Red Diamond Breaks Records at Phillips Geneva

AuctionsMay 15, 2024

Red Diamond Breaks Records at Phillips Geneva

The “Argyle Phoenix” sold for more than $4 million at the auction house’s second jewels sale.

The Argyle Phoenix red diamond
A fancy red diamond, the “Argyle Phoenix,” set a world auction record this week, selling at Phillips Geneva for $4.2 million, well above its high estimate of $1.5 million.
Geneva—At Phillips’ recent Geneva auction, a fancy red diamond set a world record while a 6-carat fancy vivid pink diamond brought in over $10 million.

The “Argyle Phoenix” sold to Laurence Graff, founder of Graff Diamonds, for more than double its estimate, going for CHF 3.8 million ($4.2 million, or $2.7 million per carat).

Phillips said the stone set two auction records for a fancy red diamond, one for price and one for price per carat.

The Argyle Phoenix red diamond
The “Argyle Phoenix” set two records at Phillips Geneva this week.

The 1.56-carat stone, sourced from the now-closed Argyle mine in Australia, is the largest known round brilliant fancy red diamond, according to Phillips’ Worldwide Head of Jewelry Benoît Repellin.

The auction’s expected top lot was a 6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond set in a ring. 

The Type IIa diamond garnered CHF 10.8 million ($11.9 million or $1.9 million per carat), selling within its estimate of CHF 9.5 million to 13.6 million ($10.5 million to $15 million).

6 carat pink diamond
This 6.21-carat Type IIa fancy vivid pink diamond with VS1 clarity sold within its estimate of CHF 9.5 million to 13.6 million ($10.5 million to $15 million).

Colored gemstones were a highlight of the May 13 sale, “The Geneva Jewels Auction: Two,” which garnered CHF 23.6 million ($26 million) in total. 

With 97 lots sold of the 131 lots offered, the auction was sold 74 percent by lot and 86 percent by value. 

“We are thrilled with the result of CHF 23.6 million achieved today, building on the success of Phillips' first Jewels sale in Geneva last November,” Repellin said.  

“The Geneva Jewels Auction: Two showcased outstanding pieces, notably the exceptional fancy vivid pink diamond ring, fetching CHF 10.8 million, making it the star lot of the season across Geneva auction houses.” 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Another standout of the sale was the “The Amazon Queen,” a 280.84-carat emerald, which Repellin said sparked a 30-minute bidding war.

It sold for CHF 2.8 million ($3 million), exceeding the high-end of its CHF 2.4 million ($2.6 million) estimate.

The Amazon Queen
“The Amazon Queen,” with minor oil, is one of the largest gem-quality emeralds to appear at auction, Phillips said.

Other colored diamond pieces also sold above their estimates. 

A fancy intense yellow and fancy yellow diamond necklace from Harry Winston estimated to go for up to CHF 460,000 ($508,527), sold for CHF 762,000 ($840,410). 

A 2-carat fancy intense green diamond also sold above its estimate, fetching CHF 368,300 ($406,198), or $180,000 per carat. 


As for other colored gemstones, a ring featuring a nearly 15-carat no-heat sapphire from Burma went for CHF 304,800 ($336,164), more than double the high-end of its estimate.

14.96-carat blue sapphire and diamond ring
This 14.96-carat sapphire and diamond ring sold for well over its high estimate of CHF 140,000.

A ruby and diamond necklace went for CHF 406,400 ($448,219), within its estimate, while a ring featuring an 18.01-carat step-cut sapphire sold for CHF 196,850 ($217,106), more than triple its high-end estimate of CHF 55,000 ($60,877).  

Also, a pair of earrings, one featuring a 15.04-carat no-heat Burma sapphire and the other a 13.03 no-heat Ceylon sapphire, sold above its estimate, going for CHF 266,700 ($294,143). 

Another top lot, a ring featuring a 10.08-carat diamond of F color with VS1 clarity sold for CHF 304,800 ($336,164), within its pre-sale estimate.  

Jewels from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston, also did well at the sale. 

“We are truly proud of today's achievements and extremely grateful to all the collectors who continue to put their trust in us and to the dedicated bidders who participated— particularly those who journeyed to join us at our new venue in the Hotel President,” said Repellin. 

“We eagerly await our next Jewels auction in New York on June 12, where we are excited to carry this momentum forward.” 

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