Two items from Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sales at Alexandra House in Hong Kong on July 9: a 12.11-carat fancy intense blue/IF diamond ring, with pre-sale estimate of $8 million to $12 million, and a 19.53-carat Burmese star ruby and diamond pendant necklace by Etcetera, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.3 million to $3.5 million.
But in many respects, it is the online option that is garnering the greatest attention, largely because it seen as a viable operating option in a word where buyers often are nervous about venturing from their homes.
The shift to online sales, however, began quite a bit earlier than with the outbreak of the global pandemic. Already in 2019, Sotheby’s had, reported that 60 percent of its auction participants and 50 percent of the actual buyers of the buyers placed bids online, respectively up 74 percent and 88 percent from 2010, with the proportion of lots sold online seeing a growth of 900 percent in terms of numbers and 137 percent in value, the auction house added.
According to Sotheby’s, most valuable jewel ever purchased online was a pair of diamond earrings that sold for $6 million at its Geneva sale in May 2016.
GOING UNDER THE DIGITAL HAMMER
For its part, Christies began selling jewelry online in December 2011, with a highly successful sale of items once owned by Elizabeth Taylor.
continues to innovate, and its Jewels Online same, which will spread over two weeks during the second half of June, will offer the largest D color diamond to be offered for sale via the Internet.
With a pre-sale estimate of between $1 million and $2 million, the diamond, which is set in a ring, is the highest valued lot ever offered for sale online by the auction house.
It is not the only spectacular piece being offered during the sale. Also going under the “digital” hammer is a Graff diamond and sapphire necklace of tapering openwork flower motif design, with a pre-sale estimate of $70,000 to $100,000.
An addition piece fashioned by Graff that will be features in the online sale is a ‘Classic Butterfly’ wristwatch, with a presale estimate of between $50,000 and $70,000.
With a pre-sale estimate of between $ 1million and $2 million, the 28.86-carat, D color, VVS1 clarity diamond is the top lot at Christie’s Jewels Online sale, which will take place June 16 to 20, and is the most valuable diamond ever to sold by the company in an online sale. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)
The ‘Classic Butterfly’ wristwatch, with a presale estimate of between $50,000 and $70,000, which is being sold in Christie’s Jewels Online sale in June.
ONLINE BEATING THE DRUM FOR OFFLINE
While online is getting much of the publicity, live sales will also be taking place. Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sales at Alexandra House on July 9 will present a spectacular selection of dazzling diamonds and coloured gemstones.
Leading the sale is a 12.11-carat fancy intense blue/IF diamond ring from a distinguished private collector. Radiating a beautiful sky blue hue, the marquise brilliant-cut internally flawless coloured diamond is described by the auction house as “undoubtedly one of the most collectible gems in the market.” It has a pre-sale estimate of $8 million to $12 million.
Another noteworthy highlight of the Hong Kong sale is a 19.53-carat Burmese star ruby and diamond pendant necklace by Etcetera, with a pre-sale estimate of $2.3 million to $3.5 million. It is designed by the renowned jeweler Edmond Chin.
Fancy yellow diamonds will also go on the block in Hong Kong, with the most prominent being a 7.02-carats fancy vivid yellow/VS1 diamond ring, with a pre-sale estimate of $380,000 to $650,000.
“The success of our recent online auction which achieved the highest total for a Hong Kong Jewellery online sale, reflects robust global demand for exceptional pieces and continued demand for well-curated sales, said Vickie Sek, Chairman of Christie’s Jewellery Asia Pacific. “We look forward to seeing this momentum continue into our July live sales as collectors pursue prized gems of unmatched splendor and rarity.”