scarselli.

The pear-shaped, 5.29-carat, fancy-grey-blue diamond ring fetched $2.1 million, beating its $1.2 million high estimate.

Such intensity of colour is rarely found in an old cut pear shape, Scarselli said.

“It is easier to derive colour from a radiant or a cushion, but it is pretty tough to contain the right amount of colour in a pear shape that is cut according to ancient rules of manufacturing,” he said.

A number of exceptional jewels failed to sell, underlining that the market is still hard hit by COVID-19. The Sotheby’s sale, the first live auction since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, took place under strict social distancing measures. Sotheby’s Part I sale was held online.

In late April, at the height of the lockdown, Sotheby’s sold a Cartier 1930s Tutti Frutti bracelet for $1.3 million, the highest price achieved for a jewel sold online, underscoring the resilience at the top end of the high-value jewellery auctions market.