A fancy intense blue diamond which has been held in a private collection for nearly 30 years, sold for $3.6 million (£2.69 million) at Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale in London on September 20. The pear-shaped 4.03-carat diamond became the subject of a fierce bidding frenzy before it finally went under the hammer, selling to Graff Diamonds for $853,203 price per carat.
The second highest value lot sold during the sale was a 9.61-carat Kashmir sapphire single-stone ring. The octagonal step-cut sapphire has no indications of heating and went under the hammer for $1.14 million (£845,000), equating to $112,600 price per carat.
A fancy coloured diamond brooch dating from the mid-20th century sold for $978,438 (£725,000). The brooch comprised a total of four fancy-coloured diamonds ̶ a square step-cut 4.83-carat fancy grey-blue, two fancy dark brown-greenish yellow step-cuts, weighing 2.51 and 2.38 carats respectively, and a pear-shaped 1.9-carat fancy pink.
White diamonds, a staple of any fine jewellery sale, also performed well at the sale. Estimated at $108,000-$135,000 (£80,000-£100,000), an old marquise-cut 4.61-carat, D colour, VVS2 diamond single-stone ring sold for $160,260 (£118,750).
The overall sale total was £7,615,375 with 93 per cent lots sold by value.
The most spectacular performances were seen at the sale of jewellery designed by Anglo-Italian jeweller Andrew Grima, who was regarded as one of the 20th century’s most daring and imaginative designers. He was the go-to society jeweller for royals, celebrities, socialites and artists throughout the swinging sixties and seventies and his earliest clients included Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Bond girl Ursula Andress. Today, collectors of his work include fashion designers Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada.
Fifty-five pieces of Grima jewellery became the subject of bidding on the telephones, online and in the saleroom at Bonhams New Bond Street and every lot sold. The collection achieved a final selling price of $1.1 million (£817,750).
Star performing lots from the sale included:
- An 18-carat gold and citrine wristwatch, ‘Teak’ from Grima’s 1970 “About Time” collection, which sold for $43,847 (£32,500), or eight times its pre-sale estimate.
- A 1968 gold and diamond ‘pencil shavings’ brooch which sold for $23,610 (£17,500) against its pre-sale estimate of $5,396-$8,094 (£4,000-£6,000).
- A pair of 1971 gold and amethyst pendent earrings, part of the “Rock Revival” collection, which sold for $40,470 (£30,000) against their pre-sale estimate of $8,094-$10,792 (£6,000-£8,000).
- A 1980 diamond-set ‘Bark’ ring which sold for $21,077 (£15,625), or 10 times its pre-sale estimate of $2,023-$2,698 (£1,500-£2,000).
- A 1995 18-carat gold, amethyst, emerald and diamond ring which sold for $21,925 (£16,250) against its pre-sale estimate £4,000-£6,000.
- A circa 1966 gold and diamond necklace that sold for £46,250 against its pre-sale estimate of $5,396-$8,094 (£4,000-6,000).
- A 1972 gold, bolder opal and diamond pendant/necklace which sold for $80,955 (£60,000) against a pre-sale estimate of $26,992-$40,485 (£20,000-£30,000).
- A 1974 18-carat gold, citrine and diamond necklace which sold for $67,474 (£50,000) against its pre-sale estimate of $20,242-$26,992 (£15,000-£20,000).
Stellar performances were also achieved by Cartier signed jewellery. A 1925 art deco sapphire and diamond necklace/bracelet combination sold for $225,350 (£167,000) against its pre-sale estimate of $80,970-$94,473 (£60,000-£70,000).