After the lockdown in Geneva, Switzerland, the world saw its first live jewelry auction since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic: Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part II. The live auction did not play out as expected, with half of its lots going unsold.
Despite these outcomes, the sale of a 105.58-carat Ceylon sapphire set on a gold ring was a highlight of the auction, fetching $1.8 million. The per-carat price achieved by the sale of the Ceylon sapphire was considered the right price despite selling for more than double its high estimate of $700,000.
105.58 carat sapphire engagement ring sells for $1.8m at Sotheby’s [Image Source]
Experts speculate that many items remained in the hands of jewelers as a result of estimates being too high for current economic conditions. Among the unsold lots were a number of diamonds, colored gems and signed jewels. Sotheby’s live sale was accompanied by a multi-day virtual auction: Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels: Part I which ran from June 16th-24th with more bids.
With the pandemic still a source of economic distress around the world, the impressive sale of the 105.58-carat Ceylon sapphire highlights the reliable value of natural untreated sapphires. Throughout history, sapphires have been revered for their strength and durability, traits that are gems by themselves in times of challenge and uncertainty.
At the Natural Sapphire Company, we stand by our commitment to craft jewelry made from natural untreated sapphires that have been ethically-sourced from small mines around the world. It is our aim to educate customers and make their search for a natural untreated sapphire as easy as possible.
Untreated sapphires are extremely rare, making up less than 1% of the sapphire market. With so few gems like this available, it’s important for buyers to be informed. Take advantage of our sapphire educational resources to learn more about how to identify rare, untreated sapphires from commercially-treated ones.