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Bonhams sets new world record with exquisite Sri Lankan sapphire ring from Van Cleef & Arpels
Pink Diamond Ring. Photo: Bonhams.

HONG KONG.- An exquisite sapphire and diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels featuring a rectangular-cut sapphire weighing 43.16 carats set a new world record, selling for HK$12,084,000 on 23rd November at the sale of ‘Eight Exceptional Jewels from a Private Collection’ at Bonhams in Hong Kong.

Bidders competed fiercely for the striking ring, which at HK$280,000 (US$36,000) per carat, went well over its pre-sale estimate of HK$4,260,000 – 5,050,000 and broke the previous record for a Sri Lankan sapphire, which was US$26,000 per carat. The total for the sale also far exceeded the pre-sale estimate realising HK$33,856,500.

In 1969, Jacques Arpels travelled to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in person to acquire the exceptional 43.16 carat sapphire. The perfectly crystalline, flawless stone was subsequently mounted in a ring and flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds. This ring demonstrates the jeweller’s expertise in sourcing stones of extraordinary depth and quality.

Van Cleef & Arpels has long been known as one of the most innovative and well established jewellers in the world. Members of the Royal family such as the Prince of Wales and A-list celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly bought some of their finest pieces from the renowned jeweller.

Another of the key highlights in the ‘Eight Exceptional Jewels’ sale included an important diamond necklace/choker/ bracelet with 22 precisely matched emeralds weighing 47 carats and 412 diamonds with a total weight of more than 70 carats. Between 1959 and 1961 Van-Cleef and Arpels went in search of the superlative gems to make this sumptuous collar necklace, which sold for HK$9,620,000.

A magnificent ruby and diamond strap bracelet, which is recorded in Van Cleef & Arpels’ archive as being made in 1936 was another of the top lots, selling for HK$3,620,000. It was once in the collection of glamorous philanthropist and leader of pre-WW2 French Riviera society, Madame Hélène Beaumont. Set with 107 carats of fine-quality rubies, the bracelet is remarkable for its outstanding supple and ribbon-like craftsmanship.

The Fine Jewellery & Jadeite sale on the same day also realised strong prices for the top pieces, with the highest-value lot far exceeding expectations. The magnificent diamond single-stone ring featuring an unusual ‘Fancy Light Pink’ pear-shaped diamond sold for HK$9,844,000 against a pre-sale estimate of HK$6,100,000 – 7,300,000.

Graeme Thompson, Bonhams recently recruited Head of Jewellery in Asia, said: “We offered exceptional jewels and they have made exceptional prices. We produced a fabulous single-owner catalogue for the collection of ‘Eight Exceptional Jewels’ and have marketed the sale around the globe. I am delighted for our vendor that we have proved we can get world-record breaking prices.”

Matthew Girling, Bonhams Group Jewellery director comments: “Our new team in Hong Kong led by Graeme Thompson is already proving itself with this significant sale. However this was a worldwide team effort. We drew on consignments for the sale from across the globe. It is a testimony to that team effort that we have produced such remarkable results.”

The top five jewellery results across the two combined jewellery sales held in Hong Kong on 23rd November are as follows:

• Lot 8 (Eight Exceptional Jewels): An exceptional sapphire and diamond ring, by Van Cleef & Arpels: HK$12,084,000

• Lot 1056 (Fine Jewellery & Jadeite): A magnificent diamond single-stone ring: HK$9,844,000

• Lot 7 (Eight Exceptional Jewels): An important emerald and diamond necklace/choker/bracelet combination by Van Cleef & Arpels: HK$9,620,000

• Lot 6 (Eight Exceptional Jewels): A magnificent ruby and diamond strap bracelet, by Van Cleef & Arpels: HK$3,620,000

• Lot 3 (Eight Exceptional Jewels): A fine emerald ring: HK$3,020,000

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