17 May

Sotheby’s sells the Apollo and Artemis diamonds

Auctioneer Sotheby’s has sold the most expensive pair of earrings in the world, at a combined price of A$78.3 million.

Sotheby’s inaugural sale of magnificent jewels in Geneva was headlined by ‘The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’, becoming the most valuable earrings ever sold at auction. There was dynamic bidding on the phone, online and in the room throughout with over 90% lots sold and two thirds over the high estimate with multiple records.

“In the last five to 10 years, the price seems to be escalating rapidly. And we just sold this world record stone, and that was a pink diamond,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery division, ahead of the auction.

“Certainly people who own important coloured diamonds are aware that the market is strong.”

The pair is made up of two pear-shaped diamonds; one Fancy Vivid blue diamond named Apollo, which sold for A$57.4 and one Fancy Intense pink diamond named Artemis, which sold for A$20.9 to the same telephone bidder.

The two diamonds were sold as separate lots, but will remain together as a pair.

The 14.54-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, Apollo, was undoubtedly the star of the show, with its unbelievably rare Fancy Vivid Blue colour. The world’s most expensive blue diamond, the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, is a Fancy Vivid – it sold for A$80 million at Christie’s in Geneva last May.

When considered as a pair with the sensational Artemis, a 16-carat Fancy Intense pink diamond, the set can be described as being in a class of its own.

“These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We have named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we are honoured that Sotheby’s has been chosen to bring them to auction,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.

“The divine diamond twins – one pink and the other blue – are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality,” Sotheby’s says of the lots on its website. “The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but [were] being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence.”

“The Apollo and Artemis Diamonds [were] the stars of our May sale in Geneva – by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division.


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