By Brecken Branstrator
Hong Kong—The 5-carat fancy vivid blue ‘Ai’ diamond was named after the Chinese word for love, and one buyer certainly fell for the stone at auction Wednesday—to the tune of $13.8 million, to be precise.

The VS2 step-cut fancy vivid blue diamond set in an 18-karat white gold ring and flanked with baguette diamonds led the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite jewelry sale, falling within its pre-sale estimate of $12.5 to $15.3 million.

The jewelry auction totaled approximately $40.2 million.

It seemed like blue diamonds were all the rage, with the Ai diamond followed in the results by another stone of a similar color: coming in at No. 2 was an 18-karat white gold ring set with a pear-shaped fancy intense blue diamond weighing 3.37 carats. It sold for $3.1 million.

Just behind that was a ring centered on a step-cut 18.45-carat white diamond between two shield-shaped diamonds and mounted in platinum that went for $2.3 million.

Rounding out the top five were a 4.31-carat cut-cornered square modified brilliant-cut fancy intense purplish pink diamond set between trapeze-cut diamonds and mounted in platinum and 18-karat white gold, which sold for about $1 million, and a ring set with an old European-cut diamond weighing 10.05 carats in 18-karat white gold that went for about $934,000.

The sale also included a number of pieces from Wallace Chan, the first Asian jeweler to exhibit at the Biennale in Paris in 2012, who today can be seen at such major fairs as The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) and Masterpiece in London.

20180919 Wallace Chan 3

Only one of his works sold at the auction, according to the Sotheby’s website—the earrings pictured above. Featuring tsavorite garnets, brilliant-cut diamonds, jade, emeralds, diamond briolettes and seed pearls, they fell within their pre-sale estimate range when they garnered approximately $88,000.

The auction didn’t sell a tanzanite, chalcedony and diamond ring, expected to garner as much as $230,000, or a pair of earrings featuring conch pearl, various gemstones and diamonds, expected to sell for between $281,000 and $408,000, among other Chan lots.

A number of important jade pieces also didn’t sell Wednesday, including a necklace composed of 51 jadeite beads of a brilliant emerald green color and with “very good” translucency, with a diamond clasp signed Chaumet, and two fine jadeite bangles displaying hues of both lavender and green that were listed separately, with estimates of $665,000-$895,000 and $640,000-$895,000.

To see the full list of results from Wednesday’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite jewelry sale, visit

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