Exclusive jewelry, or, as they are otherwise called, unique jewelry, is often sold at significant auctions. The auction is an international jewelry market. The most severe sales are carried out in New York, London, Geneva.
In the language of auctions, jewels of the highest dignity are called "majestic." Gems of slightly lesser value are designated as "very significant" and "excellent." Jewelry of a lower category is characterized by "antique" (the 19th century and earlier). Since the beginning of the 80s of the twentieth century, new jewelry works and precious stones, artificially grown sea pearls from manufacturers, began to be sold at auctions.
Sotheby's and Christie's are recognized as the world's largest auction houses. By studying their catalogs, you can get an idea of the offer of unique jewelry and rare precious stones. By subscribing to catalogs, wealthy buyers have the opportunity to find out the starting prices in advance. Buyers can bid in many ways. They are often present in the hall, having their own auction number. You can also participate by phone. Surprisingly, many of the most significant purchases were made in this way.
Sotheby's holds four significant auctions every year - in October, December, April, and June. At each auction, objects of ancient culture and history, outstanding diamonds, and other precious stones, heirlooms are put up for sale. Many stones with a wide range of prices are offered.
The Christie auction has its own specializations. Stones of various types are sold in different trade centers. London, for example, is considered the center of the antique jewelry trade. In New York, there is a specialization in selling jewelry of author's work of great value; in Hong Kong, jade is sold best at auction. Geneva remains the leading international center of the jewelry trade thanks to preferential tax legislation and the ultra-confidentiality of the Swiss banking system. Today, the highest prices for significant jewelry are recorded in Geneva, London, New York.
The jewels are auctioned according to the will of their owners. Who coordinate the prices with the experts of the auction house. They agree on the price below which the item cannot be sold. This price should be reasonable enough to ensure the effectiveness of the sale and minimize the risk of "hanging," which means in the auction language the lack of interest of buyers.
Of course, there is a limited number of truly significant gems, and private severe buyers and dealers monitor their movements from collection to collection. There is fierce competition among auction houses for the right to put up favorite items for auction. Negotiations with the lawyers of the owners of goods and conversations with clients have been going on for months. Suppose the quality of the sold item is reliably supported by a legal source of origin (a record of the previous owner). In that case, the result may be commercial hype.
Jewelry put up for auction in one place can be delivered to an auction in another area. According to the auction house experts, a sale of similar items is planned and where the price may be the highest. The thing taken placed at an auction nearest to schedule to minimize the delay in the promotion of the contract.
To successfully and competently participate in the auction, it is necessary to do a lot of work: how should the items put up for auction be considered and thoroughly investigated. The catalog is warning that the lots are being sold "in the condition in which they are." Potential buyers can invite consultants and jewelry experts to pre-auction demonstrations.
Auction houses have recently begun to produce catalogs with color photographs and accompanying technical and historical documentation, as well as calculations of the starting price. Comprehensive information is given for each product, for example, a brief biography of the designer or a quick overview of the history of the jewelry house. In addition, there are certificates issued by reputable gemological laboratories for significant stones. The Sotheby's Auction House includes special presentations, the release of publications, brochures, heralds, the organization of private and public expositions. The Christie Auction House releases the most detailed illustrated catalogs before auctions. The auction objects are accompanied by introductory notes, expert reviews, biographies of their owners and manufacturers. All this turns advertising brochures into historical documents.
The value of jewelry increases if associated with any historical events or personalities.
On October 20, 1992, 100 items from the collection of Ednie Winston, the wife of the legendary American jeweler Harry Winston, were exhibited at the Sotheby's auction in New York. During the 45-year marriage, she received a unique gift from her husband, mainly family production and products in the "Art Deco" style.
On November 17, 1992, the Royal House of Bavaria collection went on sale in Geneva. 150 products of the 18th and 20th centuries were exhibited. They were estimated at $13.7 million. One of the most valuable items, the crown of Empress Eugenie, was purchased for 620 thousand dollars by the Society of Friends of the Louvre.
In New York, American jewelry is regularly exhibited at the Christie auction. A platinum bracelet with diamonds with a 37.4-carat central emerald, processed in the form of a cabochon, stood out. The bracelet originally belonged to movie star Marlene Dietrich.
Unique jewelry from the collection of opera star Maria Callas was put up for auction at Sotheby's. The entire group went to the buyers for 1 million 870 thousand dollars, which almost tripled the expectations of the auction organizers. 11 products were put up for auction. The most expensive lot of the collection was a platinum ring with a bright blue diamond weighing 11.71 carats. This ring was sold for 340 thousand dollars. Maria Callas was the most famous soprano of the 20th century and an avid collector of jewelry, most of which was given to her by Giovanni Batista Meneghini in the 50s of the last century. The 1950s became a "golden time" for the singer: world fame came to her, she began performing at the famous La Scala Theater in Milan. After the breakup with Meneghini, the singer had a stormy affair with billionaire Aristotle Onassis. The nine-year experience ended after he married the widow of US President John F. Kennedy. At the same time, Maria Callas began to lose her voice and did not return to the stage. The legend of the opera scene died in Paris in 1977 at the age of 54. Many of Maria Callas' jewelry became world-famous after the prima appeared in public and remained baked in photographs.
As a rule, operations with unique diamonds, previously owned by representatives of royal families, Hollywood stars, and other famous people, collect clients from many countries - the USA, England, Belgium, Switzerland, and Japan. Arab sheiks are considered the most prominent brokers and resellers of unique diamonds. It is known that most of the individual diamonds are purchased by order of the Sultan of Brunei and numerous princes of the Saudi dynasty.