A fancy colored diamond ring weighing 16

A fancy colored diamond ring weighing 16.64 carats sold for $305,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams Fine Jewelry sale on April 15 made $3.3 million with colored gemstone solitaire rings leading the way. This supports the company’s recent claim that 2015 will be the year of the colored gemstone. 

While diamonds will never lose their classic appeal, colored gems are outstripping them in value and proving a canny investment having surpassed other stones in terms of price gains – some having risen by a staggering 2,200 per cent over the past decade. 

The auction was led by a fancy yellow cut-cornered rectangular modified diamond ring that sold for $305,000, weighing 16.64 carats. The brilliant yellow diamond is set in a polished 18k gold mount and enhanced by circular yellow-cut diamonds. 

A fancy colored diamond ring

A 16.64 carats fancy yellow cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond ring. Sold for $305,000 (€284,753). Photo: Bonhams.

set with a fancy yellow cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 16.64 carats, within a polished gold mount with split shank, enhanced by circular yellow-cut diamonds; mounted in 18k gold; size 5 1/2 (smaller yellow diamonds untested for origin of color)

Accompanied by GIA report #1156550886, dated July 11, 2013, stating: natural, fancy yellow color, VS1 clarity

Enthusiastic bidding rapidly drove up the prices of two ruby and diamond rings: a square cushion mixed-cut ruby weighing 3.18 carats flanked by brilliant-cut diamonds mounted in 18k gold and platinum that realized $185,000, more than 7 times the high estimate; and an oval mixed-cut ruby weighing 3.02 carats set in a pavé set diamond bombé mount and mounted in 18 k gold and platinum, which achieved $161,000, almost 9 times the high estimate. 

A ruby and diamond ring 181

A  "pigeon's blood" Burma ruby and diamond ring. Sold for $185,000 (€172,719). Photo: Bonhams.

centering a square cushion mixed-cut ruby, weighing 3.18 carats; flanked by round brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 1.03 and 1.04 carats; mounted in platinum and 18k gold; size 4 3/4

Accompanied by Gübelin Gem Lab report #0402558, dated March 9, 2004, stating the ruby as: Burma (Myanmar) origin, no indications of thermal enhancement.

Accompanied by GRS report #GRS2004-030887, dated March 16, 2004, stating: natural ruby, Burma (Myanmar) origin, no indications of thermal treatment, vivid red (GRS type "pigeon's blood").

Accompanied by AGL report #CS 66122, dated February 17, 2015 stating the Ruby as: Burma (Myanmar)origin, no heat or clarity enhancement.

Accompanied by GIA report #2175081152, dated March 16, 2015, stating one diamond as: D color, SI1 clarity.

Accompanied by GIA report #1172082408, dated March 17, 2015, stating one diamond as: F color, VS2 clarity.

A ruby and diamond ring

A Burma ruby and diamond ring. Sold for $161,000 (€150,312). Photo: Bonhams.

centering an oval mixed-cut ruby, weighing 3.02 carats, within a pavé set diamond bombé mount; estimated total diamond weight: 4.00 carats; mounted in 18k white and yellow gold, size 6

Accompanied by Gübelin Gem Lab report #9512039, dated December 13, 1995, stating the ruby as: Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of thermal treatment.

Accompanied by AGL report #CS 66123, dated February 17, 2015 stating the Ruby as: Burma (Myanmar) origin, with no indications of heat or clarity enhancement

Closely following this was an emerald and diamond ring that fetched $173,000. The cut cornered rectangular step-cut emerald is amounted in platinum and weighs 14.31 carats, which is flanked by baguette-cut diamond shoulders. 

An emerald and diamond ring

A 14.31 carats Colombian emerald and diamond ringSold for $173,000 (€161,516). Photo: Bonhams.

centering a cut cornered rectangular step-cut emerald, weighing 14.31 carats, with baguette-cut diamond shoulders;mounted in platinum; size 6

Accompanied by C. Dunaigre, Switzerland, report #CDC 1201222, dated January 26, 2012, stating the emerald as: emerald, natural beryl, Colombian origin, with indications of minor clarity enhancement.

Accompanied by AGL report #CS 84316, dated March 11, 2015 stating the emerald as: Colombian origin, with minor clarity enhancement.

Though it is more subdued in color, a brilliant diamond solitaire ring fetched a price of $108,750, soaring past the high estimate of $65,000. The round cornered rectangular brilliant-cut diamond weighs 4.45 carats and is flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds and is mounted in platinum. 

A diamond solitaire ring

The 'Macauley diamond'. A 4.45 carats diamond solitaire ringSold for $108,750 (€101,531). Photo: Bonhams.

centering a round cornered rectangular brilliant-cut diamond, weighing 4.45 carats, flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds; mounted in platinum; size: 5 3/4

Accompanied by GIA report #1166831221, dated December 4, 2014 stating the center diamond as: G color, VS2 clarity. 

Notes: The 'Macauley diamond' is a unique ring with an illustrious heritage. 
James Alvan Macauley, was President and Chairman of the Board of Packard Motors, Detroit, Michigan from 1919 until 1948. He successfully guided Packard through the Depression, was a key factor in Packard engines powering the famous WWII P-51 Mustang fighters and PT boats, was President of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, and appeared on the cover of Time Magazine numerous times.

In 1895, Alvan married Estelle Littlepage, daughter of Hardin Beverly Littlepage, who was a Confederate naval officer of distinction, serving on the CSS Virginia when it fought the Monitor in 1862. 

The diamond was given to her in the 1920s, while living on Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Point, MI. Estelle was a prominent and well-connected woman in charitable circles and 'Home Front' causes during the war. They spent winters in Savannah and in Florida while at home entertained heads of state, royalty, presidents and prominent industrialists. 

The scissored facet design is popularly used for colored stones, but brings out rare beauty, life and light within a diamond.

Another highlights includes:

An emerald and diamond ring lot164

A Colombian  emerald and diamond ring. Sold for US$ 77,500 (€72,355)Photo: Bonhams.

centering a cut cornered step-cut emerald, weighing 2.52 carats; flanked two round brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 1.58 and 1.67 carats, within a marquise and pear-shape diamond surround; estimated remaining diamond weight: 1.75 carats; mounted in platinum; size 5

Accompanied by AGL report #CS 62519, dated August 7, 2014, stating the emerald as: Colombian origin, with no clarity enhancement.

Accompanied by GIA report #5161430784, dated July 21, 2014, stating one diamond as: J color, SI2 clarity.

Accompanied by GIA report #2165435316, dated July 22, 2014, stating one diamond as: J color, SI2 clarity.

A sapphire and diamond ring

A 10.83 carats Madagascar sapphire and diamond ring. Sold for US$ 62,500 (€58,351)Photo: Bonhams.

centering a cushion mixed-cut sapphire, weighing 10.83 carats, with an old European-cut diamond surround and shank; estimated total diamond weight: 2.25 carats; mounted in platinum and white gold; size 5 3/4 (with sizer)

Accompanied by GRS report #GRS2002-01633, dated January 31 2002, stating the sapphire as: natural, no indication of thermal treatment.

Accompanied by AGL report #CS 66121, dated February 17 2015, stating the sapphire as: Madagascar origin, no indications of heat or clarity enhancement.

An emerald and colored diamond ring

7.46 carats Colombianemerald and colored diamond ring. Sold for US$ 62,500 (€58,351)Photo: Bonhams.

centering a cushion-cut emerald, weighing 7.46 carats, with pavé-set yellow diamond two-tiered surround, gallery and split shoulders; estimated total diamond weight: 1.90 carats; mounted in 18k gold; size 5 3/4 (diamonds untested for origin of color)

Accompanied by Gübelin Gem Lab report #12067176, dated June 25, 2012, stating the emerald as: Colombian origin, indications of minor clarity enhancement

An unmounted diamond

A 4.35 carats unmounted cut-cornered square step-cut diamond. Sold for US$ 62,500 (€58,351)Photo: Bonhams.

the cut-cornered square step-cut diamond, weighing 4.35 carats.

Accompanied by GIA report #2161456335, dated August 13, 2014, stating the diamond as: G color, VS1 clarity.

On the market’s buoyancy with regard to colored gemstones, Susan Abeles, Director of Fine Jewelry at Bonhams US commented, “Colored stones, especially rubies, emeralds and sapphires are bringing strong prices that rival prices for diamonds, reflecting a swing in the market. The demand for fine quality colored stones is extremely healthy and growing, as is the market for signature jewelry.” 

The next Fine Jewelry sale at Bonhams will be held on April 21 in the UK, in Oxford.