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High value jewel auctions influence consumer tastes

05 Feb 2019

The global headlines surrounding high-value jewellery auctions have influenced consumer tastes for pearl and gemstone jewellery, a senior Sotheby’s executive said.

Speaking in a panel discussion at Jewellery & Watch, Kristian Spofforth, head of department, London jewellery, of Sotheby’s, said interest in pearl jewellery had been revived following the Sotheby’s sale of a pearl and diamond pendant once owned by ill-fated French Queen Marie Antoinette for a world record price for a pearl of $36 million.

The price achieved at the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva in November 2018 was many times the pre-sale estimate of around $1-2 million, mainly due to the royal provenance of the jewel, which was scrupulously verified by Sotheby’s specialists, Spofforth said.

Auctions in recent years in which exceptionally rare and beautiful pink and blue diamonds had garnered world record prices, had also bolstered consumers’ appetites for pink and blue gemstone jewellery, Spofforth said.

The discussion was chaired by Jewellery Outlook Editor David Brough.

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