Tag Archives: auction

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

Made from 1951 to 1953, just 78 examples of the 212 Inter were manufactured; 26 of the final 29 cars received the EU chassis designation as Europas. The 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe offered (estimated cost of $1.3 million to $1.6 million) here was the third of 11 such coupes built by Pinin Farina and the 15th from final car built on the 212 platform.

This Ferrari 212 Europa was completed in late 1952 and was used by the company for exhibition, including the Turin Motor Show in 1953. The 212 was reportedly the first Ferrari to have scored 100 points at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and had been the recipient of numerous FCA awards, made multiple appearances at the Cavallino Classic and featured in Prancing Horse, Cavallino as well as Forza.

1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Coupe by Pinin Farina

Following its display, the car was sold and had come into the possession of a private owner, Paris resident Pierre Guilherme. Under the hood, the fully restored 212 includes a 170 bhp, SOHC V12 engine with five-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and parallel trailing arms, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes and wheelbase of 102.4-inch.

*Internet bidding is not available for this lot. Interested parties that are unable to attend the sale may register to bid by telephone or place a commission bid online at rmsothebys.com.

Tucker’s Tucker 48 Up for Auction

Tucker’s Tucker number 48, with the chassis number 1029 up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Phoenix 2018

The Tucker 48 was one of the surviving examples of the 51 cars ever built by the manufacturer, and “47 of them are still around,” according to AFP Relaxer “and partly because of its very special pedigree.”

This Preston Tucker’s Tucker number 48, with the chassis number 1029 was a family owned car and it had also made an appearance in the 1988 Francis Ford Coppola film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” which starred Jeff Bridges.

The Tucker fastback sedan had also gone through the hands of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, who served as the governor of Arkansas between 1967 and 1971.

The Tucker has been privately owned since 2004. At one stage, it was owned by Jack Bar, before it was repainted sometime in the 1970s or 1980s and reupholstered.

Other than that, the car is said to be intact, original, and generally very well cared-for. It is believed it has just 19,199 miles on the clock.

“It is, in every way, the ultimate Tucker automobile.” – RM Sotheby’s said of the car.

Sold at 2017 Arizona auction sales – 1948 Tucker 48

The 1948 Tucker 48 sold at 2017 Arizona auction sales

Interior view of the 1948 Tucker 48

Along with the early or rare models from major brands such as Aston Martin and Ferrari sold at Arizona auction sale in 2017, the 1948 Tucker 48 was a recent “barn find,” unseen for 33 years. It was sold for over $13 million, offered from the personal collection of a marque specialist.

The surviving examples are among the most valuable and desirable American cars ever built by the manufacturer. According the RM Sotheby’s, “they often draw the most attention and crowds to any museum, including such venerable halls as the Henry Ford, the Petersen Automotive Museum, the National Automobile Museum, and the Nethercutt Museum, or at which the cars are displayed.

“The Tucker fastback sedan are the trophies of renowned collectors who consider their fleets of Duesenbergs, Isottas, and Ferraris simply otherwise incomplete without The Car of Tomorrow.”

Tucker’s Tucker number 48, with the chassis number 1029 up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Phoenix 2018

At the upcoming 19th annual Arizona sale at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, running from January 18–19, here’s your chance to buy a Tucker, which is undergoing the hammer at RM Sotheby’s auction. This Tucker is expected to go for somewhere between $1.25 million and $1.5 million and it will be sold with no reserve.

For more details on the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona auction 2018, please visit here.

A 1954 Plymouth Concept Car to Look Out for in 2018

Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

This 1954 Plymouth Belmont concept could be yours if you were to win the bid at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in Arizona. For the last 46 years, enthusiasts from all over the world have flocked to the Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions.

Widely regarded as a barometer of the collector car industry, there will be many other rare and classic cars going under hammer. But this car example is unique that’s because it never went into production since it made last appearance at the 1954 New York Auto Show.

A lot of concepts displayed at the motor show are often seen as promising and innovative, but very few of those concepts were close to being production-ready models. In fact, this curvaceous 1954 roadster is purely a one-off, which was once owned by famed Chrysler designer, Virgil Exner.

A 1954 Plymouth Concept Car to Look Out for in 2018

Under the elongated hood, the 1954 roadster features a 241 cubic-inch V8 engine with very modest 157 horsepower and a three-speed automatic gearbox, making the car very unlikely to go as fast as it appears.

But it will certainly not deprive onlookers of the car’s incredibly stunning bodywork. Other than the shut lines of the doors and the lack of door handles to be seen, the flanks are distinctive, marked by its sweeping curves, smooth and clean lines.

It is not known how much this 1954 Plymouth concept car would cost as the price will be publicly quoted by Barrett-Jackson. Hint: there is a reserve price, so this one isn’t likely to go cheap.

The Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction will take place between January 13 and 21 in Arizona. For more information about the car auctions, please visit here.

The Priciest Cars Sold at Public Auction in 2017

The 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 fetched a price value of close to USD22.6 million | Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Several rare cars went up for sales in 2017 and the year saw the most classic cars ever sold at groundbreaking prices, such as the 1970 Porsche 917K and 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C, just to name a few.

Renowned auction house, RM Sotheby’s has recently reported a total sales figure of USD526 million achieved in 2017. The global sales figure has proven that classic cars are in demand and they still make a good investment.

Although, RM Sotheby’s never expected that a 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 would fetch an eye-watering price of close to USD22.6 million during its Monterey auction, it did. That memorable event was well-remembered by auctioneers and those who were present to witness the Aston was the most expensive vehicle sold at public auction last year.

Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Only a few years ago, car collectors were getting their fingers burnt at auction as classic cars just weren’t fetching the kind of money they once did. Some observers even predicted that classic cars would never again be as good an investment.

However, the year-end consolidated results showed otherwise; the year saw a growth in percentage that were mainly driven by “the sale of 2,852 lots (vehicles and memorabilia) across 14 auction events, with 119 automobiles achieving prices in excess of USD1 million,” according to RM Sotheby’s.

“In all respects, 2017 represented a resounding success for RM Sotheby’s as we saw significant growth in our sales, market share, and continued positive momentum in the business despite challenging market conditions in which many major auction houses experienced declining sales.” – Kenneth Ahn, President, RM Sotheby’s

The Priciest Cars Sold at Public Auction in 2017

The 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione | Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

A number of hot wheels continued to achieve exceptional prices that brought between USD14 million and USD18 million each.

These included the 1970 Porsche 917K (close to USD14.1 million), a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C (USD14.5 million), and a Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione (close to USD18 million).

A more modern 1995 McLaren F1 underwent the hammer at an impressive USD15.6 million at Bonhams Quail Lodge auction.

RM Sotheby’s Group Top 10 Sales of 2017

1. 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 $22,550,000 Monterey
2. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione $17,990,000 New York
3. 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta $10,043,000 Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione
4. 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider $9,504,550 Ferrari – Leggenda e Passione
5. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta $8,305,000 Monterey
6. 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet $7,700,000 Amelia Island
7. 2001 Ferrari F2001 $7,504,000 Sotheby’s Contemporary
8. 1959 Aston Martin DB4GT Prototype $6,765,000 Monterey
9. 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster $6,600,000 Arizona
10. 1955 Ferrari 121 LM Spider $5,720,000 Monterey

 

Among the ten most expensive auction cars this year, a 2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta was sold for over USD10 million. Only the LaFerrari brought in more than expected, with the majority going for prices right in the middle of their auction estimate ranges.

 

Steve McQueen “Le Mans” Racing Suit and Helmet Sold For $336,000

Le Mans is a 1971 film depicting a fictional 24 Hours of Le Mans race starring Steve McQueen, using real footage captured during the actual 1970 race. Starring as Michael Delaney. McQueen had not only managed to mesmerise us with his portrayal of the high octane Delany and the action packed scenes with droolworthy race cars but also has us enamoured with flashes of that bit of iconic wristwear (a TAG Heuer Monaco). In short, beyond the chronograph and the sports cars, we never really thought about the classic racing gear, that was until Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans” Racing Suit and Helmet went on auction, complete with Ball helmet and Nomex fire-retardant underwear, and it sold for an eyebrow raising US$336,000.

Steve McQueen “Le Mans” Racing Suit and Helmet Sold For $336,000

Steve McQueen was no mere actor, Le Mans, a realistic feature film in the world of motorsport, was his brainchild (albeit one which was possible given his global popularity at the time). Many items from the cult movie have been auctioned, amongst the Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s, one item (aside from the TAG Heuer Monaco) achieved some notoriety: the Gulf racing suit worn by McQueen’s character Michael Delaney. The McQueen Le Mans Racing suit had never been offered for auction with matching and original Bell helmet before and how, here it was, Nomex underwear (worn by McQueen as well) included.

The provenance of Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit and Helmet is an epic story tinged with some irony. Following the release of the movie, a promotional competition was run in the German magazine Bravo, where the consignor’s late husband entered the competition as a teenager hoping to win the headline prize, a Porsche 914. When the late owner of the McQueen Le Mans racing suit discovered that he had won the outfit (2nd prize) instead of the Porsche, he was quite disappointed and quickly stored it where it had remained for the last 46 years.

The Le Mans racing suit and helmet has been in the possession of the consignor’s family for all that time with only some light staining from age. That said, the helmet had been used as a daily motorcycle helmet for a few years where it was repainted during that period but it still features  all of the correct and original labels from Bell and the Snell Foundation.

Another point of heritage is the Le Mans racing suit featuring some light black staining on parts of the trousers, jacket, and necktie, which are synonymous with being used in a race car in the iconic movie.

This original Le Mans Hinchman jacket, replicated countless times and worn by fans all over the world in the decades since the film, still features all of its original patches, including the iconic Gulf, Firestone, and Heuer sponsorships. Offered from 46 years of single-family ownership with perfect provenance back to Steve McQueen and Le Mans, this lot represents the full Michael Delaney outfit—auctioned by RM Sothebys, the rare opportunity to acquire a tangible piece of one of the greatest automotive films contributed to the final hammered price of US$336,000.

You may have missed out on McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit ensemble but you can still get a custom TAG Heuer Monaco inspired by the Gulf colour way from Bamford

Bamford Watch Department is driven by a passion for engineering excellence and innovation. Inspired by the demand of their clients to wear watches that are exclusive and individual, Bamford Watch Department is among the few leading ateliers of custom bespoke watches, usually in shades of DLC black. For a few years, these modified bespoke custom DLC watches were tolerated but not endorsed till just earlier this year, LVMH watches Head Jean Claude Biver entered into a partnership agreement with the company. Today, watches like the TAG Heuer Monaco can be customised to a high degree by the owner through Bamford Watch Department.

The Limited Edition Le Mans “Gulf” Edition isn’t in stock anymore, and you could most definitely just get the movie authentic 39mm TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 but that shouldn’t stop you from creating your own Le Mans inspired Monaco chronograph.

Philips Watch Auction House Announces Sale For Spring 2018

Phillips sold the Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona in October that achieved the highest result ever for any wristwatch sold at auction.

Philips Watch Auction House Announces Sale For Spring 2018

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo has announced that it will hold thematic sale in Spring 2018, called “Daytona Ultimatum”, comprising of the world’s most well-known and best-preserved wristwatch and exclusive examples of the Rolex Daytona known to exist. In the most recent auction held in October, Phillips has sold the Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona that achieved the highest result ever for any wristwatch sold at auction.

In other editions of Philip’s auction, the house saw a selection of record breaking prices, including Patek Philippe reference 2523 World-Time, sold at a staggering figure of HK$22,300,000, the highest value ever achieved for a wristwatch sold at auction in Asia.

Patek Philippe reference 1518 in stainless steel was sold in November 2016 for USD 11,112, 020, making it the highest result ever achieved for a Patek Philippe wristwatch at auction.

The history of the Rolex Daytona

The Cosmograph Daytona with what is known as the ‘Paul Newman’ dial

Launched in 1963, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has achieved progressive success, and today, the model has become an iconic chronograph wristwatch that inspired several generations of watch enthusiasts.

Designed to meet the demands of professional racing drivers, Philips mentioned in a statement that “its introduction followed Rolex’s sponsorship of the annual 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race held since 1962 – known today as the Rolex 24 at Daytona.”

With subtle changes and functional improvements over the years, the newer version of the Daytona is said to be a highly reliable chronograph and the bezel with tachymetric scale allowed drivers to perfectly measure average speeds up to 400 km per hour. While the main aesthetic features have remained consistent in terms of the watch’s strength and its initial design.

The ultimate sports watch is widely-recognised for its timeless style, superb proportions, and racing pedigree. “While few references of the Daytona have been introduced, the flurry of subtle changes seen over the course of five decades captivates the minds of collectors, with very rare and exclusive examples still being discovered today,” the auction house concluded.

The curated sale of “Daytona Ultimatum” will take place on May 12 in Geneva and it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for astute collectors around the world.

More details will be shared by the auction house in the months ahead. For more information about Philips, please visit here.

The Grand Mazarin Sold at Christie’s

My Highlight of 2017: The Grand Mazarin

A dazzling historic coloured diamond, Le Grand Mazarin, was sold at a price of CHF14,375,000 recently at Christie’s in Geneva. Christie’s described the Mazarin diamond, as a “perfect 19.07 carat pink diamond” which was a royal treasure once owned by generations of French kings, queens, emperors and empresses, before disappearing into private hands.

Jean-Marc Lunel, Senior Jewellery Specialist at Christie’s in Geneva said they received a call one day, inviting them to view “an unspecified historic diamond” in a private house in Europe. “When the client unwrapped a piece of old parcel paper to reveal this beautiful pink diamond in front of my colleagues Jessica Koers and Max Fawcett, they were completely stunned,” recalled Lunel.

This brilliantly cut diamond was sourced from an old mine, Lunel recounted, “Mesmerised, our jewellery historian Vanessa Cron began looking through old family records, tracing the diamond’s history.”

Christie’s specialist discovered the importance of the stone’s rediscovery

For Lunel, being able to hold such an important piece of French royal history in his hands was unbelievable. The specialist continued to explain why this gem would be one of the most important stones they had ever offered.

“After spending 225 years as part of the French Crown Jewels, the stone was offered in an infamous 1887 sale, which saw the royal treasury broken up and dispersed. It had not been seen at public auction since.

“Although Christie’s has previously had the privilege of selling pieces that were at one point part of the French Crown Jewels, I knew this would be one of the most important stones we had ever offered,” said Lunel.

On the day of the auction, the atmosphere was intense as the hammer finally fell at USD14, 463,493 — underlining the stone’s allure.

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450 m to Saudi Prince

Savior of the World or Salvator Mundi, a painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci was just sold by Christie’s for US$450 million to a Saudi Prince. Salvator Mundi depicts Jesus in Renaissance garb with raised right hand and crystal orb in the palm of his left, it was da Vinci’s way of communicating the Lord’s role as savior of men (crossed fingers) and master of universe, holding “heaven” in the left hand.

Long thought to be lost, Savior of the World was eventually recovered in 2005 by a consortium of dealers who found a heavily “restored” version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which had been so overpainted that it looked like a cheap copy, selling for less than US$10,000. It was eventually properly restored by NYU’s Dianne Dwyer Modestini and exhibited at the National Gallery in London from 2011 to 2012.

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for US$450 million

The famed painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci has been bought and sold over the years. In 2013 by Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier for just over US$75 million at a private sale brokered by Sotheby’s. It was eventually en-sold to Russian collector Dimtry Rybolovelev before going on tour to Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York where it was eventually sold at Christie’s for US$450,312,500. Though some mystery surrounded the purchaser, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was eventually identified by the Wall Street Journal as true buyer following initial reports that it was Prince Bader (who only served as an intermediary). It is the highest ever auctioned for a work of art, the last record being held by Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers (version O) for US$179.4 million. The highest known sale price was previously held by Willem de Kooning’s US$300 million Interchange, obviously both records have been broken.

The purchase comes at a time while Prince Salman is the midst of a corruption crackdown that is seeking to recover US$100 billion in “misplaced” wealth which has led to arrests of several high profile princes and senior officials.

The exclusive painting of Christ by da Vinci, also happens to be the last of his works, will be making its way to Louvre Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi museum is the first outside Paris to carry the Lourve name, given the global repute of the brand, playing home to da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is a real coup for the brand-new museum. Considered to be the first ‘universal museum’ in the Arab world, the Lourve Abu Dhabi is one of three museums planned on the Emirati region.

RM Sotheby’s Unveiled Jaguar D-Type Ahead of Arizona Sale Next Year

1954 Jaguar D-Type Works | Image courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s Unveiled Jaguar D-Type Ahead of Arizona Sale Next Year

RM Sotheby’s third Manhattan ICONS “A Life of Luxury” opened its doors to the public on Nov 30 at Sotheby’s York Avenue headquarters ahead of the auction held on Dec 6. A large showcase of thirty-two cars and a selection of collectibles went on public sale. The inaugural Life of Luxury Week ICONS sale is part of Sotheby’s, presenting offering clients and enthusiasts an unparalleled experience as well as the very best in jewellery, watches, wine, fashion and cars.

Honouring the cutting-edge automotive design

During the auction, RM Sotheby’s legendary stirling Moss’ Le Mans 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works (OKV 2) made an appearance for the company’s 2018 Arizona sale. The specially-curated exhibits ICONS presented 31 iconic automobiles from the world’s most admired marques, from the Classic Era through today’s most advanced hypercars. Along with other selection of automotive collectibles and art, these vintage cars made up a huge part of the auction:

  • an alloy-bodied 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione which claimed 5th overall at the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans (Est. $14/17 million);
  • the very first Jaguar C-Type
  • imported to the United States and raced to victory by Phil Hill (Est. $5.5/7 million);
  • the 1952 Chrysler d’Elegance “idea car” with Italian coachwork by Ghia, an influential landmark in transatlantic design (Est. $900k/1.1 million);
  • an unmistakable 1960 Volkswagen Deluxe ‘23-Window’ Microbus, an iconic favorite of young and old (Est. $150/225,000, without reserve);
  • a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta, both the final prototype and first production Daytona (Est. $1.4/1.7 million);
  • a wild 1990 Lamborghini LM002, one of 60 U.S.-delivery examples of the high performance SUV known as the “Rambo Lambo” (Est. $400/500,000);
  • a 2000 BMW Z8 originally owned by the late visionary Apple founder, Steve Jobs (Est. $300/$400,000, without reserve);
  • a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari, a 53-mile example of the most advanced street Ferrari ever built (Est. $3.25/3.75 million); and,
  • a 2018 Bugatti Chiron (estimate $3.5/4 million), the very first example ordered for the U.S. market (Est. $3.5/4 million).

Throughout the Life of Luxury week exhibition at Sotheby’s, the D-Type went on public viewing alongside 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale by Boano as part of the A Century of Sports Cars Collection (Est. $1,250,000 – $1,750,000).

Several cars to display at Arizona Sales on Jan 18-19, 2018

Shining the spotlight on the 1954 Jaguar D-Type raced by the factory team at Le Mans, chassis no. XKD 403 (registration mark OKV 2), which will be the first of the featured cars to lead both RM Sotheby’s auction in Phoenix and the entire Arizona car week.

“OKV 2 remains one of the most raced and most original D-Types in existence, retaining its factory tub, chassis, drivetrain, and suspension. The Jaguar is expected to bring in excess of $12,000,000 when it crosses the podium in January.” – RM Sotheby’s

The D-Types presented an exhaustively documented and continuous history from the moment it came out of Jaguar’s Coventry factory in 1954. Visitors will get a glimpse of the OKV 2, which led the race with a new speed record of 172.97 mph on the Mulsanne just before it ran into brake problems; it was also Jaguar’s designated lead team car for Le Mans in 1954, piloted by Sir Stirling Moss and Peter Walker. In addition, OKV 2 went on to make history throughout 1954 on the Reims in the hands of Moss/Walker, and the Dundrod Tourist Trophy with drivers Peter Whitehead and Ken Wharton, securing Fifth overall.

Gold Leaf from Napoleon’s Crown Fetches 625,000 Euros

Pink Diamond & Classic Beauty Aims for $30 Million Haul

Image courtesy of Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

The 37.3-carat ‘The Raj Pink’ which the model is holding, is a fancy intense pink diamond with an estimated worth of GBP 15-22 million. The whooping gem was first discovered in South Africa in 2015 and a master cutter refined the rough crystal and turned it into a precious jewel.

Sotheby’s has put a target price of $30 million (25 million euros) on the ‘Raj Pink’ and what is said to be an extremely rare 37.3-carat pink diamond will auction as the highest offer at Sotheby’s jewel sale on Wednesday, right after news broke that rival auction house Christie’s had sold their 163.41-carat and completely colourless “Art of Grisogono” D-Colour diamond necklace for nearly $34 million, after taxes and commission, in Geneva.

According to an industry expert, the price paid by the anonymous buyer fell short of expectations and may be a warning sign of a softening diamond market. “I am disappointed that the Art of de Grisogono didn’t sell for a more dazzling price” said Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds, a major European online diamond jeweller.

Gemological Institute of America mentioned that Raj Pink will still be a unique acquisition for the successful buyer

Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has certified the diamond as a “Fancy Intense Pink”, meaning it has unusually clear and natural colour.

“Only on the rarest occasions do diamonds with vibrant, shocking colour like the Raj Pink’s emerge.” – Gemological Institute of America

In April, a 59.6-carat “Pink Star” was sold for record price of $71.2 million (60 million euros) and it is the highest amount ever paid for a Fancy Intense Pink category, whilst “The Graff Pink” went for a $46.2 million in 2010.

Sotheby’s aims to beat expectations for the Raj Pink.

A Rare Wristwatch Omega Tourbillon Auctioned off at Record $1.4 Million

Image courtesy of Phillips Watches

Back for their sixth watch auction, leading Watch Auction House, Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo sold a rare Omega Tourbillon at record CHF 1,428,500 (USD 1,433,330).

The recent Geneva Watch Auction is a platform which connects dedicated watch collectors to the most brilliant and iconic timepieces ever made in the last century.

USD 1.4 million was the world-record price paid for an Omega watch to-date after a lengthy bidding war of almost 19 minutes, whilst other buyers continued to bid against each other for the pre-owned watches at auction.

Featuring a Guillaume balance on the 37.5 mm stainless steel watch, Omega is powered by its Manual Calibre “30 I”, has a “signed dial and buckle and is accompanied by an extract from the OMEGA Archives, confirming the model’s production date of 1947”, according to Omega in the press release. “The watch is the only known period-completed Tourbillon “30 I” wristwatch-cased OMEGA in existence.”

Today, this unique Omega model, which has been undiscovered for decades, finally found its way to a new owner. It was directly manufactured in 1947 but was not part of the 12 movements known so far, and Omega mentioned that “a fact that clearly underlines the importance of its discovery for the history of watchmaking and the brand.”

The Art of de GRISOGONO, ‘Creation 1’ Necklace secured a Record price of USD 33,701,000 at the recent Christie’s Jewels sale

Fourteen highly-skilled artisans spent about 1,700 hours creating this astonishing necklace with Fawaz Gruosi guiding the process from the cutting of the rough stone to the sublimely luxurious. The final finish of this 163.41 carats emerald-cut diamond is GIA-certified.

Christie’s auction house broke the industry record as ‘The Art of de GRISOGONO, Creation 1’ necklace went through a hammer price level of CHF 33,500,000 (USD 33,701,000), at the recent magnificent Christie’s Jewels sale in Geneva.

Designed by Fawaz Gruosi, Founder and Creative Director of de GRISOGONO, this awe-inspiring and bedazzling masterpiece has impeccable credentials with traceable history from the mine to the completion of such masterpiece, and is compliant with the Kimberley Process certification authority.

The jewel features a 163.41-carat Flawless D-Colour diamond, cut from the historical 404-carat diamond and extracted from the Lulo mine in Angola, which is a listed Australian mining company called Lucapa Diamond Company.

While this sales break came as a celebratory news for de GRISOGONO as the company added another exciting milestone to its success, Fawaz Gruosi, Founder and Creative Director of de GRISOGONO enthused: “This auction marks a high point for de GRISOGONO and the team that have worked so tirelessly to bring this incredible stone to life in this beautiful piece, Creation 1.”

The Flawless D-Colour diamond was the largest ever emerald-cut diamond offered at auction. “I am truly privileged to have had the opportunity to work with a historic stone of such perfection and would thank everyone who has taken part in this beautiful journey from mine to masterpiece,” he continued.

The previous breaking sales record price for a D Flawless Diamond was US$30,600,000, which was a 404-carat rough diamond acquired from the Lulo mine by de GRISOGONO’s strategic partner, international rough diamond trader Nemesis, who granted the marketing rights of this incredible stone to de GRISOGONO.

As part of de GRISOGONO’s partner, Nemesis will be donating one per cent of its total hammer price money collected from the sale of ‘Creation 1’ to the foundation Fundação Brilhante, as part of its effort in supporting the local communities in mining areas.

The foundation Fundação Brilhante is established as a unique channel to champion social change through corporate responsibility activities and create a strong synergy with its partners in areas of social and cultural causes.

View the short documentary demonstrating the various stages involved in the piece’s crafting and de GRISOGONO’s inimitable expertise at https://theartofdegrisogono.com.

 

Remembering Time Value with TAG Heuer Autavia

Jack Heuer, founder and creator of TAG Heuer, turns 85 this year. To mark his birthday celebration, the company is launching a limited edition of the famous Autavia timepiece to pay homage to the brand’s honorary President.

The story of the Autavia is one with “a rich drama, full of twists and turns,” recalled Jack Heuer, Founder of TAG Heuer in reference to the Autavia. “It is one of my proudest achievements to have successfully converted chronographs into the Autavia wristwatch in 1962, so this collection has a special place in my heart: It was the very first timepiece that I designed, and today I am proud to present the last watch that I have created!”

 

This update of Jack’s first wrist sports chronograph speaks volume of an iconic watch that has captured the spirit of golden age motor racing. The earlier version of the Autavia chronograph was made legendary by racing drivers in the 1960s and much appreciated on collectors’ circuit before making a comeback today.

Designed by Jack himself for racing cars and aircraft in 1933, the new sports chronograph classic distinguishes itself from the other wrist watches produced today. The key features are the self-winding calibre movement and its larger 42 mm case, which provides the date at 6 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator with water resistance to 100 m.

The latest generation of the Autavia is made to tell time more accurately with the improved minute track subdivisions, marked by the “1/3-2/3” ergonomic rule of the era created by Jack Heuer himself.

The balanced minute hand and small seconds displays and the applique indexes come in steel coating with beige Super-LumiNova®. On the case back, carries the DNA and aesthetic codes of the original (updated for today’s market).

Drawing eyes to the 12-hour, graduated with a black aluminium bezel and featuring the mushroom push buttons, a ridged crown, and the Heuer logo, finally completed with a “grains of rice” steel bracelet for a vintage feel.

And finally, “Heuer Parade” organised by Phillips on Nov 11, in Geneva, will auction the limited edition timepieces carrying the number 1/1932.

For more information about TAG Heuer, please visit tagheuer.com.

Classic Car: 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible for Sale with French Auction House Ivoire Nimes

Chosen by actor Peter Falk, the 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible was every bit as iconic as the policeman and though the French carmaker was not initially pleased with the roughly driven, worn-in look of the 403

Chosen by actor Peter Falk, the 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible was every bit as iconic as the policeman and though the French carmaker was not initially pleased with the roughly driven, worn-in look of the 403

Styled by Pininfarina, the Peugeot 403 made its debut in saloon configuration in 1955 at the Trocadéro Palace in Paris. This collaboration with Pininfarina marked the start of  partnership which would see the Italian designer producing designs for Peugeot for more than fifty years. Produced between May 1955 and October 1966, the Peugeot 403 was the first model for the French carmaker to exceed 1 million production models across all variants – Saloon, Commercial, Cabriolet and Pickup editions. That said, there was a small quantity (around 2000 models) of 1953 Peugeot 403 Convertibles  that were produced in that time and one of the classic cars is coming up for sale with French auction house Ivoire Nimes.

Classic Car: 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible for Sale with French Auction House Ivoire Nimes

Though it was eventually superseded by the Peugeot 404 in 1960, so popular was the 403 that it remained in production until 1966. As a car, it was popularised on the American TV series Colombo starring Peter Falk as the titular detective Lieutenant Colombo whose crumpled raincoat and cigar imagery was as popular as his shabby-looking Peugeot 403 Cabriolet convertible from 1959.

Chosen by Falk, the 1959 Peugeot 403 Convertible was every bit as iconic as the grizzled policeman and though Peugeot was not initially pleased with the roughly driven, worn-in look of the prop 403, the car became so beloved of the viewers that the company eventually came to bank on its popular appeal. Today, French auction house Ivoire Nimes will be selling a Peugeot 403 cabriolet soft-top classic car a few weeks from now on August 12th for an estimated £22,000 to £26,000 (Euro 25,000 to 30,000).

Only 2043 of the inline-four, 1468 c.c. engine producing 60 horse power Peugeot 403 Cabriolet Grand Luxe were produced from 1956, this model up for auction was owned by renowned Trumpeter Tony Canal

Only 2043 of the inline-four, 1468 c.c. engine producing 60 horse power Peugeot 403 Cabriolet Grand Luxe were produced from 1956, this model up for auction was owned by renowned Trumpeter Tony Canal

Initially launched with manual 4-speed all-synchromesh transmission, the Peugeot 403  was eventually given an optional paid upgrade in the form of an electro-magnetic Jaeger automatic clutch at the 1957 Paris Motor Show. The 1959 Peugeot up for auction by Ivoire Nimes is also know as the 403 Cabriolet Grand Luxe  with opening roof top and though the entire 403 range has produced 1,214,121 models, only 2043 of the inline-four, 1468 c.c. engine producing 60 horse power Peugeot 403 Cabriolet Grand Luxe were produced from 1956, the soft top models were much more expensive than the regular 403, likely the reason why there were so few models of the 403 Cabriolet Grand Luxe produced.

Sample interior of a rare red 1959 Peugeot 403

Sample interior of a rare red 1959 Peugeot 403

This classic car was owned by renowned trumpeter Tony Canal. A native of Nîmes. Peugeot offered eight shades for the 403 convertible including a red version which was rather unusual for the brand, and which is very popular today.

Christie’s Auction of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank Realizes $379,500. You’d never believe who bought it.

On 21 June 2017, Christie’s Auction House announced that the highly watched Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank realized $379,500 at Rare Watches and American Icons New York auction only just after three minutes of bidding and over a dozen individual public and private bids.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was gifted to the First Lady from brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in on 23 February 1963, just nine months before 22 November 1963, when husband and President, John F. Kennedy was assassinated as he rode in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas.

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was gifted to the First Lady from brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in on 23 February 1963

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was gifted to the First Lady from brother-in-law Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill in on 23 February 1963

Christie’s Auction of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank Realizes $379,500

Jackie Kennedy wore this Cartier Tank primarily during her life and she’s captured in many iconic photographs with the distinctively elegant Cartier Tank. The famed Cartier watch features caseback engraving “Stas to Jackie 23 Feb. 63 2:05 am to 9:35 pm.” referring to the start and stop times of Prince Radziwill’s famous 50-Mile Hike in Palm Beach to promote health awareness and physical fitness.

Caseback engraving of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank with engraving from Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill commemorating the 50-mile hike

Caseback engraving of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank with engraving from Prince Stanislaw “Stas” Radziwill commemorating the 50-mile hike

President Kennedy had asked the American people to adopt a practice of mental and physical fitness by completing the challenge of walking 50-Miles regularly. it was a practice which became popular for a time, encouraged mostly by the popularity of the President and the example of the First family and friends. At the height of the short-fad for long distance walking, Jackie Kennedy made an original painting of Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding as a gift for Prince Radziwill in commemoration of the hike with the dedication “February 23, 1963 2:05 am to 9:35 pm / Jackie to Stas with love and admiration”.

Kim Kardashian bid and won First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank watch

Kim Kardashian placed the winning bid of US$379,500 for Jackie Kennedy's Cartier Tank

Kim Kardashian placed the winning bid of US$379,500 for Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier Tank

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was estimated to fetch US$60,000 – $120,000 and according to TMZ, (editor’s note: Never would I imagine ever quoting TMZ as a source), the bid for Christie’s First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch was won by none other than Kim Kardashian. Apparently, after being robbed in Paris last year, Kardashian was looking to be “less flashy” – the Cartier Tank is widely considered to be an example of understated sophistication.

“Today’s New York sale of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Cartier Tank was a thrilling auction moment for our watch department and for the thousands of people that have been following the journey of this watch from its discovery to the monumental sale today. After three minutes of spirited bidding in the saleroom, online and by phone, the sale ultimately concluded at $379,500. The story of this watch is full of emotion, love and history and will surely be remembered for years to come. This watch is a true American Icon.” – John Reardon, International Head of Christie’s Watches

Kim Kardashian placed a secret bid for First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier watch, eventually winning the historic tank watch with a bid of US$379,500! Additionally, Kim Kardashian also placed bids for the accompanying Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding hike painting which was previously unknown to the public. Christie’s considers the Jackie Kennedy’s Cartier tank and painting to be two of the most important historical artifacts to surface in recent years from the golden era of the Kennedy Presidency.

Jackie Kennedy made an original painting of Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding as a gift for Prince Radziwill in commemoration of the hike

Jackie Kennedy made an original painting of Stas Radziwill and Chuck Spalding as a gift for Prince Radziwill in commemoration of the hike

 

 

 

Highlights of Rare Watches from Antiquorum’s June Auction in New York

With preview from 19 June leading up the June 22nd auction of “Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces”, collectors from all over the world can now participate in Antiquorum’s auction online or in person at Antiquorum’s offices located at 805 Third Avenue in New York City. Meanwhile, here are some of the Highlights of Rare Watches from Antiquorum’s June Auction in New York with prime horological exemplars including Rolex, Patek Philippe and particularly significant A. Lange & Sohne.

Highlights of Rare Watches from Antiquorum’s June Auction in New York (and available online)

Perhaps, due to the ubiquity and almost universal love for Rolex in the watch collecting world, it’s almost inevitable that a Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman naturally headlines the sale of most watch auctions, Antiquorum’s including. Come 22 June, the Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman with Tropical Dial in Steel, unarguably one of the most  sought-after vintage Rolex sports model today goes on sale. Antiquorum’s own appraisers believe that it is sure to attract worldwide attention due to the striking “tropical” subdials, naturally faded into a soft and creamy chocolate color, enhancing the exceptional beauty of this vintage Rolex Daytona. Sans screw-down pushers, this rare and desirable vintage Rolex Daytona made circa 1965 is accompanied by service papers dated May 30, 1995.

1. Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman with Tropical Dial in Steel

This Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman with Tropical Dial in Steel, unarguably one of the most sought-after vintage Rolex sports model today goes on sale at Antiquorum's Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces, this June in New York. Estimated auction price: $70,000 -$100,000

This Rolex Ref. 6239 Paul Newman with Tropical Dial in Steel, unarguably one of the most sought-after vintage Rolex sports model today goes on sale at Antiquorum’s Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces, this June in New York. Estimated auction price: $70,000 -$100,000

Another extraordinary highlight of the  “Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces” Antiquorum auction is the Patek Philippe Ref. 5078 Minute-Repeater with Black Dial in Platinum. Sold in 2010, one of the lesser known but more charming attributes of a Patek Philippe Ref. in platinum is a small diamond in the mid-case at 6 o’clock, differentiating a watch of exceptional material from the more commonplace white gold (or God forbid, mistaken for mirror polished steel) – a visual reminder of the superior exclusivity of this Patek Philippe Minute-Repeater with black lacquer dial. This Patek Ref. 5078 is accompanied by a certificate of origin and a solid platinum case back, which unfortunately, would obscure the view of the superlative finishing (Geneva stripes, guilloche, graining and chamfering of the various components) of the Calibre 27 R PS.

2. Patek Philippe Ref. 5078 Minute-Repeater with Black Dial in Platinum

This Patek Philippe Ref. 5078 Minute-Repeater with Black Dial in Platinum from the Antiquorum auction "Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces" is accompanied by a certificate of origin and a solid platinum case back, which unfortunately, would obscure the view of the superlative finishing on the chiming calibre. Estimated auction price: $250,000 - $350,000

This Patek Philippe Ref. 5078 Minute-Repeater with Black Dial in Platinum from the Antiquorum auction “Important Modern and Vintage Timpieces” is accompanied by a certificate of origin and a solid platinum case back, which unfortunately, would obscure the view of the superlative finishing on the chiming calibre. Estimated auction price: $250,000 – $350,000

Connoisseurs of A. Lange & Sohne will be chomping at the bit for this Antiquorum auction piece, up for grabs – an A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Ref. 704025 Tourbillon in Platinum with Special Ordered Blue Steel Hands. Why? Because this  A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Ref. 704025 is a bonafide rare highlight, the only known example in platinum fitted with blue steel hands. Apparently, it was a bespoke custom order ordained by the late honorary Chairman Walter Lange himself for a special customer. The provenance of this piece is impeccable – from manufacture documentation of special dispensation for this unique A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 reference, preserved in pristine unworn condition complete with original accessories, acquisition of this Lange 1 is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

3. A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Ref. 704025 Tourbillon in Platinum with Special Ordered Blue Steel Hands

Made in 2011, this is an extremely rare A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Ref. 704025 Tourbillon in Platinum with Special Ordered Blue Steel Hands is a unique piece ordained by Walter Lange himself for a special customer. It is the only known example in platinum fitted with blue steel hands; and it can be yours thanks to this Antiquorum auction in June. Estimated auction price: $100,000 - $150,000

Made in 2011, this is an extremely rare A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Ref. 704025 Tourbillon in Platinum with Special Ordered Blue Steel Hands is a unique piece ordained by Walter Lange himself for a special customer. It is the only known example in platinum fitted with blue steel hands; and it can be yours thanks to this Antiquorum auction in June. Estimated auction price: $100,000 – $150,000

Also for sale at the June Antiquorum auction in New York is an unopen and unworn Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 Chronograph Perpetual Calendar in Yellow Gold. Widely considered to be the best watch Patek Philippe ever made due to its balanced proportions, it had a relatively short run from 2004 to 2011 due to the introduction of the in-house calibre 5270. Sold in 2008, this Lemania-based Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 Chronograph Perpetual Calendar in 18K yellow gold with perpetual calendar, moon phases, chronograph and tachymeter is considered by watch collectors to be one of the safer investments when it comes to watch collecting (the piece previously hammered north of US$89 thousand, now they cost double now at Gemnation). The lot offered by Antiquorum comes with the original wooden box, Certificate of Origin, solid 18K yellow gold caseback, setting pin and booklets.

4. Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 Chronograph Perpetual Calendar in 18K yellow gold

The Lemania-based Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 Chronograph Perpetual Calendar in 18K yellow gold is considered by many watch collectors to be one of the safer "investment pieces". Case in point, auction prices have risen from each subsequent auction. Estimated Antiquorum auction price: $90,000 -$130,000

The Lemania-based Patek Philippe Ref. 5970 Chronograph Perpetual Calendar in 18K yellow gold is considered by many watch collectors to be one of the safer “investment pieces”. Case in point, auction prices have risen from each subsequent auction. Estimated Antiquorum auction price: $90,000 -$130,000

Next up, not the most auction friendly (in terms of value appreciation) but definitely one of the more interesting timepieces for bids at Antiquorum’s online auction, the Jean Dunand Shabaka Piece Unique in White Gold, made circa 2007. We find the Jean Dunand Shabaka particularly appealing due to the unique roller-system to indicate calendar information. Its art deco aesthetic is undeniable as is its geometric and angular case. That’s not even counting the minute repeater function. This unusual Antiquorum auction piece is available in large 18K white gold and originally retailed for $515,000. Though it’s not expected to fetch a wealth of bids, it does come as a complete set with original box, certificate, setting tool and instruction set.

5. Jean Dunand Shabaka Piece Unique in White Gold

Not the most auction friendly (in terms of value appreciation) but definitely one of the more interesting timepieces for bids at Antiquorum's online auction, the Jean Dunand Shabaka Piece Unique in White Gold originally retailed for US$515,000 but it's estimated to fetch: $80,000 - $120,000

Not the most auction friendly (in terms of value appreciation) but definitely one of the more interesting timepieces for bids at Antiquorum’s online auction, the Jean Dunand Shabaka Piece Unique in White Gold originally retailed for US$515,000 but it’s estimated to fetch: $80,000 – $120,000

One of the outstanding highlights of rare watches from Antiquorum’s June auction in New York is this amazing openworked Christophe Claret Piece Unique Tourbillon De La Roche In Platinum. A unique piece inspired by Christophe Claret’s acquisition of Chateau De La Roche in the Besancon region of France in September 2005, the Christophe Claret Piece Unique Tourbillon De La Roche is so named for the property of Baron Othon De La Roche, Duke of Athens and a knight of the fourth crusade. Made circa 2005, this is a unique and stunning, platinum and sapphire-set tourbillon wristwatch with a visible one-minute tourbillon regulator movement is made especially intriguing thanks to visible gearwork unobstructed by a dial.

6. Christophe Claret Piece Unique Tourbillon De La Roche In Platinum

The Christophe Claret Piece Unique Tourbillon De La Roche is so named for the property of Baron Othon De La Roche, Duke of Athens and a knight of the fourth crusade. One of the outstanding highlights of rare watches from Antiquorum’s June auction in New York, estimated to fetch $55,000 to $85,000

The Christophe Claret Piece Unique Tourbillon De La Roche is so named for the property of Baron Othon De La Roche, Duke of Athens and a knight of the fourth crusade. One of the outstanding highlights of rare watches from Antiquorum’s June auction in New York, estimated to fetch $55,000 to $85,000

Not exactly a highlight (due to relative availability as far as rare watches go), not exactly a staple but a fan favourite at many rare watch auctions and perhaps one of the most affordable “panda” style Rolex 6263s, Antiquorum has a Rolex Ref. 6263 Big Red in Steel up for bids this June. You’d be remiss to lose out, considering it’s a piece of history at a smidgen more than the price of the new ceramic Daytonas.

7. Rolex Ref. 6263 Big Red in Steel

The June Antiquorum auction in New York has a Rolex Ref. 6263 Big Red in Steel up for bids this June estimated to fetch: $25,000 – 35,000.

The June Antiquorum auction in New York has a Rolex Ref. 6263 Big Red in Steel up for bids this June estimated to fetch: $25,000 – 35,000.

No one ever says no to a Pepsi, especially when it comes in Rolex GMT form, even a Coke fan will acquiesce. A rare and definitely interesting highlight is this Rolex Ref. 6542 GMT Bakelite Bezel with Gilt Tropical Dial in Steel. Made in 1955, it’s in pretty good shape considering that Bakelite bezels have become extremely rare due to their fragility and were often replaced with later metal inserts. This Antiquorum lot up for auction in June still retains its original Bakelite bezel and the dial has turned a beautiful brown color.

8. Rolex Ref. 6542 GMT Bakelite Bezel with Gilt Tropical Dial in Steel

This Antiquorum lot Rolex Ref. 6542 GMT with Gilt Tropical Dial in Steel up for auction in June still retains its original Bakelite bezel and the dial has turned a beautiful brown color. Estimated auction price: $15,000 - $35,000

This Antiquorum lot Rolex Ref. 6542 GMT with Gilt Tropical Dial in Steel up for auction in June still retains its original Bakelite bezel and the dial has turned a beautiful brown color. Estimated auction price: $15,000 – $35,000

Something for the ladies too…

A 1970s, Patek Philippe Ref. 4347 Lady’s Diamond & Yellow Gold wristwatch. The rare and not exactly rectangular, cushion-shaped, 18K yellow gold and diamond lady’s wristwatch with a stunning turquoise dial and integrated 18K yellow gold woven Patek Philippe mesh bracelet.

1970s, Patek Philippe Ref. 4347 Lady’s Diamond & Yellow Gold wristwatch

The Antiquorum for Lots 1-208 will begin at Thursday, June 22, 10am Eastern Daylight Time. You can bid online or attend the preview from 19 to 21 June (11am to 7pm) or be present at the live auction at this address on 22 June:

Antiquorum Auctioneers
805 Third Avenue, 10 fl
New York, NY 10022
Tel (212) 750 -1103
Email: [email protected]

Sotheby’s to auction 26-carat cushion cut diamond from London junk sale

A diamond ring bought for next to nothing in a London junk sale is expected to fetch up to £350,000 ($455,000, 405,000 euros), said Sotheby’s auction house. The owner bought the 26-carat, white diamond ring for £10 in the 1980s and wore it while doing shopping and chores, thinking it was costume jewellery, Sotheby’s said.

“The owner would wear it out shopping, wear it day-to-day. It’s a good-looking ring,” said Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby’s London jewellery department. “No one had any idea it had any intrinsic value at all. The majority of us can’t even begin to dream of owning a diamond that large.”

The diamond is thought to have been cut in the 19th century, when the style was to cut to conserve the weight rather than to make it as sparkly as possible, hence its relatively dull brilliance. “It could trick people into thinking it’s not a genuine stone,” said Wyndham. She said the owner, who does not want to be named, brought the ring in after a jeweller told them it could be worth something. She said the owner was “incredibly excited. Anyone would be in this position: it’s a life-changing amount of money. “This is a one-off windfall, an amazing find.”

The ring will be auctioned on June 7 and is expected to fetch between £250,000 and £350,000. Sotheby’s said the owner came forward in the past few months seeking a valuation. “Much to the owner’s surprise, the ring turned out to be a genuine cushion-shaped diamond weighing 26.27 carats with an attractive colour grade of I and impressive clarity grade of VVS2,” the auctioneers said.

The clarity grade “Very, very slightly included 2” is the fourth-highest out of 11, while a colour grading of I means it is near colourless, on the scale from D to Z.

World’s most expensive luxury handbag: Christie’s auctions rare Hermès Birkin Bag for US$380,000

Hermes’ Birkin bags are one of the most highlight sought after luxury fashion items in the world. Hence, there’s no surprise that a diamond-encrusted crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin handbag with white gold details has broken the record for the world’s most expensive ever sold at auction, fetching nearly US$380,000 at a Hong Kong sale. The rare Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 went to an unknown phone bidder Wednesday for HK$2.94 million after intense bidding, a spokeswoman for auction house Christie’s told AFP. The new record beat one set last year, also in Hong Kong, by an identical Hermes bag that sold for HK$2.32 million.

Only one or two Diamond Himalayas are created each year globally, making it one of the rarest production runs for handbags, according to Christie’s. “It actually has been rumoured that they will discontinue Himalayas altogether this year, which may be part of the reason that we’ve seen the increase in the value this season,” Matthew Rubinger, Christie’s international head of handbags and accessories division, told AFP.

Designer handbags are increasingly seen as investment opportunities and have become a craze for collectors, taking global auction houses by storm and scoring record prices.

The handmade bag—described by the London-based auctioneers as “the most desirable handbag in existence”—is encrusted with diamonds, while the buckle and trademark mini Hermes padlock are from 18 carat white gold.

The bag was made in 2014 and is from Hermes’ “Birkin” series named after actress and singer Jane Birkin, who was born in Britain and lives in France.

Apollo and Artemis diamond earrings fetch record-breaking $57.4 million at Sotheby’s auction

We previously wrote that this pair of earrings were likely to be the most valuable earrings to appear in auction—and we were right. Two spectacular diamonds— the Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink—mounted as earrings fetched a record $57.4-million (51.8 million euros) at auction on May 16 in Geneva, with an unnamed Asia-based buyer netting both, Sotheby’s said.

After protracted bidding, the flawless and vivid Type IIb diamond “The Apollo Blue” fetched $42.087-million. The equally intensely luminescent “The Artemis Pink” went for $15.33-million, buyers premium included. The earrings were sold as separate lots.

The earrings, named after the twin Greek gods, had respectively been valued at between $38-million and $50-million and $12.5-million and $18-million.The 14.54-carat “Apollo Blue” is the largest gemstone in its category ever to be auctioned and has been cut and polished to a pear shape.

The 16-carat “Artemis Pink” is near identical in shape. It is also one of the world’s most “chemically pure” diamonds, according to the Gemological Institute of America, which experts say gives the stone such a high degree of transparency.