When it comes to gems, the big ones make the news. A 28.18-carat emerald-cut Kashmir sapphire set a record within the industry, selling for $5.1 million.
Critical Acclaim and Acquisition
It acquired $180,731 per carat, and it set a world record for auction price per sapphire carat. The giant and untreated gem is situated upon a ring base—framed with 32 separate and tapered baguette diamonds and mounted through Oscar Heyman & Brothers. The sapphire has reached critical acclaim, and it’s reached the ears of thousands through excited individuals boasting its singular importance. The Kashmir sapphire’s sale proceeds will aid charities, as was specified by the auction house.
Gary Schuler, Sotheby’s Jewelry Department head in New York, said the Kashmir sapphire has “exceptional quality and deep color”. He later said he recognized the stone’s potential immediately, and he expected it to obtain a great position upon reaching “historic heights”.
The sapphire ring wasn’t the only gem taking graces in Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels spring auction on Tuesday. Two other colored gems were present at the New York auction house—with 445 lots acquiring above $44.3 million. 81.8 percent of these were sold with lot standards, and 87 percent were released by value.
The auction house’s results clearly reflect bidders’ global participation throughout the event, and private investors had a significant interest in the gem. With a strong and steady market available for similar stones and diamonds of exceptional quality, the output wasn’t surprising.
The Price is Right, as was the Competition
Although the Kashmir sapphire set a record, its achievement was considered the second-highest auction result. Though the gem reached critical acclaim, the top lot was delivered to a 15.23-carat orange-pink fancy-intense diamond situated upon a ring for $6.1 million. The diamond was cushion-cut, and it featured VS2 clarity whole displaying a softened and feminine color “reminiscent of pink diamonds in historic and royal collections,” as stated by the auction house.
Additionally, a separate and pristine 36.53-carat Columbian emerald, titled the “El Dorado,” acquired above $2.1 million. The “El Dorado” was mounted upon a ring, too, and was situated between two triangle-cut diamonds—each weighing around six carats.
The Kashmir sapphire, itself was acquired by an unnamed buyer, and, based upon New York-based American Gemological Laboratories Inc. studies, it likely originated within India’s mines. These mines are located in India’s northern region called Kashmir, and various tests identified the gem’s flawless appearance. Its value was drastically increased due to its un-altered state and non-artificial setup.
Traditional and Conservative; Valuable and Unique
Kashmir has maintained fame for many years, and it is widely considered a “traditional” source for valuable stones. One of the earth’s main resources for sapphires, Kashmir has been a common destination of jewel hunters for ages, steadily decreasing the land’s gem stock and further increasing stone prices for companies and individual buyers.
Cambodia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka, too, contain valuable gems, and each has delivered unique additions to various auction houses across the world. However, while many gems change hands—acquired by individuals from auction houses—stones like the Kashmir sapphire set records and remain memorable for collectors and enthusiasts everywhere.