By Brecken Branstrator
The “Kelly sapphire,” a 21.71-carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire from Cartier offered in the sale, came from the personal collection of businesswoman and philanthropist Margaret Adderley Kelly, who founded a staffing company with her late h
New York--Exceptional colorless diamonds and sapphires, including a 21.71-carat Kashmir sapphire that sold for more than $4 million, were the hot items at Christie’s most recent auction in New York.

The auction house’s “Important Jewels” sale, held Tuesday, featured more than 200 lots of colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, and signed designer jewels. The auction was 94 percent sold by value and 79 percent sold by lot, totaling $27.6 million.

Highlighting the sale were the jewels of Margaret Adderley Kelly, who helped turn staffing company Kelly Services Inc. (founded in 1946) into a Fortune 500 company with her late husband, William, and their son, Terence.

In addition to being a businesswoman and philanthropist, Kelly also was a jewelry and fine gemstone collector, and all 28 pieces of hers included in the sale found buyers.

The top lot in the sale was, in fact, the “Kelly” sapphire, a cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire ring from Cartier weighing 21.71 carats, which sold for twice its pre-sale estimate when it garnered $4.2 million.

This was followed by a cushion-cut, K color, VS2 diamond weighing 80.73 carats that sold for $3.8 million and a pear-shaped, D color, internally flawless Art Deco diamond pendant of 16.24 carats that went for $2.2 million.

Another sapphire, a 9.97-carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, sold for $1.1 million, and a cushion-cut fancy intense yellow diamond, the only fancy colored diamond to appear in the top 10, went for $857,000.

In addition, a Burmese ruby and diamond cluster necklace and a rectangular-cut Ceylon sapphire weighing 27.83 carats both sold for $845,000.

Click through the slideshow above to see the top 10 lots from Christie’s Important Jewels sale.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.