Brilliant as a symbol of disaster

Necklace. Pink gold, brilliants, a yellow brilliant 102,56 carats. Estimate HKD 58 000 000–74 000 000. The lot was not sold. Sotheby’s. Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite. Hong Kong, October,7

In past month Sotheby’ s met with one of the biggest failure during the whole history of Jewelry Auctions. At the close of trading that was held in Hong Kong on October, 7 about a half of lots was not sold. Moreover Sotheby’ s has not managed to realize the main top-lot — a unique necklace with a huge yellow brilliant of 102,56 carats weight. The estimate of luxurious carcanet encrusted besides the main stone with a handful of smaller brilliants encased in pink gold reached HKD 58 000 000–74 000 000 (about $7 468 000–9 528 000). It is important to know that a stone of such a size and purity had been never put up on open sales before.

Generally Sotheby’ s sold not more than a half of the whole collection that included 321 lots. Total value reached only HKD 155 060 503, while the estimate of the sales came to HKD 500 000 000.

Another luxurious decoration became a real top-lot of the Auction — a platinum ring mounted with the purist white brilliant 34, 07 carats weight. In its turn, a bezel of the main stone is decorated with two small brilliants of 2 carats total weight. It was executed by masters of Jacob & Co and put up on sales with the estimate of HKD 47 000 000–53 000 000 and sold cheaper its estimate for HKD 44 900 000. One should say that great auctioneers do not like downward movement; they prefer not to sell a lot at all. However this decision helped the sales failure.

Another platinum ring of oval cutting decorated with a 10 carats brilliant brought HKD 12 980 000 for the Auction House. One should note that the sum was a little smaller than the upper limit of the estimate.

A ring with a pear-shaped brilliant of smaller size showed a little rise HKD 10 292 000 against HKD 10 000 000 of the upper limit of the estimate. At the same time the third potential top-lot — massive brilliant earrings estimated at HKD 28 000 000–32 000 000 found no sale.

The reasons of such bad results are obvious. Financial crisis continued victoriously marching over the planet and first negative results have been already appeared both in antiquarian and art markets. Perhaps the biggest investors which used to be the clients of such auctions have had waiting attitude and preferred to refuse from such capital investments. “The matter is not in brilliants, the matter is in common mood connected with the economic problems.” — an expert Amir Gad comments upon the situation.

Last Monday the Sotheby’ s shares fell 14 %. Generally they have lost 27 % from October, reaching the level of summer, 2005. And it is very doubtful that the results of the previous sales have put on its weight.

Published in: on November 19, 2008 at 1:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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