LONDON.- Christmas has come early for a number of lucky bidders following Bonhams London’s last Fine Jewellery sale of 2015. 

Jewellery from celebrated designers including Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, along with a pair of exceptional Kashmir sapphires belonging to a European Princess, went under the hammer today (Saturday 5th December). 

Bidders in the saleroom, online and on the telephones, competed for the two top lots, both of which exceeded their high estimates. 

The fancy greyish-blue, 2.97cts step-cut diamond, set in a ring designed by the society jeweller Andrew Grima, achieved £1,482,500 against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000-700,000. This set a new world record price per carat for a fancy greyish-blue diamond and a new world record for a Grima creation. 

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Lot 135. A 2.97 carats fancy grayish blue diamond ring, by Andrew Grima, 1971. Estimate £500,000 - 700,000 (€710,000 - 1 million). Sold for £1,482,500 (€2,058,741). Photo: Bonhams.

The other top lot – a pair of late 19th-century earrings set with two cushion-cut 7.92cts and 7.96cts Kashmir sapphires which were the property of a European Princess – achieved £1,538,500, against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000 to £800,000. 

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Lot 136. Property of a European PrincessA magnificent pair of late 19th century 7.96 carats and 7.92 carats Kashmir sapphire and diamond earrings. Estimate £500,000 - 800,000 (€710,000 - 1.1 million)Sold for £1,538,500 (€2,136,508). Photo: Bonhams.

Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery for UK and Europe at Bonhams, said: “These lots attracted interest from around the globe because of their exceptional quality and rarity. The prices achieved reflect the buoyancy of the market for coloured gem stones of the highest quality.” 

The reign of the ruby 
Rubies from Burma and Madagascar (with no heat) also caught the eye of bidders in the December sale. 

A Belle Époque ruby and diamond pendant circa 1915, set with an exceptional 3.83 cts Burmese ruby, sold for £128,500 to a telephone bidder, triple its high estimate of £40,000. 

Jean Ghika comments: “This ruby possessed all the hallmarks of a top-quality Burmese gem and was admired for its glowing vibrant red colour. Unheated Burmese rubies of this calibre are increasingly rare to find, hence the participation from international bidders from all four corners of the globe.” 

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Lot 110. A Belle Époque 3.83 carats Burmese ruby and diamond pendant-necklace, circa 1915. Estimate £30,000 - 40,000 (€43,000 - 57,000). Sold for £128,500 (€178,447). Photo: Bonhams.

In addition, a 10.28 cts Madagascan ruby single-stone ring sold for £236,500, setting a new world record price per carat.

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Lot 104. A 10.28 carats Madagascan oval-cut ruby single-stone ring. Sold for £236,500 (€328,426). Photo: Bonhams.

With the continued appreciation and demand for natural pearls, regarded as the most elegant and classic lots, competition to secure a pair of bouton-shaped natural pearl earrings was fierce. Measuring approximately 14.63mm and 14.41mm, the pearls are beautifully matched in terms of colour, lustre and shape, and went under the hammer for £158,500, against a pre-sale low estimate of £100,000. 

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Lot 130. A pair of natural bouton-shaped pearl earrings measuring approximately 14.63 by 9.40mm and 14.41 by 9.91mm. Estimate £100,000 - 150,000 (€140,000 - 210,000). Sold for £158,500 (€220,108). Photo: Bonhams.

Signed jewellery captivated the interest of collectors 
Signed jewellery from Cartier was very much in demand during the three-hour sale. An innovative art deco diamond flexible bar brooch, circa 1934, which can be worn on a cuff, as a hairpiece, on the shoulder, on a collar or worn straight, sold for £84,100. This piece, a rare survivor from a limited period of pre-war production, was highly admired throughout pre-sale viewings in New York, Hong Kong and London. 

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Lot 1. Countess Adelaide Janina Zamoyska's diamond flexible bar brooch, by Cartier, circa 1934Estimate £15,000 - 20,000 (€21,000 - 28,000). Sold for £84,100 (€116,789). Photo: Bonhams.

Another highlights an intersting lots includes:

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Lot 134. An impressive 14.24 carats Asscher-cut diamond single-stone ring, retailed by David Morris. Estimate £500,000 - 800,000 (€710,000 - 1.1 million). Sold for £302,500 (€420,080). Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 79. A Sri Lankan sapphire and diamond cluster brooch and earring suite, the sapphire in the brooch weighing 27.05 carats and the sapphires in the earrings weighing 18.59 and 16.27 carats. Estimate  £100,000-150,000. Sold for £290,500 (€403,416). Photo: Bonhams.

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L ot 119. A diamond 'Cocktail Fizz' necklace, by De Beers, 2006, total diamond weight 33.09 carats. Sold for £110,500 (€153,450). Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 74. A pair of 16.50 and 12.89 carats cushion-shaped sapphire and diamond earrings. Sold for £94,900Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 129. A 4.03 carats D colour, Internally Flawless clarity, marquise-cut diamond single-stone ring, by David Marshall, 2004. Sold for £91,300 (€126,787). Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 127. A 9.20 carats, 5.20 carats and 3.60 carats diamond and cultured pearl necklace. Sold for £74,500 (€103,457). Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 48. An Art Deco “Lacqué Burgauté” and gem-set compact, by Cartier, circa 1925. Estimate £30,000-40,000. Sold for £67,300 (€93,459). Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 11. An Art Deco diamond and gem-set jabot pin, by Janesich, circa 1930. Sold for £35,000 (€48,604)Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 59. An Art Deco diamond double-clip-brooch, by Lacloche Frères, circa 1930. Sold for £8,750 (€12,151)Photo: Bonhams.

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Lot 14. A chrysoberyl stomacher and pair of earrings, Portuguese, circa 1770. Sold for £43,750 (€60,755)Photo: Bonhams.

The sale achieved £6.79 million, with 88 per cent of lots sold by value. 

Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery for UK and Europe for Bonhams, said: “The market is led by coloured stones and coloured diamonds of the finest quality. Our selected lots performed extremely well and we achieved some outstanding results. We anticipate 2016 to be very much the year of colour. It is exciting to see such wonderful pieces being appreciated by a discerning international clientele.” 

Daniel Struyf, Senior International Jewellery Director, said: “It was excellent to end the 2015 London Fine Jewellery Sales with three new world records. 

Our last two sales in Hong Kong and London have demonstrated that the market is strong for coloured gemstones, signed jewellery and pearls. Next stop is our New York Fine Jewellery sale on Tuesday (December 8th), our last international auction of 2015, where we expect to achieve equally strong prices.”