Friday, October 23, 2009

32-carat Annenberg astonishes at auction

An anonymous buyer paid $7.7 million for the 32.01-carat Asscher-cut Annenberg Diamond at Christie's on Wednesday. The stone features D color and flawless clarity.

New York--In an event Christie's is terming "an auction to remember," an anonymous buyer paid $7.7 million for the 32.01-carat D-flawless Annenberg Diamond on Wednesday, well surpassing the stone's estimated sale price of $3 million to $5 million.The diamond, owned by philanthropist Leonore "Lee" Annenberg, who died in March at the age of 91, was mounted in a ring by Manhattan jeweler David Webb.Its sale set a new, world-record auction price of $240,000 per carat for a colorless diamond, according to Christie's.
Overall, Christie's "Jewels: The New York Sale and the Annenberg Diamond" and "Rare Jewels and Objets d'Art: A Superb Collection" held on Wednesday in New York City, totaled $46.5 million and achieved a combined sell-through rate of 85 percent by lot and 94 percent by value.In a press release, Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie's New York, said the activity at the auction defied these recessionary times."For three-and-a-half hours, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 21 at Christie's, it was as if the recession never happened," he said.
"Virtually every lot exceeded its estimate, and the $7.7 million Annenberg Diamond astonished even the most seasoned diamond dealer. It was an auction to remember. And if this were not enough, the sale started again at 2:30 p.m. and continued until 7:00 p.m., giving collectors opportunity to acquire exceptional masterpieces from the superb collection of Rare Jewels and Objets d'Art."Also sold on Wednesday was a 16.33-carat circular-cut diamond with E color and flawless clarity, purchased by a private Asian dealer for $1.6 million, or $97,000 per carat.
Among the pieces exceeding estimates were a belle epoque diamond and rock crystal bow brooch by Cartier, which was expected to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000, but was purchased by a member of the U.S. trade for $1.1 million, and a Harry Winston emerald and diamond necklace, circa 1956, expected to fetch between $500,000 to $700,000 that sold for $950,500.

Source : National Jeweler, October 22, 2009

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