Trade Resources Industry Views Colored Gemstones Still Setting Records at Auction

Colored Gemstones Still Setting Records at Auction

Set in a turn-of-the-century Tiffany & Co. ring and flanked by European-cut diamonds, this 7.84-carat oval-cut Kashmir sapphire sold for $1.35 million Tuesday at Bonhams New York.

Click through this slideshow to see the top 5 lots from Bonhams New York Fine Jewelry auction held Tuesday.

New York--Bonhams’ record-setting week continued Tuesday in New York, when the auction house sold a 7.84-carat Kashmir sapphire for $1.35 million, or $172,000 per carat.

The sale set a new world auction record for the highest per-carat price paid for a Kashmir sapphire less than 10 carats, and came on the heels of a Bonhams sale in London that set three world auction records, including highest price-per-carat for a Madagascan ruby. The sale price on the 10.08-carat ruby was $356,000, or about $32,962 per carat.

After the London sale, Jean Ghika, head of jewelry for Bonhams in the U.K. and Europe, predicted that 2016 would be “very much the year of color.”

Senior Director of International Jewelry Daniel Struyf also commented on the strength of colored gemstones at auction, noting that “It’s been a successful week for Bonhams’ international jewelry department and a sign that colored gemstones are on the rise.”

In addition to the 7.84-carat Kashmir sapphire, Bonhams also sold an “important” Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring for $269,000; another “important” sapphire ring, this one with a 5.23-carat oval-cut stone of Kashmir origin, also for $269,000; and a sapphire and diamond ring set with a 24.16-carat Ceylon sapphire for $125,000 at its sale held Tuesday in New York.

Colored gemstones have done well at auction all year, taking their place among colored diamonds in the major auction houses’ lists of highest-grossing jewels for 2015.

An extremely rare Cartier ring set with the cushion-shaped 25.59-carat “Sunrise Ruby” sold for $30.3 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May, making it the second most expensive jewel sold at auction this year. The only stone to top it was the 13.02-carat, $48.5 million fancy vivid blue diamond dubbed the “Blue Moon of Josephine.”

There also was the “Crimson Flame,” a cushion-shaped Burmese ruby weighing 15.04 carats sold by Christie’s in Hong Kong earlier this month.

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