Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels
Auction Results, Wednesday Dec. 7

Gary Roskin –
Roskin Gem News Report –
December 14, 2022 –

Christie’s auction went first on Tuesday, but Sotheby’s had a line up card that was packed full of great pieces for Wednesday’s Magnificent Jewels auction.

Top of my list, the 10.67 carat Fancy Grey emerald cut diamond from Hemmerle.

But before we start diving into the Fancy Grey, the auction had many fabulous pieces, including the largest Internally Flawless diamond ever graded by GIA, the “Golden Canary,” weighing in at 303.10 carats, Fancy Deep Brownish-Yellow. And then there’s an emerald found in the shipwreck of the Atocha, weighing 5.27 carats. Oh, and a black opal necklace made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Not to mention invisible set jewels from Van Cleef and Arpels, a pair of diamond clips from Graff, and on and on….

But back to the grey… the sleeper, the one that went for cheap.

You may think that I am crazy, but when I saw that diamond in the catalogue, there was no mistaking it. I’d seen this diamond once before, in Basel several years back.

There are diamonds you never forget. The 11.11 cts. D/IF marquise, the 50.50 cts. D/IF emerald cut, the 0.75 ct. round Fancy Vivid Purplish-Pink.

This one though reinforced the old adage, never judge a book by its cover, or in this case, never judge a diamond by its grading report. “Fancy Grey.” A complete non-starter for most people. But I am telling you, this diamond is one of the prettiest diamonds I have ever seen. The cutting is magnificent, with its small table (56%), steep crown angles, fat corners, large culet, and with the grey color as a background for the rainbows of dispersion, there is just nothing like it. Congratulations to the new owner. That’s a winner!

Lot #29. Hemmerle
A Rare and Important Fancy Gray Diamond Ring
$1,500,000 – 2,000,000 USD
Sold $1,108,800 USD

The Golden Canary Diamond, 303.10 carats, Fancy Deep Brownish-Yellow – formerly, the Incomparable, 407.48 carats. There is some interesting history regarding this diamond, how it was found, how it was cut, and how many times it went up for auction. Did removing over 100 carats really enhance the diamond that much?

The Golden Canary

The Golden Canary
$15,000,000 – $20,000,000 USD
Sold: $12,389,000 USD

When you click on this report from GIA, you will see a noticeable difference in the color, just how much more saturation was achieved, as well as eliminating so much windowing. It’s hard to imagine grinding off 100 carats, but the visual difference is quite stunning! Here’s the interesting report from GIA: Tap here.

From the Collection of Mrs. Frank Perdue, Sold to Benefit Humanitarian Efforts in Ukraine

A Historically Significant Emerald Ring

This is the emerald, one of the treasures found in the shipwreck of the Atocha. Set in a yellow gold ring, featuring a square emerald-cut emerald weighing 5.27 carats, size 5¾, signed Valentin Magro.

Lot #102
A Historically Significant Emerald Ring
$50,000 – $70,000 USD
Sold: $1,197,000 USD

Emerald from the Atocha

The extraordinary treasures of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha reflect the unimaginable wealth and vast domain within the New World that Spain controlled in the early 17th century. And this emerald was found amongst the wreckage. It is Colombian, and it comes with all of the provenance one would need to show that it has important history. Truly an extraordinary piece.

For more auction results, tap here.

More on the Auctions:

Carol Besler reviews special items from the Christie’s and Sotheby’s sales.

Tap here to read Carol’s auction feature.

Here’s a thorough report from Anthony DeMarco for on the withdraw of the 13 carat square emerald cut fancy vivid pink from Christie’s.

Tap here for the follow-up story.

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