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Sri Lankan sapphire ring sets auction record

Posted on 2013-01-30, By A-Best Staff



Jacques Arpels traveled to the country then known as Ceylon to acquire the 43.16-carat sapphire mounted in this ring, which set a new auction record at Bonhams last week.

Hong Kong--A Van Cleef & Arpels ring featuring a 43.16-carat rectangular-cut sapphire sold for $1.6 million at a recent Bonhams auction here, setting a new price per-carat auction record for a Sri Lankan sapphire.

According to Bonhams, competition for the ring was fierce, with the winning bidder shelling out $36,000 per carat, breaking the previous record for a Sri Lankan sapphire, which was $26,000 a carat.

The ring, which features two pear-shaped diamonds flanking the sapphire, exceeded its highest pre-sale estimate of $650,000.

Jacques Arpels, whose jewelry house created pieces for jewelry-loving legends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly and Wallis Simpson, is said to have personally traveled to Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to acquire the 43-plus carat sapphire. The stone is perfectly crystalline and flawless and demonstrates the legendary jeweler’s expertise in sourcing quality stones.

The ring sold as part of Bonhams’ Nov. 23 “Eight Exceptional Jewels from a Private Collection” sale held in Hong Kong, which featured a number of pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels.

The sale exceeded its pre-sale estimate, garnering a total of $4.4 million.

Bonhams held the Eight Exceptional Jewels sale the same day as its “Fine Jewellery & Jadeite” sale. Of the top five lots from that day, four came from the Exceptional sale. 



In the addition to the sapphire and diamond ring, an emerald and diamond necklace-choker-bracelet combination (pictured above) sold for $1.2 million while a ruby and diamond strap bracelet went for $467,000. Both also were Van Cleef & Arpels. An emerald ring sold for $390,000.

From the fine jewelry sale, the top lot was a fancy light pink pear-shaped diamond ring that sold for $1.3 million, besting its highest pre-sale estimate of $942,000.

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