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Pair of pear-shaped diamond earrings sell for $17.6 million

By Associated Press in Geneva | China Daily | Updated: 2016-11-17 08:15

A pair of pear-shaped diamond earrings sold on Tuesday in Geneva for $17.6 million including fees, falling well short of the pre-sale estimate and suggesting that the auction house may have misjudged the market for that piece.

The ultra-ornate earrings were a standout item in the "Magnificent Jewels" auction that reaped about $97 million overall, at the high-end of the expected range, despite some disappointments.

The Christie's touted the "Miroir de l'Amour" (Mirror of Love) earrings as bearing the largest D Flawless, or highest-quality, pear-shaped diamonds in the world at more than 50 carats each.

The white-diamond earrings sold for a hammer price of $15.4 million, when the pre-auction estimate was $20 million to $30 million. The buyer was not identified other than as a collector.

Auctioneer Rahul Kadakia said "passed" as he struck the hammer on a few of the lots, meaning that they had fallen short of the minimum price set for a sale.

"We had a pre-sale estimate of $80 to $100 million. ... We're very happy," he said. "A few lots didn't move. Fine. But the big diamonds, the big necklace, the big pink diamond, you saw all the colored stones did very well - the rubies, the sapphire, emeralds and natural pearls."

The earrings, he said, "came in under the estimate, but if you look at the price per carat based on where the market is today, ... We got a very healthy price".

Asian private collector

In another top offer, a 9.14-carat, pear-shaped pink diamond ring fetched $18.2 million including fees, with a hammer price of $16 million after being tipped to fetch $16-18 million.

Christie's said the gem's distinct pink hue is highly prized when it comes to natural colored diamonds. It also trumpeted the diamond's "fancy vivid" color grade by the Gemological Institute of America, saying a classification of "fancy" is only bestowed on one in 100,000 diamonds.

An Asian private collector snapped up the ring, Kadakia said.

Among other highlights, a Van Cleef and Arpels ruby and diamond bracelet fetched nearly $1.31 million, including the buyer's premium more than twice the top of the pre-sale estimate, prompting applause from the well-heeled crowd in Geneva.

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