A platinum ring with an eye-popping 8.5 ct. sapphire would excite any serious collector. But that’s not why this 1930s-era piece fetched $296,500—nearly 10 times its estimate—at Sotheby’s Sept. 28 Important Jewels sale. “While size is important, it was not the driving factor,” says Robin Wright, assistant vice president of Sotheby’s jewelry in New York City. “It was the truly unique attributes. We had a ‘trifecta’: a beautiful piece designed during the iconic Art Deco period, a Kashmir sapphire with superior color quality, and the unique sugarloaf cabochon cut.” Over the past 80 years, notes Wright, the ring was likely stored in a vault or safe-deposit box—“rarely, if ever, worn as jewelry.” A shame, perhaps, for the previous owner, but the winning bidder is no doubt thrilled.
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