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Sotheby’s Holds Another Record Sale For Fine Jewels : Graff’s 100 Carat Yellow Diamond Fetches $16 Million

Investitures at Buckingham Palace

Yesterday, Sotheby’s auction in Geneva set a world record for a jewellery auction. The company’s sale of exceptional jewels totalled almost US$14.5 million, right at the top end of the auction house’s estimated range for the collection, too.

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Altogether Sotheby’s established seven different records at yesterday’s auction, the most important of which was the setting of a new record for the sale of a yellow diamond when the sensational “Graff Vivid Yellow, ” an exceptional 100.09 carat, daffodil yellow, diamond ring sold for more than US$16.3 million. Sotheby’s avers this very beautiful stone, full of fire and brilliance to be one of the largest fancy vivid yellow diamonds in the world.

Switzerland Sotheby Auction Laurence Graff


With the sale of the Graff Vivid Yellow, which is a surprisingly awkward name, and one very ill-suited to the poetic and romantic hues emanating from the gemstone itself, David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland and Chairman of the Jewellery Department for Europe and the Middle East, was nevertheless delighted to say after the show, “100 carats is a magical number when it comes to diamonds. With its exceptional size and a superb daffodil colour, the Graff Vivid Yellow is a truly extraordinary diamond with immense presence.”

He continued, “These rare qualities led to the record price achieved tonight. Throughout the day, we witnessed intense bidding from all corners of the globe for exceptional diamonds, gemstones and signed jewels. Once again, fine pieces with important provenance were highly sought after.”


A second large diamond was also auctioned successfully at the sale, also weighing over 100 carats. This was a “regular”, but again spectacular, diamond ring also by Graff, set with a 103.46 carat round brilliant-cut diamond, which sold for almost US$4.9 million. Like the Graff Vivid Yellow, this stone, which is one of the largest known round diamonds, also appears on the list of the “World’s Largest Cut Diamonds” in Ian Balfour’s “Famous Diamonds.”

Altogether this is a good recovery for Sotheby’s from its Geneva sale just last November, when it set a world-record price of US$83 million for the famous over 60 carat, Steinmetz cut, Pink diamond. However, Sotheby’s took the stone back into inventory in February when the buyer failed to pay for it. The total for that auction sale without the default would have been almost US$200 million.


So the continued good results yesterday must now be encouraging for Sotheby’s management, as it tries to re-set its strategic direction in all areas of its business now that peace has been declared between its Board of Directors and activist inventor Daniel Loeb.




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