A Tribute to This Year's Record-Breaking Auction Season

The Graff Pink. Photo credit: Sotheby's. The Graff Pink holds the record for top-selling diamond at auction. Photo credit: Sotheby's.

EraGem's Top Twenty Diamonds & Jewels Sold At Auction

  1. The Graff Pink ($46.15 million)
  2. The Princie Diamond ($39.32 million)
  3. Winston Legacy ($26.73 million)
  4. The Wittlesbach-Graff Diamond ($24.31 million)
  5. The Perfect Pink ($23.16 million)
  6. The Archduke Joseph Diamond ($21.5 million)
  7. The Martian Pink ($17.39 million)
  8. Star of the Season ($16.54 million)
  9. Chloe Diamond ($16.18 million)
  10. The Clark Pink ($15.76 million)
  11. The BVLGARI Blue ($15.76 million)
  12. Unnamed Pear-Shaped Diamond ($14.16 million)
  13. Princess Katharina's Tiara ($12.73)
  14. The Sun-Drop ($12.36 million)
  15. La Peregrina Pearl ($11.84 million)
  16. China Star ($11.15 million)
  17. Unmounted Heart-Shaped Diamond ($10.94 million)
  18. Blue Briolette Diamond ($10.86 million)
  19. Empress Eugenie Brooch ($10.5 million)
  20. Flawless Blue Ring ($9.9 million)

Headlines have thrilled this season with the news of The Princie, a 34.65-carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond which sold this past April for $39,323,750 in Christie's New York Magnficent Jewels sale; The Winston Legacy, a 101.73-carat, pear-shaped diamond which sold this past May for $26,746,541 in Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale; and the dazzling China Star, a 75.36-carat briolette diamond which sold this past May for $11, 151, 245 million in Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale.

For the past five years, jewelry auction sales have been on the rise. Russell Shor, in a recent peer-reviewed article, describes how Sotheby's 1987 Duchess of Windsor sale changed the landscape of jewelry auctions worldwide. The global publicity combined with the provenance of the pieces drove prices sky high, veritably opening a whole new horizon for auctioneers.

Since the landmark sale, Mr. Shor explains, there have emerged three primary factors which explain the continued trend in rising prices for diamonds and historically relevant jewels, a trend that is astonishing in light of its mid-recession beginnings.

These factors include (1) a worldwide clientele, (2) the perceived rarity of the diamonds and gemstones offered for sale, and (3) "the rise of the individual buyer" {cited}. Auctions draw many individual buyers, not only from established markets such as the U.S. and Great Britain, but also from emerging markets in Russia and Asia. They are looking for the best stones and the most lucrative jewels. In light of the recent economic instability, these wealthy individuals are attempting to diversify their assets, and they come ready to pay a high premium to do so.

In tribute to this year's record-breaking auction season, I offer you my list of The Top Twenty Diamonds and Jewels Sold At Auction. On a hunch that each of these gems has an intriguing story to tell, I invite you to join me as I uncover as much juicy gossip on these delectable morsels as possible.

Below you will find a treasure map of sorts. Really, they are two lists: The Top Ten Diamonds and The Top Ten Jewels Sold at Auction. Simply bookmark this post and visit weekly.

Consider this list a treasure map of sorts. Simply bookmark this post and visit weekly. As I unlock their secrets and post their stories, I will activate the links on our little "map" so you can follow in my footsteps quickly and easily.