By Hannah Connorton
The “Crimson Flame,” a 15.04-carat Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby, was purchased for $18.4 million in December, and was the fifth highest-grossing auction lot of 2015.
New York--Large colored diamonds, deeply hued rubies and colorless diamonds proved to be the most sought-after gems at auction this year, with all three comprising the top 10 jewels sold at auction in 2015.

The results are not unlike last year’s; in 2014, the jewel that fetched the highest price at auction was the “Zoe Diamond,” a 9.75-carat fancy vivid blue that sold for $32.6 million. A blue diamond also took the No. 1 spot for 2015, but upped the ante as far as size and price goes--the “Blue Moon of Josephine,” a 12.03-carat fancy vivid blue diamond graded as internally flawless, sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November.

A diamond called the “Sweet Josephine,” purchased by the same buyer for the same individual, sold for $28.5 million at Christie’s Geneva, also in November. The 16.08-carat cushion-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond ranked third overall for the year in terms of highest price paid for a gem at auction, with the “Sunrise Ruby,” a pigeon’s blood-red 25.59-carat ruby, coming between the two colored diamonds.

Aside from the high-achieving jewels that set world auction record after record this year, a few more “fun” lots also made it into the news. Among them was the 24-karat gold leaf grand piano that once belonged to Elvis Presley, which sold for $610,000 in November. There also was the Omega Constellation wristwatch Elizabeth Taylor gave to Richard Burton, which pulled in $12,000 at a sale in September, and “Yorick,” the skull carved from a meteorite, which failed to sell at a Bonhams auction in November.

Look through the attached gallery (on the right) to see the diamonds and gemstones that comprised the top 10 jewels sold at auction in 2015, some of them setting new world auction records.

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