• 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.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Senior and policeman injured after roof falls
Home in Ganterschwil, Saint Gallen, where roofs tend to be steeply pitched. Photo: Dietrich Michael Weidmann

Senior and policeman injured after roof falls

The roof of a house in a Saint Gallen village that proved to be too slippery for a 68-year-old man who fell to the ground, suffering serious injuries on Tuesday, was also more than a match for a police officer who scaled the building to take photos. READ  

ETH Zurich remains top uni in Europe: QS list
Building at ETH Zurich. Photo: Roland Fischer/Wikimedia Commons

ETH Zurich remains top uni in Europe: QS list

Switzerland’s two federal institutes of technology, ETH Zurich and EPFL, rate among the world’s top 20 universities in the latest QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings for 2014, published on Tuesday. READ  

Swiss housing vacancy rate rises: new figures
Photo: Theo Iff/Federal Housing Office

Swiss housing vacancy rate rises: new figures

Almost 46,000 homes in Switzerland are empty, a 14 percent increase over last year, as the national vacancy rate rose to more than one percent (1.08 percent), new government figures show. READ  

Football club fires masseuse over sex video
FC Lenzburg team: "We could not fire half the team." Photo: FC Lenzburg

Football club fires masseuse over sex video

The masseuse for the Lenzburg football club, a second division team from the canton of Aargau, was fired following a sex scandal, a newspaper reported on Monday. READ  

Swiss teen Bencic scores upset Tokyo win
Bencic showing winning form in Tokyo. Photo: Toru Yamanaka/AFP

Swiss teen Bencic scores upset Tokyo win

Rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic upset two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-0 in the first round of the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo Monday, maintaining recent impressive form. READ  

US buyout offer bites Nobel Biocare shares
Nobel Biocare's Zurich headquarters. Photo: Nobel Biocare

US buyout offer bites Nobel Biocare shares

US healthcare group Danaher aims to buy Nobel Biocare, the world's biggest dental implant specialist, for $2.2 billion, the companies said on Monday, causing the Swiss company's shares to dip. READ  

Mexican wingsuit flyer dies in Saint Gallen
Hikers walk below the Hinterrugg, the highest peak in the Churfirsten mountain chain. Photo: Switzerland Tourism

Mexican wingsuit flyer dies in Saint Gallen

A 39-year-old Mexican wingsuit flyer is dead following an accident in the canton of Saint Gallen, cantonal police said on Monday. READ  

Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Village faces tax hikes over family's social costs

A village in the canton of Zurich faces having to raise taxes next year because of social costs amounting to 60,000 francs a month to support a family of refugees, Blick newspaper reported online on Monday. READ  

Two kids suspected in fire that razed church
Photo: Eglise Catholique Romaine-Geneve

Two kids suspected in fire that razed church

Two children under the age of ten are suspected of arson after a catholic church in a suburban area of the canton of Geneva went up in flames at the weekend. READ  

Woman dies in 200-metre Valais mountain fall
Photo: Valais cantonal police

Woman dies in 200-metre Valais mountain fall

A 59-year-old Swiss woman died following a 200-metre fall while hiking on the Grand Muveran mountain in the Bernese Alps, Valais cantonal police said on Sunday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Geneva police arrest easyJet passenger over hand luggage row
Business & Money
Latest forecasts for Swiss economic growth turn less bullish
Sport
Formula One legend Schumacher to continue treatment at Swiss home
National
Former federal planning official calls for nine Swiss cantons
Features
The Local gets the lowdown on mushroom picking in Switzerland
National
Virgin boss Richard Branson's son rescued from peak of Matterhorn
National
Swiss President Didier Burkhalter's commute turns Twitter sensation
Features
High-tech cameras give dizzy view of Eiger's north face (VIDEO)
Politics
Baden municipal council strips 'nude selfies mayor' of duties
Business & Money
Switzerland stays atop competitiveness table for sixth year
National
Federal parliament secretary agrees to step down over nude selfies
Sponsored Article
Car insurance made easy online with St Bernard
National
Swiss residents pick Swedes as ideal European soul mates: survey
National
Zurich officials call project to move prostitutes to 'sex boxes' a success
National
Swiss gays recognized as parents of child born to surrogate mother
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly honoured for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
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

2,047
jobs available