Jewels, Our One Million Dollar Auction

On a wintery Monday evening at Leonard Joel, our Jewels auction of almost 400 items enjoyed a full house and numerous new faces keen to secure one of the largest diamond offerings in recent auction memory. The star catalogue cover piece, lot 215, a rare fancy yellow oval cut diamond rivière, stunned the audience when it sold to an absentee bidder for $195,200 (inc BP).

Likewise, a delicate rivière in alternating sapphires and diamonds, lot 87, realised $13,420 (inc BP). The appetite for “character” jewellery was also evident with bidders focusing their attention on signature pieces. One such example was the vintage Cartier panther brooch, lot 152, that more than quadrupled its estimate to sell for $3,660 (inc BP). The audience were also undeterred by the very formal and lavish nature of much of the collection and this was no more evident than when lot 157, a lavish pear-shaped emerald and diamond pendant necklace, came up for sale. With more than 24 carats of emeralds and diamonds, it sold for $21,960 (inc BP).

141Emerald shoppers were clearly out in force when an equally impressive Art Deco design pair of emerald and diamond earrings, lot 198, sold for a staggering $36,000 (inc BP). Similarly lavish was a cocktail ring by Bulgari with a large and rare prasiolite stone which realised $3,400 plus BP. Signed jewellery by design houses did particularly well throughout the auction, confirming that this jewellery category is well supported by a secondary market more and more attune to its investment quality. Love and investment were in mind when an impressive 9.01ct solitaire ring was snapped up for $164,700. The investment nature of jewellery was in full play when a modestly estimated diamond bracelet containing nine “D” colour centre stones went under the hammer. With perfectly coloured stones, numerous bidders saw keen to secure it as much for diamond quality as for aesthetics. It finally sold for more than six times its estimate at $15,000 plus BP.
Gold jewellery of both Victorian and more recent origin was not overlooked amongst the frenzy for diamond and signed jewellery. In fact, it was refreshing to observe high quality period pieces selling well. Two examples were a complexly designed pair of Etruscan gold and coral earnings, lot 126, which realised $3,172 (inc BP) and a very playful brooch and earring suite of late period Art Deco jewellery, lot 283284, that realised $5,977 (inc BP). The playful theme continued late in the sale with lot 298, a Chanel J12 ladies wristwatch, selling for $6,710 (inc BP). The Jewels auction realised a Leonard Joel record 1.2 Million dollars, confirming this category as one of the most coveted collecting categories at public auction, both here and internationally.

Robert Haigh
Manager, Senior Jewellery Specialist
(03) 8825 5618