Christie’s and Sotheby’s jewelry auctions in Geneva prioritize quality over quantity

Places like New York, Hong Kong and London certainly have impressive jewelry auctions every year, but Geneva always reigns supreme. Christie’s and Sotheby’s are holding their Magnificent Jewels spring sales this week and although lot numbers are down from previous years (pre-Covid), high quality gemstones and jewelery are available.


Christie’s sale in Geneva on Wednesday presents two exceptional diamonds, “The Rock” and “The Red Cross Diamond”.

At 228.31 carats, The Rock (pictured above) is the largest white diamond ever to come to auction. The pear-shaped diamond has been graded by the Gemological Institute of America as having a G color, VS1 clarity, with excellent polish and symmetry. Its estimate is $20-30 million, making it the best jewelry lot of the week.

Next comes an equally impressive gem with a long history with Christie’s. The Red Cross Diamond is a 205.07 carat Fancy Intense Yellow diamond modified to brilliant cut with

Clarity VS2. It was carved in the shape of a Maltese cross. Quote on request.

It was first sold at Christie’s London in 1918, with proceeds going to the International Red Cross. It was resold in 1973 at Christie’s Geneva where it fetched over $1.8 million. For the third time on the block, a significant portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross, Christie’s said in a statement.

The sale includes 19th and 20th century tiaras, including the Fürstenberg tiara, bearing the mark of the famous Austrian jeweler Gustav Flach. It belonged to the Princess of Fürstenberg, born Countess Irma of Schönborn Buchheim (1867-1948), a member of one of the most prominent aristocratic families of the Habsburg Empire. His estimate is $403,700-$605,600.

A Belle Epoque tiara in emeralds and diamonds, attributed to the Spanish-born French jeweler Marzo, whose Belle Epoque creations are “distinguished by their elegance and fashionable taste”, according to the auction house. His estimate is $151,400 – $201,880.

The 61 lots in the sale also include creations from JAR, Mouawad and Bulgari.


Online bidding has already started for the Sotheby’s Geneva auction which will culminate with a live auction on Tuesday. Among the 191 lots are two important diamond jewels.

The first is an 18-karat gold ring by Chopard centered on an 80.08-carat D-color diamond, perfectly cut with excellent polish and symmetry, according to the GIA, which further states that the gem could be classified without defect with minor repolishing. The diamond is flanked by Mozambique rubies weighing 1.11 to 1.23 carats with no indication of heating and with the much sought after color designation “Pigeon Blood”. It is expected to top $8.5 million, which will likely be eclipsed since as of Monday it has a high online bid of over $7 million.

The second is an 18k white gold ring centered with a 7.17 carat Fancy Intense Purple-rose diamond. The VVS2 purity gem comes in a rectangular modified brilliant shape with cut corners. His highest online bid was over $3 million on Monday.

Other highlights of the sale include:

  • A 15.23-carat Fancy Intense Orangy Pink heart-shaped diamond ring, estimated between $3.7 and $5.5 million;
  • a cushion-shaped Type IIA pale pink diamond ring of 12.39 carats, estimated between $938,750 and $1.4 million);
  • a 3.14-carat Fancy Intense Blue cushion-shaped diamond ring with an estimate of $1.6-2.2 million;
  • Among the noble jewels offered, there is a brooch in natural pearls and diamonds, formerly in the collection of Princess Anna zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1865-1954) with an estimate of $121,130 to $201,890;
  • A 56.52 carat Burmese sapphire ring in a Cartier setting with an estimate of $772,200 to $1.35 million;
  • An emerald and diamond necklace consisting of 63 Colombian emerald beads with an estimate of $827,700 – $1.5 million;
  • A set of colored gemstones and an Art Deco “Birds in Flight” diamond bracelet by Oscar Heyman & Brothers dated 1927 with an estimate of $474,400 to $749,400;
  • A modern example of Cartier’s “Tutti-Frutti” design, in the form of a bracelet set with precious stones and diamonds with an estimate of $302,800 – $485,500; and
  • A ‘Moghul’ pendant brooch set with precious stones, sapphires and diamonds by JAR, of Indian architectural inspiration, set with a fancy cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 14.77 carats, with an estimate of $403,760 – 605 $600.

Edward K. Thompson