Diamonds and colored gemstones underscored Freeman’s Jewelry & Watches auction on May 5. While diamonds brought the highest prices of the day, the growing popularity of emeralds was evident, as several significant pieces featuring the green gemstone were offered and sold. Coincidentally, the top lot of the day was an impressive platinum ring with a rectangular step-cut—or emerald shape—diamond weighing 11.71 carats that fetched $290,500.
From Cleopatra to modern royalty and Hollywood starlets, emeralds have been worn for centuries. According to a recent CNN article published in December 2013, “The price for high-quality emeralds has increased by a factor of 10 since 2009, and the price of Colombian emeralds is set to increase by at least 25% this year alone.”
Emerald highlights from the auction included a platinum ring with a pear shaped emerald and diamond from Tiffany & Co. (pictured below) that sold for $206,500—the second highest price achieved at the auction— and a pair of Colombian emerald, diamond, platinum and eighteen karat gold earclips by Hammerman Brothers, which fetched $74,500. In addition, an untreated Colombian emerald and eighteen karat rose gold ring achieved $46,080; an emerald and eighteen karat gold Chi Rho brooch by Castellani, circa. 1860, brought $31,250; and a Colombian emerald, diamond, and platinum ring sold for $16,250.
Even with a new interest in emeralds, diamonds still shone as the stars of the auction. As mentioned above, an impressive, rectangular, step-cut, 11.71 carats, diamond and platinum ring brought $290,500. The third highest price achieved was for a 7.73 carat diamond and platinum ring that sold for $122,500. In addition, a diamond rivière necklace, comprised of 59 old European and old-mine cut European diamonds sold for $80,500 and a late Art Deco diamond and platinum strap bracelet circ. 1935 fetched $31,250.
Monday’s auction was the first sale for Freeman’s newly appointed Department Head Michael Larsen, who said, “Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the auction, which achieved nearly $1.8 million with 86% of lots sold. The jewelry market continues to be strong as highlighted by the performance of important diamonds, designer pieces, and fine colored stones.”
Notable Lots from the Jewelry & Watches auction
- Lot 175: $290,500, An impressive diamond and platinum ring, with onerectangular step-cut diamond, weighing 11.71 carats.
- Lot 65: $206,500, A Colombian 3.85 carat emerald and 3.40 carat diamond, eighteen karat gold and platinum ring, Tiffany & Co.
- Lot 73: $122,500, A diamond and platinum ring, centering a marquise-cut diamond, weighing: 7.73 carats.
- Lot 42: $80,500, A diamond and platinum rivière necklace, comprised of fifty-nine old European and old mine cut diamonds, weighing approximately 28 carats.
- Lot 104: $74,500, A pair of Colombian emerald, diamond, platinum and eighteen karat gold pendant earclips, Hammerman Brothers, Emeralds weighing approximately 5.75 and 6.40 carats, respectively. Total diamond weight approximately, 21.20 carats.