The spring auction season in New York kicked off without much fanfare at Christie’s, where its sale of magnificent jewels tallied up $41,951,125 against a $40 million presale estimate.

The event had some highlights such as the sale of the top lot of the day, a 5.29-carat fancy intense purplish pink diamond, which after a round of moderately competitive bidding, sold for $5,765,000 or $1,090,000 per carat to a dealer on the phone. Of the 310 lots offered, 238 sold and the sale was 77 percent sold by both value and lot.

Natural pearls were the stars of the day with a few of these rarities on offer, all of which sold for very strong prices, including a four-strand natural colored pearl necklace. An Asian private paid a hefty $5,093,000 for the treasure setting a world auction record price for a natural colored pearl necklace.

The sale had a number of passes -- mostly on more commercial goods -- but it did have some bright spots as well. A collection of signed jewelry from an unnamed collector really got the crowd going and was the most exciting part of the sale as dealers and privates competed vigorously for the jewels.

There was a collective gasp in the room when it was announced that the 80.73-carat K, VS2 cushion-cut diamond ring was pulled from the sale. White diamonds sold steadily, but yellow diamonds were having a bad day as most on offer were left on the block.  Overall it was a satisfying sale with solid results for collectible and rare items.

Source: Rapaport