With Bonhams and Christie's in particular enthusing about the great year they've had with their jewellery sales, it's a good time to look back at some of the extraordinary diamonds in particular which have lit up stages with their sparkle.
Christie's finished the year with the $5.4m sale of the pure white, pear-shaped Evening Star diamond, which the owner thought was the "very best to be worn to fêtes and galas". However, this was not Christie's biggest sale of the year.
Back in October, an anonymous telephone bidder bought a 32-carat diamond once owned by Leonore 'Lee' Annenberg for a stunning $7.7m, breezing past the $3-5m estimate. The emerald-cut, pure diamond ring was mind in South Africa.
Christie's made an even bigger sale in Hong Kong, however, between these two successes. The 5 carat Vivid Pink diamond is a unique, cushion-cut jewel with a perfectly pure, sunset pink colour, and Hong Kong bidders went crazy for it, smashing its $5-7m estimate, and causing it to sell for HK$83.5m (US$10.3m).
Even this was beaten, however, by a fancy vivid blue diamond sold by Sotheby's in Geneva, back in May.
The dazzling 7.03 carat rectangular, brilliant-cut blue diamond, which headed a list of the most expensive jewels in private hands in the world was already estimated at 6,850,000-10,000,000 Swiss Francs (which are almost exactly equivalent to the US dollar), but bidders pressed it past even this, such that it finally fetched $10.5m.
With sales such as these, and others such as the Romanov Fabergé sale, auctioneers and jewellery investors will be looking forward to 2010 with enthusiasm.
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Images from Christie's and Sotheby's