Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva Tuesday brought in a record breaking $160.9 million.
The eye-watering figure is the highest ever total for any jewellery auction, which took place at the auction house’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage, Geneva.
The sale also saw a number of other world auction records, with the top lot of the evening selling for $30.3 million.
The ‘Sunrise Ruby’, a 25.59-carat Burmese stone, smashed its high estimate of $16 million, and set a new world record for ruby at auction.
It also established a new world auction record for any ruby per carat and a new world auction record for any stone by Cartier.
The sum is three times the last record price for a ruby, which was set six months ago.
The $30.3 million paid for the pearl also makes the Sunrise Ruby the world’s most expensive precious stone that is not a diamond.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said the exquisite stone truly deserved the multiple-record-breaking price this evening.
The Sunrise Ruby wasn’t the only shining star of the night.
The ‘Historic Pink Diamond’, an 8.72-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond sold for $15.9 million.
The exceptional diamond is believed to have been owned by Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon I, and was originally slated as the top lot of the auction.
The princess, who died in 1904, was also a relative of King George II and the tsar of Russia.
Her jewellery collection is considered second only to the collection of Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, Sotheby’s said.
The Fancy Vivid Pink diamond was believed among her jewels auctioned in Paris in 1904, shortly after her death.
It was later acquired by William Andrews Clark Sr, a U.S. senator, industrialist and entrepreneur who died in 1925. The stone was then passed to a daughter, Hugette Marcelle Clark, who died in 2011.
The diamond is also considered prized for its cut; a classic, non-modified version of the cushion, Sotheby’s said.
Among some of the other lots in the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale was a 190 carats Cartier custom-made diamond necklace, which sold for more than $7.24 million.
The piece was designed as a cascade of diamonds, the front accented with a floral motif and suspending a fringe of nine pear-shaped stones.
A Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch by Cartier sold for more than $6.1 million, setting a world auction record price for a Kashmir sapphire jewel.