Blue Funk: Sotheby’s Star Diamond Doesn’t Sell

A 10.62 ct. fancy vivid blue diamond ring (pictured), which was expected to sell for between $20 million and $30 million, didn’t meet its estimate at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York City on Dec. 4.

The VVS2 pear-shape blue, dubbed “highly important” by Sotheby’s, is one of a number of notable blue diamonds that have hit the auction block in recent years. Some, like the Farnese Blue, or the 3.47 ct. fancy intense sold by Sotheby’s earlier this year, have fetched great prices; others, like the Shirley Temple Blue put up for sale in 2016, have not met expectations.

The auction’s top lot turned out to be a Harry Winston 51.52 ct. cushion-cut diamond ring flanked by two shield-shape diamonds. The F-color internally flawless stone sold for $3.98 million, or $77,154 per ct., in the range of its $3.5 million–$4.5 million estimate.

Harry Winston ring
This 51.52 ct. Harry Winston cushion cut turned out to be the auction’s top lot.

The second-best lot was a 25.03 ct. D flawless emerald-cut diamond ring, which fetched $3.5 million, or $139,632 per ct.

In addition, the auction house sold every item it offered from the jewelry collection of Frank Sinatra’s fourth wife, Barbara. The former showgirl’s emerald-cut 20.6 ct. diamond engagement ring, which her husband gave to her in glass of Champagne, sold for $1.7 million, after intense competition between two telephone bidders. That topped the high end of its $1 million–$1.5 million estimate.

Sinatra engagement ring
Barbara Sinatra’s engagement ring fetched $1.7 million at auction.

Another Sinatra item, a ruby and diamond butterfly brooch from Van Cleef & Arpels, realized $567,000–well above its high estimate of $175,000.

The sale of the Sinatra jewels made a total of $4.7 million, with proceeds going to the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center. Additional items from her collection will be sold at a dedicated auction on Dec. 6 and in an additional online sale, which runs through Dec. 7.

All in all, Sotheby’s jewelry sales for the year have topped $403.8 million.

(Images courtesy of Sotheby’s)

JCK News Director