Digital transformation boosts clientele at Sotheby’s Jewels sales


The digital transformation of Sotheby’s jewels sales has boosted the clientele and attracted younger clients, the auction house said.

Here are some key figures about Sotheby’s jewellery auctions in 2020:

Growing global demand, with Asia at the forefront
• 82 countries from across the globe have taken part in Sotheby’s auctions
• Asian buyers contribute 50% of total jewellery sales
• 6 out of the 10 most valuable jewels sold this year went to an Asian

Expanded Audience of Participants

• 35% of buyers new to the category, up 32% on last year
• Younger demographic: 30% of participants aged under 40

Online Market Transformation

Over 47 online sales realised $69.2 million – double the number of sales and almost 8 times the value for 2019

Confidence in Bidding Online Reaches New Heights

• Live auctions see 182% increase in value of bids placed online
• 90% of the lots sold this year went to online buyers (vs 44% last year)
• Highest value bid ever placed on a jewel online: HK$ 85m / US$ 11m for a 102.39-carat “perfect” diamond sold in Hong Kong in October

Sotheby’s Mobile App: Jewellery is one of the most popular categories on the app
• Highest bid placed on the app: US$ 3.8m for a 12.38-carat pear-shaped fancy pink diamond ring

• Highest number of app bids placed on a jewel: 29 for a jadeite, spinel and diamond ring

“From the record-breaking sale of a Cartier ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet to the first world-class diamond ever auctioned without reserve, and the landmark sale of the ‘The Spirit of the Rose’ diamond, the jewellery market has proved extraordinarily resilient this year. The unprecedented times have been a catalyst for change, mobilising all our imagination, creativity and digital capabilities to provide new, innovative ways to meet the growing global demand. We have launched new sale formats, a new auction calendar and a new buy now marketplace, allowing collectors to transact with us all year round, via our online platforms, in our salerooms, as well as in our new showrooms. 2021 will see this model further expand as we continue to cross new frontiers and pioneer new ways to celebrate jewellery.” – Gary Schuler, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division

6.41-carat untreated Burmese ruby and diamond ring

6.41-carat untreated Burmese ruby and diamond ring

Image courtesy of Sotheby’s