Lily Safra jewellery auction sees ruby world record smashed
A $6.7m Chaumet 32.08 carat ruby helped the Lily Safra jewellery auction raise $37.9m for charity
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 15 May 2012
A Chaumet 32.08 carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring has set a new ruby auction world record at Christie's Lily Safra collection auction in Geneva.
The Burmese ruby and diamond ring sold for $6.7m, beating its $5m high estimate by 34% on May 14.
It was the undoubted star of the auction, which raised $37.9m for 20 charitable institutions around the world, far beyond the $20m estimate for the 70-piece collection, amassed since the 1970s. In doing so it set a new record for a jewellery charity auction.
Among the 70 pieces was the largest single-owner selection of JAR jewellery ever seen at auction. The 18 pieces from the Parisian jeweller, many of which were made specifically for Safra between the 1980s and 2000s, sold for $11.5m, becoming the most valuable private-owner assemblage of JAR jewellery to be sold at auction in the process.
A JAR ruby and diamond Camellia flower brooch, valued at $1.2m-1.5, more than doubled its estimate with a $4.3m showing.
Safra, who is the widow of famed philanthropic banker Edmond, commented following the auction: "I am overjoyed, knowing that so many people in need around the world will benefit.
"Like the jewels sold tonight, these extraordinary organisations make the world a more beautiful place, and it is a great privilege to be able to support them."
Brazilian born Safra, whose worth is gauged to be around $1bn, is also a keen art collector. The Salle Edmond et Lily Safra at the Louvre in Paris houses a collection of donated works from Lily and her late-husband.
She bought Giacometti's L'Homme qui marche I for £65m in 2010.
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