Bonham’s Fine Jewelry Auction Recap

A three-stone white gold ring with brilliant round-cut diamonds sold at the Bonhams New York auction.

Bonhams New York held a “Fine Jewelry” auction at their Madison Avenue location on April 19. Auction lots consisted of contemporary and antique fine jewelry pieces, as well as high-quality gem stones. The spirited proceedings were simulcast to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and attracted a bevy of international bidders who packed the auction house or participated via the Internet and phone.

The auction’s top earner was a stunning 14.82-carat, JVVS1 marquise-cut, diamond solitaire ring. The piece sold for $482,500, nearly doubling its $250,000 pre-auction estimate. Another high earner was a 20.59-carat cut-cornered rectangular diamond solitaire ring, which sold for $254,000. A smaller 4.42-carat cut-cornered, rectangular-cut diamond solitaire stone went for an impressive $116,500.

Antique jewelry was also in high demand, thanks to two distinct pieces that date back to 1910. A belle époque yellow topaz and diamond necklace sold for $15,625, while an 8.46-carat marquise-cut diamond solitaire ring fetched $88,900.

Other hot ticket items include a striking, turtle-shaped, purple sapphire and amethyst diamond brooch. The distinctive piece was bought for $68,500, earning six times its pre-sale estimate. Fine gemstones were represented by an exquisite, 7.10-carat, European-cut solitaire diamond. The high-grade diamond sold for $60,000.

Bonhams New York reports that the auction was a rousing success. Early estimates list a take of $5 million for the single-day event. The impressive tally suggests high-demand in the market for fine jewelry.

 

 

Finding Vintage Bridal Jewelry

You can find breathtaking vintage wedding jewelry at auctions, jewelry stores or among your own family members.

Tradition states brides need “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.” Put a stylish touch on the “Something old” requirement by wearing a distinct piece of vintage jewelry on your wedding day. From shimmering diamond bracelets and natural pearl necklaces, to classic pieces that are centuries old, there are a myriad of options to choose from.

Local Jewelers

Vintage jewelry can be obtained in various ways. Visit your local jeweler to see if they have any vintage pieces in stock. The jeweler will provide the history of the piece, and an interesting story about the way it was acquired. Most importantly, they will ensure that the piece is structurally sound before they resell it.

Online Jewelers

Online jewelers that specialize in vintage jewelry are another option. By shopping online, you have access to pieces across the globe. This increases your options of finding unique jewelry from different regions and countries. You can peruse the online inventory and look at pictures of the jewelry and the historical information the jeweler provides.  On the downside, you will not have the opportunity to see the piece in person. However, if you do your homework and purchase from a reputable online retailer, you will find a quality piece.

Estate sales

Estate sales are routinely held in most areas on the weekends, and they generally feature unique jewelry pieces that were acquired during someone’s lifetime. The jewelry is typically very unique since it represents the previous owners taste, interests, life and travels. Some of the jewelry offered at the sales can be expensive. However, you can find beautiful antique jewelry pieces at reasonable prices. Estate sales are typically advertised in local newspapers or online classified websites such as craigslist.org.

Jewelry Auctions

For the well-to-do looking to make a statement at their wedding, auctions are a great way to find one-of-a-kind fine vintage jewelry. Auction houses such as Christie’s International and Sotheby’s in New York routinely offer up the world’s most glamorous pieces which once belonged to royalty, affluent families and Hollywood legends.

Family Heirlooms

If you are looking for a piece with familial attachment, talk to your parents and family members and see if they have any vintage jewelry to spare.  A family heirloom will add a touch of comfort and a connection to the past, while you head into a new life with your significant other.

The Magnificent Jewels Auction

Forty jewelry pieces from the Lucille Davidson collection will be up for auction, including this flower brooch, adorned with stunning diamonds and rubies.

Christie’s “Magnificent Jewels” Auction is set to take place on April 17th at the Rockefeller Center Headquarters in New York. The auction will feature 300 individual jewelry pieces from the collections of private donors and late-heiresses. Items up for auction include necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and brooches studded with diamonds, rare gemstones and natural pearls. Individual pieces are expected to earn from $2,000 to $8,000,000, and Christie’s is expecting to take in $40 million overall.

The Magnificent Jewels auction will contain dozens of pieces from the estates of several high-end jewelry collectors. Forty pieces from the jewelry collection of Lucille E. Davidson, an art collector and philanthropist who died in 2010, are up for auction. The collection is noted for its exceptional signed jewelry pieces which feature modern designs, and is highlighted by a “mystery set” of jewels designed by Van Cleef and Arpels. Mystery set jewels include the stunning “Pavot” flower brooch, which is studded with rubies and diamonds, the ruby and diamond “Bow Brooch,” and two sapphire and diamond bracelets.

In addition to fine estate jewelry, the auction will contain an impressive selection of diamond rings. Top pieces include a 6.26-carat, D-color, circular-cut diamond ring, and the “Belle Epoque” diamond ring, a 6.50-carat, D-Color stunner that is internally flawless.

Several of the world’s finest colored diamonds, rare gemstones, and natural pearls are also up for auction. The highlight of the colored diamonds is the 43.49-carat, cushion-cut fancy intense yellow diamond ring. The dramatic piece was designed by Graff and has an estimated value of $1.5 million. The exquisite, five-strand natural pearl necklace is expected to fetch between $600,000 and $800,000, while the pear-shaped, 10.26 and 9.01-carat Colombian emerald ear pendants, and square-cut, 9.13 and 8.16-carat fancy yellow ear clips, are also sure to be popular with bidders.

The Dubai Gold Souk

The Dubai Gold Souk is a jewelry lover's paradise, with world class diamonds and precious gems for sale in an extensive array or styles.

Dubai is a renowned Middle East destination known as the playground for the rich. The desert gem rose to international prominence due to its futuristic architecture, lavish attractions and opulent lifestyle. The United Arab Emirates’ most famous city is also a top destination for jewelry lovers. In fact, Dubai’s legendary jewelry prowess has led to it being dubbed “the City of Gold.”

Dubai’s main trading district for jewelry is the dazzling Dubai Gold Souk, an open-air market nestled along the narrow alleyways of the old Deira area. The marketplace gained notoriety in the 1940s after the government lessened restrictions on free trade. Today, the district is a popular spot for tourists looking to score fine jewelry products at deeply discounted prices.

The Dubai Gold Souk is home to approximately 300 retailers that supply the majority of the Middle East’s jewelry. The district is the second largest distributor of gold bullion in the world. According to industry estimates, 95% of the yellow gold sold at the Dubai Gold Souk is 21 karat, while the remaining 5% is 18 karat. The Dubai Gold Souk is strictly regulated by the government; therefore, the jewelry sold there is genuine.

The Dubai Gold Souk offers a staggering selection of wrist and foot bangles, necklaces, amulets, rings and pendants that feature a distinct Middle Eastern flair. Retailers also offer impressive selections of diamonds, platinum and sterling silver jewelry.  The jewelry is so glamorous that it is routinely featured in Bollywood films, where it is worn by India’s biggest stars.

If you find yourself in Dubai with a little time to kill, spend the day at the Dubai Gold Souk. Whether you are in the market for jewelry, or are simply looking for an interesting place to people-watch, the marketplace is among the city’s must-see attractions.

The World’s Most Expensive Jewelry

The sale of expensive jewelry generates headlines across the globe. Diamond lovers and appreciators of artistic pieces wait with baited breath to see what these unique jewels will earn when offered up at the world’s most prestigious auction houses.

The Onyx Panther Bracelet, designed by Cartier, is among the world’s priciest pieces. The bracelet was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2010 for a whopping $7 million due to its exquisite design and royal lineage.

The luxurious piece is a symbol of the forbidden love shared between King Edward VIII of England and his mistress, Wallis Simpson, an American Socialite. Since Simpson was a divorcee, their relationship was frowned upon by the Royal Family and British Government. However, the King was so enamored with Simpson that he announced a royal abdication in December 1936 in order to marry her. Following the abdication, Edward was given the title His Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor by his brother George VI. When Edward married Wallis the following year, she was crowned the Duchess of Windsor.

The Onyx Panther Bracelet is a striking piece with a fascinating royal history.

The Duchess of Windsor received the bracelet as a gift from her husband in 1952. The Onyx Panther Bracelet has a total width of 6.5-inches and a total length of 7.7-inches. The panther’s body is composed of pave-set brilliant and single-cut diamonds, calibre-cut onyx and platinum, while its illustrious eyes are made from marquise-shaped emeralds.

The story of Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson was chronicled in the 2011 film, “W.E.” directed by Madonna.

The Sun Drop Diamond is the world's most revered yellow diamond.

The Sun Drop Diamond is arguably the world’s most illustrious yellow diamond. Originally discovered in South Africa in 2010, the 110.03-carat stone was graded Fancy Vivid Yellow by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). To date, Fancy Vivid Yellow is the highest-color grading ever given to a yellow diamond. Since its discovery, the diamond has been exhibited across the globe, including an extended stay at London’s Natural History Museum. In November 2011, the Sun Drop Diamond fetched $10.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva, Switzerland.

The World’s First All-Diamond Ring

 The world's first all-diamond ring dwarfs Kim Kardashian's and Elizabeth Taylor's famed diamonds.

Swiss designer Shawesh Jewelry has unveiled what they are claiming as “The World’s First All Diamond Ring.” The designer is trumpeting their 150-carat sparkler which is valued at a jaw-dropping price of $70 million. According to Mohammad Shawesh, CEO of the Geneva-based design house, the ring took over a year to create. In a 2011 interview with Vogue UK, Shawesh stated that the idea for the ring came from his desire “to do something new.” Shawesh continued by saying that “A ring made entirely of diamonds seemed like a fantasy. It seemed impossible, so we decided to embark upon the adventure of creating it.”

To create the all-diamond stunner, a design team used special laser equipment to form the piece from a single massive rock. The special laser equipment allowed designers to cut directly into the diamond with expert precision and to create the oversized piece without sacrificing the diamond’s integrity.

Shawesh Jewelry’s all-diamond ring was recently displayed at the 2012 edition of “BaselWorld Watch and Jewelry Show” and it was the talk of the event. The high-profile exhibition is held annually and it features the latest designs from the world’s top jewelry design houses.

By comparison, the all-diamond ring is five times larger than the stunning, 20.5-carat engagement ring Kim Kardashian was presented with before her 72-day marriage to NBA basketball star Kris Humphries. In fact, the all-diamond ring makes Elizabeth Taylor’s world-famous 33.19-carat diamond ring seem passé.

With so many carats on display, the ring will be coveted by a who’s who of diamond lovers looking to flaunt their wealth. The lucky lady who receives the all-diamond ring will forever hold the trump card whenever carat size is mentioned. Most importantly, she will be walking around with the key to a cushy lifestyle wrapped around her finger.

I guess diamonds truly are a girl’s best friend.

Queen Elizabeth’s Legendary Jewelry

Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 60th anniversary on England’s throne. In honor of the occasion, we look at several awe-inspiring jewelry pieces from the queen’s legendary jewelry collection.

Aquamarine Necklace and Earrings

Queen Elizabeth II received this beautiful aquamarine and diamond platinum necklace from the people of Brazil.

During her coronation in 1952, the Brazilian president gave 25-year-old Queen Elizabeth II an oversized aquamarine necklace and matching earrings as a gift from the people of Brazil. The necklace features 9 oversized, square-cut aquamarines surrounded by diamonds and set in platinum. The matching earrings also features aquamarines set in diamonds and platinum.

Royal Engagement Ring

Queen Elizabeth II’s royal engagement ring was given to her by Prince Philip in 1947. The ring’s diamond stones were once set in a tiara that belonged to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Andrew of Greece. Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum engagement ring features a large square center diamond flanked by smaller diamonds.

Tiaras Galore

The Vladimir Tiara includes 15 breathtaking emeralds.

You cannot be a queen without a gorgeous tiara, and Queen Elizabeth II has a staggering collection of stunning headpieces. The Vladimir Tiara is reportedly Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite. Originally made for the Grand Duchess of Vladimir, the aunt of Russian Tsar Nicholas II, the Vladimir Tiara was smuggled out of Russia during the Revolution of 1921. The Vladimir Tiara was eventually sold to Queen Mary, who had its pearls removed, and modified the headpiece to fit 15 emeralds. Queen Elizabeth II inherited the tiara from Queen Mary in 1953.

Budget-Friendly Engagement Rings

According to tradition, you should spend at least two months’ salary on a diamond engagement ring. Following tradition can be pricey. But if you shop smart, you will find a quality engagement ring that won’t break the bank.

Diamonds

Diamonds inflate the cost of an engagement ring. Colorless diamonds are rare and expensive. Consider purchasing a lower grade white diamond to save money. Colored diamonds are also an option since they are typically cheaper than white diamonds. A yellow, brown, black or pink diamond also offers unique style.

Smaller carat sizes are cheaper. Jewelers charge more for a 1.0-carat ring than a 0.9 -carat ring. So if you want to buy a 4.0-carat ring, for instance, purchase a 3.9-carat ring instead. You will save money, and the difference in size will probably go unnoticed.

Bands

Precious metal bands increase the cost of an engagement ring. Platinum bands are stunning, but come with a hefty price tag. If you want the platinum look for a cheaper price, purchase a 14K or 18K white gold ring instead.

Heirloom Rings

Antique and family heirloom rings are budget-friendly options. Since the rings have been passed down from several generations, they have storied histories and sentimental value. Have the ring inspected by a licensed jeweler to ensure that it is in good condition.

Jewelry at SAG Awards

The 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards once again brought out Hollywood’s finest – not just in the acting realm, but also in the dazzling jewelry showcased by the stars.  This year’s awards included gorgeous diamonds as well as a diverse mix of bold and beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.

Diamonds

Diamonds remain a classic style staple for the graceful acting crowd, and a popular way to wear the exquisite gems this year was with chic and understated palladium and diamond earrings.  Actress and model Stacy Keibler escorted George Clooney to the event donning a stunning pair of palladium and diamond teardrop earrings. “Extra” host Maria Menounos wore sparkling palladium teardrop earrings as well, and paired the ensemble with a diamond bangle bracelet.

“My Week With Marilyn” actress Michelle Williams took a more luxurious approach, donning a unique, eye-catching antique diamond snake ring.

Beyond Diamonds

Sofia Vergara donned a bold rose dress paired with gorgeous amethyst jewelry.

Other stars strayed off the beaten path beyond diamonds at the SAG Awards. The elegant Sofia Vergara sported a bold amethyst cuff and earrings with a rich violet hue to perfectly complement her rose-colored Marchesa dress.

TV personality Giuliana Rancic ventured far outside of the box with a breath-taking, modern gold neck piece with a folded design.

A diamond heart pendant is a beautiful way to say “I love you” on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Jewelry Offers Tokens of Lasting Love

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance, passion and love. What better way to woo your lover than with a beautiful piece of Valentine’s Day jewelry? Here is a rundown of some of the most popular Valentine’s Day jewelry options:

Pendants

A heart pendant is a fitting way to say “I love you” to your special someone on Valentine’s Day. You can go all out with a diamond-studded pendant or stick to a more casual look with all sterling silver or 14-karat gold. Also, consider buying a necklace with rubies, whose radiant red will remind your lover of your romantic connection.

Rings

Rings are a classic way to demonstrate your love, and they offer endless options. Valentine’s rings may include pink diamonds, rubies, white diamonds or other gems. Sometimes Valentine’s Day rings have heart-shaped stones or metal to commemorate the romantic holiday. If cash is not a concern for you, consider getting a rare red diamond ring, which symbolizes passion and class. A brilliant flame-colored diamond is sure to capture your love’s heart.

Bracelets

Valentine’s bracelets come in many styles, with charm bracelets and chain bracelets being popular choices. When shopping for a bracelet, consider the intensity of your relationship, as well as your lover’s style and preferences. Diamonds are perfect for lovers and charm bracelets or beaded bracelets are great for more casual relationships. Men can wear jewelry too, and leather bracelets are a nice gift option for the man in your life.