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Sotheby's Auction

Return of the Rostrum! Live Jewellery auctions resume at Sotheby's this summer

Sotheby's Auction


Live Jewellery Auctions Resume at Sotheby’s this Summer
Buoyed by Record-breaking Online Sales in Spring

Flagship Geneva and Hong Kong Auctions to Star

Including Princess Margaret’s 21st Birthday Bracelet


from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston

11 June 2020 – Sotheby’s Jewellery auctioneers will once again raise their hammers over the next few weeks, as live auctions resume, offering world-class treasures to a dynamic and diverse global audience of collectors. As evidenced by record-breaking online sales at Sotheby’s throughout the spring, the breadth and passion for exceptional jewels and gemstones continues to drive the auction market.

Originally scheduled for April and May, the upcoming Geneva and Hong Kong sales on 23 June and 10 July will feature exceptional property with noble provenance, including a diamond bracelet gifted to Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, on her 21st Birthday. Alongside these treasures, Sotheby’s global team of experts has brought together an extraordinary group of rare coloured diamonds, led by four stones with a combined estimate in excess of US$ 20 million.

In addition to these live auctions, three online sales will take place before the end of June (see full schedule in the press release attached).

Speaking ahead of the summer season, Sotheby’s Worldwide Jewellery Chairman, David Bennett, remarked, “In the unprecedented circumstances of the last three months, the success of our online sales has shown the remarkable resilience of the auction market. The fascination for diamonds as wonders of nature and for the art of jewellery endures. As we safely and gradually reopen our galleries and salerooms, it is with great excitement that we return to the auction block to share the fabulous quality of jewels and gemstones which we’ve been entrusted with this season. It is a privilege to continue acting on behalf of collectors and clients - old and new – using digital innovation to enhance the time-honoured traditions of auction.”


Sotheby’s has held 13 online jewellery sales since March, with two sales currently taking place. Together, sales so far have totalled over US$ 18.4 million, well above expectations (est.  US$ 12.2-16.1 million) and an exceptional 90% of all pieces sold. The sales attracted participants from over 50 countries, with a quarter of all buyers new to Sotheby’s and 30% of all participants aged under 40.

The sales also set new benchmarks for online auctions, including:

·       Record total for an online jewellery sale at US$ 3.7m achieved by the London Fine Jewels Online sale (31 March – 7 April) (est. US$ 2.6-3.5m)
·       Record for a jewel sold in an online-only sale at for $1,340,000, set by the a 1930s Cartier 'Tutti Frutti' Bracelet  sold in a single-lot sale, 24-28 April).
·       Record sell-through rate for an online-only jewellery sale: 100% of lots sold in the last two Hong Kong sales

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  • Live Jewellery auctions resume at Sotheby's this summer
    Live Jewellery auctions resume at Sotheby's this summer
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus