A Pearl Owned By Marie Antoinette Just Broke Auction Records After Show In Dubai

BY Sophie Stevens / Nov 19 2018 / 19:00 PM

Christie’s and Sotheby’s had major jewellery sales in Geneva last week, including a pink diamond bought by Harry Winston and Queen Marie Antoinette’s pearl

A Pearl Owned By Marie Antoinette Just Broke Auction Records After Show In Dubai

Last week’s jewellery auction sales in Geneva totaled over $235million (about Dhs863 million) with some truly standout diamonds and gemstones: both aesthetically and historically.

First up was auction house Christie’s on 13 November, who sold a pink diamond weighing nearly 19 carats for a whopping $50.37million (about Dhs185 million) to jewellery house Harry Winston. Renamed “The Winston Pink Legacy”, the 18.96-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond officially became the most expensive pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s.

Winston Legacy Pink Diamond

The Winston Pink Legacy diamond weighs nearly 19 carats and sold for $50.37million (about Dhs185 million)


Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewellery, commented: “This exceptional diamond captured the imagination of international collectors across the globe, with over 30,000 people visiting Christie’s sale previews to see this remarkable stone. It has taken its rightful place among the world’s greatest diamonds.”

The pink diamond was part of a sale that totaled $110.21million (about Dhs404.8 million), which also saw strong bids for historical jewels from major maisons including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Sothebys Bourbon Parma Marie Antoinette Pearl

At $36.2million (about Dhs 133 million) the Marie Antoinette pearl became the most expensive pearl ever sold at auction


Sotheby’s sales took place over the following two days, which saw jewels from the collection of Queen Marie Antoinette achieve astronomical prices. The pieces were part of the Bourbon Parma family collection, which was 100% sold and included the last French Queen’s pearl and diamond pendant which was bought for $36.2million (about Dhs 133 million).

The pendant was recently exhibited in Dubai along with other pieces from the sale, and now holds the record as the most expensive pearl ever sold at auction. Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby’s Jewellery Chairman, Europe, said of the sale, “We saw the Marie Antoinette factor work its magic. No other queen is more famous for her love of jewels, and her personal treasures, pearls and diamonds that survived intact the tumults of history, captivated the interest of collectors around the world.”

Sothebys Geneva Cartier Sapphire Ring

Coloured gems were also extremely popular, with this 69.99-carat Burmese sapphire in a Cartier ring selling for $3.83million (about Dhs14 million)


The Bourbon Parma collection sold for a total of $53.1million (about Dhs195 million), followed by Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels sale the following day that achieved $59.9million (about Dhs220 million). Leading pieces in the sale included coloured diamonds and stunning gemstones, such as a 69.99-carat Burmese sapphire mounted in a ring by Cartier that sold for $3.83million (about Dhs14 million).

Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s exhibited the jewels in key cities such as Dubai before the auctions, in the hopes of attracting new buyers from around the world. No doubt such strategies are working, with last week’s sales in Geneva making dazzling jewellery history.

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