If you adore exquisite natural gemstones, Sotheby’s upcoming auctions have the coveted Golden Canary, The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, and a 6.25-carat emerald ring lost in a shipwreck in 1622 up for auction.
November 2, 2022: The market for coloured diamonds and precious gemstones has never been more robust, and Sotheby’s upcoming auctions celebrate these marvels of nature in high spirits. Starting with the 303.10 carats, Fancy Deep Brownish-Yellow Diamond, the Golden Canary, and the 6.25-carat emerald ring that saw the depths of the ocean when it was lost nearly 400 years ago with the fabled Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck of 1622 on December 7, Sotheby’s will also have the collection of eight rare Fancy Blue diamonds to be sold across its Magnificent Jewels auctions later this year in New York.
The collection consists of eight phenomenal blue diamonds of various shapes and weights, totalling 32.09 carats, ranging in size from a 1.22-carat oval brilliant-cut to an 11.29-carat step-cut diamond. The splendid hues, even colour distribution and saturation of the diamonds, which were expertly sourced and assembled by De Beers, and crafted into works of art by Diacore’s world-class cutters and polishers, forms one of the rarest and most notable collections of coloured diamonds in the world. Appearing at auction for the first time, The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection comes to the market with a combined total value of over $70 million.
Announcing the sale of The De Beers Exceptional Blue Collection, Quig Bruning, Head of Sotheby’s Jewels, Americas, commented: ‘Sotheby’s boasts a stellar record of selling some of the most coveted important fancy blue diamonds in auction history. Nearly six months after we set a new benchmark for one of the highest prices achieved for a blue diamond at auction with the $57.5 million sale of the De Beers Blue, we are honored to be entrusted with this superb collection of Fancy Blue diamonds. Also recovered from the historic Cullinan mine in South Africa, the De Beers Exceptional Blues are a true testament of our world’s most extraordinary treasures and what is yet to be discovered.’
Combining great rarity, beauty and intensity, coloured diamonds are continuing to make history this year with The Golden Canary, one of the world's largest polished diamonds and the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The miraculous diamond also boasts a peerless history and provenance – formerly weighing just over 407 carats as the “Incomparable Diamond.” Recut from its original shield shape into a classic pear shape, the Golden Canary is now deeper in colour, brighter in hue and more elegant in profile, claiming its spot in the pantheon of exceptional diamonds.
The Golden Canary is set to highlight Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on December 7, with an estimate in the region of $15 million, and offered without reserve, with bidding starting at just $1.
Mr. Bruning commented: “Steeped in history, The Golden Canary is one of the most exquisite diamonds to ever be discovered, not only for its sheer size and intensity in colour, but for its stunning beauty that is sure to captivate collectors around the world. Sotheby’s is privileged to help write the next chapter for this incomparable, reborn gem.”
Lastly is a triumph of human endeavour; considered a trophy from one of the most successful treasure hunts of all time, the emerald was found only 37 years ago, off the coast of Florida, by a team of specialised treasure hunters led by Mel Fisher. Alexander Eblen, Senior Specialist of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York, commented: “While it has become tradition for Sotheby’s to feature the most desired, extraordinary jewels with historical and royal provenance, it is not every day that we offer long-lost hidden treasures discovered from the depths of the sea, concealed by tide and time for centuries. We are honored to be entrusted with this emblem of history from the collection of Mitzi Perdue to benefit such a wonderful and worthy cause.”
Lost to the sea for nearly 400 years, this octagonal step-cut emerald ring, estimated at $50-70,000, will join an outstanding lineup of highly covetable jewels in Sotheby’s December 7 auction, including the 303.10 carat Golden Canary diamond.