A Yellow Diamond, Hollywood Jewels Stand Out at Sotheby’s

AuctionsDec 06, 2023

A Yellow Diamond, Hollywood Jewels Stand Out at Sotheby’s

Additional lots will be offered in the Fine Jewels online sale through Dec. 7.

133 carat yellow diamond
Headlining the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale, this 133.03-carat yellow diamond sold for $5.5 million, making it the largest fancy vivid yellow diamond to ever sell at auction, said Sotheby’s.
Editor’s Note: The caption under the Bulgari “Monete” necklace was updated post-publication to reflect the correct selling price for the piece. The Monete necklace sold for $38,000, not $76,200 as previously stated.

New York—A 133-carat yellow diamond, along with vintage jewels from Bulgari, Tiffany & Co., Cartier and Harry Winston and pieces from Hollywood legends like Mary Tyler Moore, were highlights of the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction on Tuesday. 

The yellow diamond headlining the sale, weighing 133.03 carats, achieved $5.5 million and is the largest fancy vivid yellow diamond to ever sell at auction, said Sotheby’s.

In total, the Magnificent Jewels sale brought in $38.4 million.

Other diamond and color diamond pieces surpassed their estimates as well, with a diamond necklace featuring 120 pear-shaped diamonds, including two weighing over 28 carats each, selling for $4.4 million, above its $4 million estimate.

pear shaped diamond necklace
A negligee-style diamond necklace with 95 pear-shaped diamonds, including two internally flawless stones weighing more than 28 carats each, which sold for $4.4 million

Another diamond piece, a necklace by Leviev featuring 30 diamonds totaling 120 carats sold for $2.4 million, within its $2 million to $3 million estimate.

Leviev necklace
A Leviev necklace with 30 diamonds of various cuts, which sold for $2.4 million

Two colored diamond rings also sold above their estimates, a solitaire ring featuring a 7.37-carat fancy intense orangy-pink diamond and a toi et moi ring featuring a 3.68-carat fancy gray-violet diamond. 


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All 10 pieces offered in the sale from the collection of actress Mary Tyler Moore sold, totaling $315,700, surpassing its high estimate of $232,000. 

Bidders “eagerly vied” for the pieces, the auction house said, describing the lots as evocative of her understated-yet-timeless elegance. 

Highlights include a gold “Monete” necklace from Bulgari with a pendant featuring an ancient Greek coin. 

The piece, gifted to Moore by her husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine, for their anniversary, earned above its estimate, selling for $38,000.

Mary Tyler Moore Bulgari necklace
A gold “Monete” necklace from Bulgari, gifted to Mary Tyler Moore by her husband, sold for $38,000, above its $35,000 high estimate.

A 5.14-carat diamond ring the auction house said Moore wore daily sold for $76,200. 

Additional jewels from Moore’s collection will be offered in Sotheby’s Fine Jewels sale, which is open for bidding through Dec. 7. 

Full proceeds from her 21-piece collection will benefit The Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative, a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve and restore vision in people with diabetes, continuing Moore’s work and honoring her legacy.   

Another a highlight of the sale, a Burmese pink sapphire and diamond ring, soared to $1.1 million, selling for seven times its high estimate. 

The piece, which the auction house called exceedingly rare, is from the collection of comedian Richard “Red” Skelton and his wife. 

Also from the Skeltons’ collection, a ruby and diamond bracelet by Harry Winston was reacquired by Harry Winston, which is now owned by The Swatch Group, for $393,700, surpassing its high estimate of $250,000.  

All five jewels from the Hollywood couple’s collection sold, realizing $3.7 million, against a $2.2 million high estimate. 

An additional 21 pieces from the Skeltons’ collection will be offered in the Fine Jewels online sale.

The auction also featured jewels from the collections of Barbara and Frank Sinatra and Tony Randall and his wife Heather, all of which sold. 

A 16.19-carat diamond ring from the Sinatra collection fetched $406,400, above its estimate of $250,000 to $350,000, while the Randall collection was highlighted by a gold, sapphire, emerald and diamond bracelet by Jean Schlumberger that sold for $127,000, surpassing its high estimate.

Barbara Sinatra ring
A diamond ring that once belonged to the Sinatras, featuring a 16.19-carat center stone
“We are extremely proud of today’s strong and promising results, further confirming that there continues to be exceptional value and broad interest in truly rare jewels, especially those with esteemed provenance, as proven by the extraordinary result for Red Skelton’s pink sapphire ring,” said Quig Bruning, head of Sotheby’s Jewels, America & EMEA. 

“With a rich, sumptuous color that took my breath away, it is a gem I will always remember. It was a true privilege to bring the hammer down on these extraordinary objects that dazzled and captivated the attention of collectors around the globe.” 

Bruning said the auction house looks forward to closing out Sotheby’s year of jewelry auctions with the Fine Jewels sale on Thursday. 

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