• Switzerland edition
 
Age of austerity bypasses Swiss auctions
These ruby and diamond ear clips sold for 3.3 million francs (Photo: Sotheby's)

Age of austerity bypasses Swiss auctions

Published: 15 Nov 2012 18:38 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Nov 2012 18:38 GMT+01:00

From a flawless diamond that fetched nearly $21.5 million to another gem that went under the hammer for $10.9 million, Geneva's November jewellery auctions smashed several records this year.
  
Sotheby's chairman for jewellery in Europe and the Middle East David Bennett said the quality of sapphires, rubies and emeralds "was simply outstanding and this was reflected in the prices realised".

Sotheby's raked in a total of 76.7 million francs ($81 million) with its semiannual "Magnificent Jewels Sale", while rival
house Christie's pulled in 80.6 million francs in a parallel auction.

Among the many jewels up for grabs at the Sotheby's auction was an exceptionally rare deep blue diamond that sold for $10.9 million, a world record auction price per carat.

Estimates for the diamond were between $3.5 million and $4.5 million and Sotheby's said it went to London jeweller Laurence Graff after a bidding battle.

One expert told AFP that it was clear buyers were "looking to diversify their portfolios" by investing in quality jewellery.

Diamonds and gemstones also considered a safe haven by investors in tough economic times.

Many other lots reached astronomical sale prices, including a 1920s baby pink conch pearl and diamond Cartier bracelet designed for Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain.

The bracelet sold for $3.5 million Wednesday, a record at auction and one of the highest prices ever paid for a Cartier piece, which Sotheby's described as one of the most important jewels of the last century.

Other highlights of the Sotheby's auction included a series of Burmese sapphires.

One of them, a 39 carat ring-mounted gem, went under the hammer for $2.9 million, more than nine times pre-sale estimates.

Rival auction house Christie's also broke records with the sale of the flawless "Archduke Joseph Diamond" for $21.48 million on Tuesday.

The price the 76-carat jewel — which once belonged to the Archduke Joseph August of Austria — fetched is a record for the auction of a clear, colourless diamond, Christie's said.

It is also the highest auction price per carat for such a gem and the record for a diamond from India's famed Golconda mines, which also produced the Koh-i-Noor that is part of the British crown jewels.

The buyer made the purchase by telephone and was not named by the auction house.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
UBS 'to pay French $1.5 billion over tax evasion'
Photo: Martin Abegglen

UBS 'to pay French $1.5 billion over tax evasion'

Swiss bank UBS was on Wednesday charged with tax fraud in Paris for allegedly helping rich French clients to hide money in Switzerland, a judicial source said. READ  

Renewable energy activities hit ABB results
Photo: Roland Zh

Renewable energy activities hit ABB results

Swiss-Swedish engineering group ABB said its profits fell in the second quarter, pulled down by renewable energy activities, despite strong orders, particularly in North America. READ  

Red Cross officially declares Ukraine civil war

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross said Wednesday that it considered Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, urging both sides to respect the laws of conflict as civilians bear the brunt. READ  

Israel's actions 'may be war crimes': Pillay
Navi Pillay. Photo: UNHCR

Israel's actions 'may be war crimes': Pillay

Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip could amount to war crimes, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said in Geneva on Wednesday, while also condemning indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militants Hamas. READ  

Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train
Photo: Sebastian Widmann/AFP/Getty Images

Wheelchair user killed in station by SBB train

An investigation is under way into the death of a man in a wheelchair who was killed on Tuesday by a Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) train travelling through the Roggwil-Wynau train station in the canton of Bern. READ  

Geneva bank CBH snaps up Portuguese interests
Photo: (Detail) AFP

Geneva bank CBH snaps up Portuguese interests

The main shareholder of troubled Banco Espirito Santo (BES) was placed in receivership on Tuesday as the parent group announced it has sold off the bulk of its Swiss-based activities to Compagnie Bancaire Helvétique, a Geneva-based bank. READ  

Palestinian meets Fifa chief over Gaza crisis
FIFA chief Sepp Blatter. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr.

Palestinian meets Fifa chief over Gaza crisis

Fifa chief Sepp Blatter on Tuesday raised the alarm about the spiralling Gaza crisis as he held talks with the head of the Palestinian Football Association. READ  

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP/File

Hackers exploit 'holes' in Swiss online banking

Computer hackers are using a “trojan horse” virus to target users of 16 Swiss online banking sites, according to reports from security experts who liken the “holes” in internet banking security to Emmental cheese. READ  

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland
Charles C. Adams Jr. Photo: Paul Ronga

Geneva lawyer named US ambassador to Finland

President Barack Obama has named Charles C. Adams Jr., a prominent American lawyer and Democratic Party supporter living in Geneva, as US ambassador to Finland. READ  

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits
Photo: Swatch

Strong franc dents Swatch first-half profits

Swatch, the world’s biggest watch company, recorded lower profits for the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, as the strong Swiss franc took its toll. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sport
Video of Bern football player's spectacular own goal goes global
Tech
Switzerland stays on top of innovation rankings for fourth year
National
Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn play tennis at Jungfraujoch (VIDEOS)
Business & Money
Competition commission launches probe into Swiss car leasing 'fiddle'
Health
Down's syndrome cases in Switzerland more than double
National
American family files hefty lawsuit over deadly Swiss balloon crash
Features
Graubünden's panoramic Bernina Express celebrates rail history
National
Study rates Zurich as world's fifth most expensive city for expats
National
Swiss-based human brain project directors hit back at research critics
Business & Money
Switzerland gets the edge on EU with China free trade agreement
National
Entries for new Swiss national anthem competition swell over 200
National
Zurich-based helicopter firm denies role in Schumacher medical leak
Culture
Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live internet streaming of concerts
Features
Tour of Bern’s historic fountains tells story of Switzerland's capital
National
Swiss media lament football team's 'cruel' and 'bitter' defeat
International
The Local expands its reach with the launch of new website in Denmark
Sport
Jubilant press hails hat-trick hero Shaqiri as 'Swiss Messi'
National
New website study reveals inequality in Swiss disposable income
Travel
Switzerland’s largest ski area 4-Vallées breaks up over lift dispute
National
VIDEO: Zurich Zoo launches contest to name newborn baby elephant
Business & Money
CEO-to-worker pay gap grows at biggest Swiss firms: union study
Culture
VIDEO: Swiss performance artist plans naked stroll at Art Basel
National
Zurich's new rail line and underground station open 'without a hitch'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,181
jobs available