Christie’s top 10 jewels of 2013

AuctionsJan 23, 2014

Christie’s top 10 jewels of 2013

Jewelry sales topped $600 million at Christie’s last year, setting a new world record for annual jewelry sales by a single auction house. Read on to review the lots that pushed Christie’s jewelry total over the top in 2013.

Christie’s Rahul Kadakia directing the bidding for the Princie Diamond in New York in April. The diamond was the top jewel of the year for the auction house. (Photo credit: Christie’s Images Ltd.)

New York--When it comes to jewelry, Christie’s had a record year in 2013.

The auction house’s global jewelry sales totaled $678.3 million, the highest annual total ever for jewelry at any auction house worldwide, and the highest annual result ever achieved for jewelry at Christie’s.

The total represents an 18 percent increase over Christie’s 2012 total, and tops its previous highest annual jewelry record of $600 million, which was set in 2011 and included the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor, the most valuable sale of jewelry in auction history.

Each one of the auction house’s major sales regions held sales offering some of the most significant diamonds in the global auction market, with six of the year’s top ten jewels sold by Christie’s. Specifically, Christie’s Geneva led the company in jewelry sales with a $228.4 million total.

More than 120 jewels brought in more than $1 million, 14 lots garnered above $5 million and five pieces sold in excess of $10 million.

“Last year, the prices achieved and the records set soared above all previous records and raised the jewelry auction market to an entirely new level. The top ten jewels sold at Christie’s demonstrate jewelry as art--gemstones of such quality they will perhaps only be seen once in a lifetime,” said Francois Curiel, international head of jewelry and president of Christie’s Asia.

Christie’s top ten jewels of 2013, listed by price, are as follows.

1. “The Princie Diamond.” The 34.65-carat, VS2 type IIa cushion-cut fancy intense pink Golconda diamond sold to an anonymous buyer for $39.3 million at Christie’s New York in April.

The stone set a world auction record for a Golconda diamond at auction, and is also the most expensive diamond ever sold at Christie’s and in the United States.

2. “The Orange.” This 14.82-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid orange diamond was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $35.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in November, setting a world auction record for price per carat for a diamond (at $2.4 million per carat) and a world auction record for an orange diamond.

3. “Winston Legacy.” This 101.73-carat pear-shaped D-color flawless diamond sold to Harry Winston, which is owned by the Swatch Group, for $26.7 million at Christie’s Geneva in November.

4. “The Star of China.” Tiffany Chen, vice chairman of China Star Entertainment Ltd., bought this 75.36-carat D-color internally flawless briolette diamond for $11.2 million at Christie’s Hong Kong in November, setting a world auction record for a briolette diamond.

5. A 52.58-carat rectangular-cut D-color internally flawless Golconda diamond. This stone was purchased by an anonymous buyer for $10.9 million at Christie’s New York in December.

6. The Patiño emerald and diamond necklace. Made by Cartier in 1937, this necklace sold to an Asian private buyer for $9.9 million at Christie’s Geneva in November.

7. A seven-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace. Purchased by a private collector for $9 million, this necklace sold at Christie’s Geneva in November.

8. A single-strand natural pearl necklace. With pearls measuring from 10.4 to 13.7 millimeters, this piece sold to an anonymous bidder for $8.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in May, setting a world auction record for a single strand natural pearl necklace.

9. A circular-cut D-color flawless diamond necklace. An Asian private buyer purchased this necklace, comprised of 52 stones weighing a total of 104.84 carats, for $8.1 million at Christie’s Hong Kong in November.

10. A Burmese ruby and diamond necklace. Purchased by an Asian private buyer for $6.4 million at

Christie’s Hong Kong in November, this necklace set a world auction record for a ruby necklace.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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