Christie’s, Sotheby’s Jewelry Sales Down in 2018

AuctionsJan 04, 2019

Christie’s, Sotheby’s Jewelry Sales Down in 2018

Christie’s total dropped 12 percent, while Sotheby’s declined 25 percent compared with 2017.

At Christie’s Geneva’s Magnificent Jewels sale, the 19-carat “Winston Pink Legacy” broke an auction world record for price per carat for a pink diamond when it sold for $50.4 million.

New York—In 2017, Christie’s and Sotheby’s jewelry auction sales earned them more than a combined $1 billion, but in 2018 they missed that mark.

Christie’s has reported $492.3 million in worldwide jewelry auction sales in 2018, down from $556.7 million in 2017, a drop of nearly 12 percent. Sotheby’s total jewelry sales, meanwhile, totaled $414 million in 2018 after hitting $551.3 million in 2017, representing about a 25 percent decline.

Of Christie’s 2018 sales, $484.5 million—or about 98 percent of the total—was garnered at live auction and $7.8 million online (down from $8.9 million in online sales in 2017).

Both auction houses, however, sold some important pieces, with several setting records.  

Christie’s largest jewelry sale of the year happened in November in Geneva. A 18.95-carat pink diamond ring dubbed “The Winston Pink Legacy” after its purchase by Harry Winston sold for $50.4 million, or $2.7 million per carat, a record per-carat price for a pink diamond sold at auction.

The Winston Pink Legacy actually topped all of Christie’s 2017 jewelry sales as well.

As that sale demonstrated, color was the theme of the auction house’s top jewelry lots in 2018.

The second largest sale was $20.5 million, or $2.6 million per carat, for an 8.01-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid blue IF diamond necklace by Moussaeieff that sold in Hong Kong in May, followed by the $18.3 million, or $2.3 million per carat, fetched by a Bulgari 8.08-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid blue diamond ring in New York last month.

The No. 4 selling lot for Christie’s last year was “The Peacock Necklace,” pictured above. The necklace features 109.08 carats of Kashmir sapphires and set a world auction record for a Kashmir sapphire necklace, garnering almost $15 million in Hong Kong in November.

The fifth highest-selling piece was a 15.56-carat heart-shaped fancy intense pink diamond pendant necklace that went for $9.5 million, or $612,950 per carat. 

Christie’s noted that 2018 marked its 25th consecutive year as the leading global jewelry auction house by sales.

Sotheby’s also facilitated purchases of some extravagant jewels in 2018, but couldn’t match the extraordinary 2017 sale of the “The CTF Pink” (formerly called “The Pink Star), purchased by Chow Tai Fook for $71.2 million.

The auction house did, however, set a record for highest overall sale of royal jewels when it garnered a total of $53.1 million—more than seven times the pre-sale total estimate—for its Royal

Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma Family” auction.

The white-glove sale, in which 90 percent of lots sold above their high estimates, surpassed the total of $50.3 million that the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry garnered in 1987.

The highlight of the Bourbon-Parma auction was a natural pearl and diamond pendant from Marie Antoinette’s personal collection (seen above), which earned $36.2 million, setting a record for a natural pearl.

And just as they did at Christie’s, colorful stones also made an impact for Sotheby’s in 2018, most notably the Ai Diamond, a 5-carat fancy vivid blue diamond ring that garnered $13.8 million in Hong Kong in early October.

Though jewelry was down for Sotheby’s in 2018, the auction house did note that watch sales were up 60 percent year-over-year, totaling $88.5 million.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 30, 2022
Here’s Where You’ll Find The Best Online Jewelry Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

CrimeJun 30, 2022
What JSA’s Annual Report Tells Us About Jewelry Crime in 2021

Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.

CrimeJun 30, 2022
Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video

The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Nominations Are Open for Gem Awards 2023

The 21st annual awards show and gala will take place in New York City next March.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Registration Open for JIS Fall in Miami

The jewelry trade show is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

MajorsJun 29, 2022
Zales Has a New Diamond Cut

The “Celebration Infinite” diamond has more than three times the number of facets in a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, the retailer said.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

WatchesJun 29, 2022
Bulova Introduces New Frank Sinatra Watches

The brand again partnered with the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School to celebrate the launch of the “Summer Wind” watches.

SurveysJun 29, 2022
U.S. Platinum Jewelry Demand Starts 2022 on a Strong Note

Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.

Events & AwardsJun 29, 2022
Registration Is Now Open for the HardRock Summit 2022

Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.

ColumnistsJun 28, 2022
The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.

IndependentsJun 28, 2022
This Jeweler Is Celebrating 40 Years With 40 Days of Giveaways

Continental Diamond in Minneapolis is awarding a total of $25,000 in prizes via daily sweepstakes.

CollectionsJun 28, 2022
Melissa Kaye’s New Collection Doubles the Color

“Lenox” marks the designer’s foray into bespoke jewels and large colored gemstones.

Events & AwardsJun 28, 2022
Second AGS Virtual Education Conference Is All About Negotiation Skills

“Confluence” is happening in August.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
George Holmes, Longtime Head Editor of JCK Magazine, Dies at 93

He first took a job at then Philadelphia-based Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone in 1963 and retired in 1996.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
Mayors, Analog:Shift Team Up With Goop

The lifestyle platform will stock fine jewelry and watches from the retailers on its website and in store.

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

IndependentsJun 27, 2022
Lewis Jewelers Set to Open New Ann Arbor Store This Summer

The 10,000-square-foot location allows for expanded collections from design partners while continuing custom design and other services.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy