Christie’s cleans up with diamonds and rare jewels


The Annenberg Diamond (Christie's Images)

Diamonds brought big prices at Christie’s New York jewelry sale today and the much publicized 32-carat Annenberg Diamond did not disappoint, selling for $7,698,500, more than twice the low estimate. At $240,000 per carat, the Annenberg sets the world record per-carat price for a colorless diamond, according to Christie’s.

“For three and a half hours, between 10 am and 1:30 pm on October 21 at Christie’s, it was as if the recession never happened,” says Rahul Kadakia, head of jewelry at Christie’s New York. “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.” Other impressive diamonds exceeded their low estimates but sold within the expected $1 million+ range.

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Taj Mahal Emerald (Christie's Images)

The sale started again at 2:30pm with the Fred Leighton collection, “Rare Jewels and Objets d’Art.” The big-ticket item of that sale, the carved Taj Mahal Emerald, sold at its low estimate, just under $800,000. Two other items from that sale were the big surprises of the evening. A Belle Epoque diamond and rock crystal bow brooch by Cartier sold for $1,082,500, blowing away its estimate of $200,000-300,000, and an emerald and diamond necklace by Harry Winston from 1956 sold for $950,000, twice its low estimate.