Bonhams Fine Jewelry Auction Highlights – May 21st

May 20th, 2014 by Noam Flint

With all the fuss and buzz around Christie’s and Sotheby’s lately, due to the sales of diamonds like the $24 Million Perfect Blue (now named the Winston Blue) and the 100.09 carat Graff Vivid Yellow, it is very easy to forget about smaller auction houses like Bonhams – but that would be a mistake!

See the updated results at the end…

On May 21st Bonhams will launch its Fine Jewelry and Jadeite Auction that will take place in their new Hong Kong gallery.


For those who don’t remember (or don’t know), over the past couple of years, Bonhams sold some of the most amazing colored diamonds available, including the 5.30 carat Bulgari Deep Blue Diamond Ring that broke a very honorable record for the highest price per carat ever paid.

Highlights from the upcoming auction

While the auction features a truly wide and magnificent jewelry collection from including a 7.33 carat triple Ex D Flawless diamond ring estimated at 1 Million Dollars, being colored diamonds specialists I’ll focus on… colored diamonds:

The (near) perfect canary yellow diamond

10 Carat Vivid Yellow Diamond Bonhams10 Carat Vivid Yellow Diamond, vvs1
Image: Bonhams

After the sale of the Perfect Blue you might think that I am easy with the word perfect, but this diamond certainly worth it. This Vivid Yellow is precisely cut into a 10.00 carat, has no fluorescence and graded with vvs1 clarity – as I said, perfect canary yellow diamond. Though the Perfect Blue sold for $24 Million, this canary is estimated at $500,000 – $600,000 – a bargain!

5 carat pink diamond ring by Kwiat

5.13 carat Kwiat Fancy Pink Diamond Ring by Bonhams5.13 carat Kwiat Fancy Pink Diamond Ring
Image: Bonhams

This rare catch is the auction’s highlight. A 5.13 carat pure fancy pink diamond with vs2 clarity. The radiant cut pink is mounted onto a halo diamond ring with decorated spiral shank (crossover design). Kwiat’s craftsmanship and design are of the highest quality. The rare ring is estimated at $1.45 – $1.7 Million which means around $300,000 per carat.


On the more affordable side of the auction (as affordable as can be expected in a magnificent jewelry auction), there are two additional items worth watching:

The first is a 2.03 carat cushion cut vivid yellow diamond ring with vs2 clarity grading. And as if the vividness of this gem is not enough, the mesmerizing diamond is mounted onto a yellow gold ring and surrounded with what appears to be melee vivid yellow diamonds – a shiny piece that is estimated at $40k-$45k – a very good price per carat for a high quality 2 carat vivid yellow with no fluorescence.

The last item is very unique and certainly worth watching. However, while on all other items mentioned here it felt as if Bonhams gave a conservative estimation, the next seems to me pretty high. A 2.23 carat marquise cut Light Pink Brown Diamond ring. The beautiful mounting includes an additional 2.93ct round diamonds that feature a pink tint. While the ring is beautiful, usually the prices are mainly based on the center diamond. Which in this case, it is important to note that the diamond is a light brown diamond with a secondary pinkish tone. Definitely not the type of diamonds that are considered to be expensive and this is disregarding the fact that the GIA certificate is a color only certificate which usually implies a low clarity diamond.


With that said – which is your favorite?

While it did not take me by surprise that the pink brown marquise did not sell, being so highly priced and that the 2.03 carat vivid yellow sell for more than $50k as expected… I was surprised that both the 5 carat pink and the 10 carat vivid yellow also did not meet the low estimation and did not sell – but who knows, maybe we would encounter them in another year or two.

* Images: Bonhams Press Release