2006 Private Preview: Sotheby's Diamonds

Sotheby’s soon will utilize its extensive experience with important diamonds in a forum other than auctions. The 261-year-old auction house is partnering with Steinmetz Diamond Group, a premier source for top-quality stones, to form Sotheby’s Diamonds. Through this enterprise, an extraordinary cache of rare stones will be available whenever the mood strikes to add to one’s collection.
 
“Sotheby’s Diamonds is a tailor-made approach to buying diamonds,” says Patti Wong, chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds as well as Sotheby’s China and Southeast Asia. “It’s for clients who want to acquire diamonds and jewelry privately with the expertise of Sotheby’s staff.” The collection, which will be unveiled in Hong Kong and New York in December, is an extension of Sotheby’s Salon Privé, a service that facilitates personalized, private jewelry sales.
 
Steinmetz has long been a familiar name among jewelry connoisseurs. At a Sotheby’s Geneva auction in 1995, it sold a 100-carat, pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless stone that fetched $16.5 million, a world-record price for a diamond at auction. The company also cut the 203-carat, internally flawless De Beers Millennium Star.

Among the Sotheby’s Diamonds collection of multimillion dollar stones are a pair of pear-shaped, D-color, internally flawless diamond earrings weighing 76 carats total; a 14-carat, vivid blue, pear-shaped pendant; and a 59-carat, vivid pink, internally flawless, oval-shaped diamond. In addition to offering collectible stones and finished jewelry with prices starting at $100,000, Sotheby’s will provide access to jewelry experts capable of locating rarities such as a blue diamond.

Using the diamonds that clients select, Sotheby’s design team or other jewelers with expertise in a particular style will create bespoke pieces. For previous projects, Sotheby’s has commissioned British designer Stephen Webster and Hong Kong designer Michelle Ong. To designate the new jewelry collection, Sotheby’s jewelers will inscribe a distinctive hallmark on each mounting, in a spot where only the owner will notice it. “Our diamond designs will be focused around the stone and the client’s desires,” explains Wong. “It’s not about creating a Sotheby’s look.”

Sotheby’s Diamonds, 212.606.7000, www.sothebys.com

Photo by Jim Fets
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