Record year for auction house Sotheby’s in 2012 as jewelry sales top $460 million

Sotheby’s set a record for jewelry sales in 2012 of US$460.5 million, with strong growth reported at all of its auction houses.

Sales figures were boosted by strong interest from buyers in private collections, outstanding diamonds and gemstones, and historical jewels with noble history.

Among the 2012 highlights was a new world auction record of US$108.4 million set in May for any jewelry sale at Sotheby’s Geneva featuring items that had more than one previous owner.

Sotheby’s jewelry auctions sold an average of 84 percent by lot at its salesrooms around the world.

The auctioneers sold 72 lots sold for more than US $1 million each, with six of the lots selling for in excess of US$5 million.

It posted its highest-ever total for a single day of jewelry sales in the Americas at its December auction in New York which generated US$64.8 million. And in Hong Kong, its total sales figure for the year of US$114.5 million, was its second-largest year of jewelry and jadeite sales in Asia.

Among the individual sale highlights was a 10.48-carat fancy deep blue diamond bought by British jeweler Laurence Graff for in excess of US$10.8 million, which is a new world record price per carat for any deep blue diamond at auction, and a world record price for any briolette diamond at auction.

The 34.98-carat modified pear double rose cut diamond, the Beau Sancy, which belongs to the royal house of Prussia, was acquired for US$9.7 million.

Meanwhile, a fancy intense 6.54-carat flawless pink diamond and diamond ring from the collection of Evelyn H. Lauder, sold for US$8.6 million to benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.