By Brecken Branstrator
This top color jadeite necklace was the highest-grossing lot at Sotheby’s jewelry auction in Hong Kong this week, selling for $8.1 million.
Hong Kong—Like almost everything else in 2020, the sale of two jewels expected to go for millions at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong Wednesday didn’t go as planned.

Ahead of the sale, the auction house highlighted one special gemstone it predicted would be one of the top lots: a 118.88-carat unheated Burmese sapphire graded as “royal blue” in color by both the SSEF and Gübelin labs (pictured below).

The rare cushion-shaped stone, which is surrounded by pear-shaped diamonds weighing 16.06 total carats and set in a platinum pendant, was expected to sell for more than $5 million, a spokesperson confirmed to National Jeweler when news of its auction was announced.

But the lot was withdrawn ahead of the sale Wednesday, Sotheby’s confirmed.

20201008 Blue sapphire

Also taken out of the sale was a 4.84-carat fancy vivid blue internally flawless pear-shaped diamond with two brilliant-cut diamond accents, estimated to sell for between $7.2 million and $8.5 million.

Though no official reason was given for the gemstones’ withdrawal, it came just two days after a “perfect” 102-carat diamond underwhelmed at the same auction house in the same city. The giant D flawless stone went for $15.7 million, far less than what similar stones have sold for in recent years.

The top lot of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale ended up being a necklace comprised of 43 jadeite beads of a “highly translucent brilliant emerald green color” weighing approximately 630 total carats and featuring a clasp set with brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds.

It sold for $8.1 million at the jewelry auction.

This was followed by a ring featuring a 5.22-carat fancy intense blue diamond with single- and old European-cut shoulders. It sold for $4.5 million, topping its highest pre-sale estimate of $3.9 million.

The third highest grossing lot was a 6.41-carat unheated Burmese pigeon’s blood ruby and diamond ring (pictured below) designed and mounted by Hong Kong high jewelry house Forms, which sold for $2.8 million.

20201008 Ruby

Coming at No. 4 was a 16.38-carat emerald-cut diamond set between tapered baguette diamonds and mounted in platinum. It sold for $2.5 million.

Among the lots that failed to find a buyer on Wednesday were a pair of earrings featuring pear-shaped and fancy intense blue diamonds expected to sell for as much as $4.6 million and a jadeite bracelet expected to fetch as much as $3.4 million.

The Magnificent Jewels auction was 77 percent sold by lot and totaled $39.3 million. For full results, visit

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