We are extremely excited to share our experience being a part of Sotheby's Hong Kong Autumn Auctions 2019; Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite.
For this auction, we consigned a 8.24 carat Round Brilliant Diamond adorned with 13 Tsavorites and 15 smaller diamonds, LOT No. 1625. Here's the link to our jewellery piece. This diamond was sold for 300,000 HKD.
This is one of our older pieces that was made when we first started out, catering more towards ladies in their golden years. As we developed our brand, we started to explore modern unique designs that you can now see in our collections. We wanted a change in inventory, hence we were willing to work with Sotheby's for this auction.
Sotheby's condition report goes as follows:
Set with a brilliant-cut diamond weighing approximately 8.24 carats, encircled with brilliant-cut diamonds, highlighted by circular-cut tsavorite garnets, mounted in 18 karat white gold, with collapsible hoop.
Accompanied by NGI report no. 6908D1233, dated 18 August 2006, stating that the 8.24 carat diamond is X to Y Colour, SI2 Clarity. For further details, please refer to the report. Stamped 750 for 18 karat white gold, and 8.24ct referring to the weight of the centre diamond. Side diamonds weighing approximately 2.50 - 3.00 carats in total.
The Auctioning Process
After consigning our diamond to the Sotheby's team, they would then promote the auction and hold travelling exhibitions. As previously mentioned, you will always need to see the colour gemstone in person unlike diamonds. Hence auction houses will always organise travelling exhibitions where they will book a hotel function room in various countries to display some of the items for potential buyers prior to the actual jewellery auction.
Next, the Preview
A preview is always held 2-3 days before the actual auction. This allows overseas buyers who have taken the time to fly over the chance to touch and feel the jewellery they are interested in.
Often, a auction house will have various kinds of auctions lined up in one season. For example in Sotheby's and Bonhams, jewellery auctions always go side by side with the Watches, Fine painting and Handbags auctions. So after viewing the jewellery pieces at the preview, we would often take a look at other fine paintings around.
On the auction day, all the items will be stored away safely and all that you get of see of it is a picture on the screen. From there, the live auctions will begin. Unless you are physically present (live bidder), other bidding options may have an additional percentage charge.
There are a few kinds of auction buyers:
Online bidders: Those who are submitting their bids in real time but online
Absentee bidders: Those who submitted their maximum bid prior.
Live bidders: Those who are present and raise their own ballot boards
Phone bidders: Those who are bidding in real time over the phone with the staff
Most auction houses require a deposit, especially for first time bidders. According to memory, Poly Auction was 100,000 HKD while Christie's was 350,000 HKD. Most of them would also provide an auction catalog expect for Sotheby's and Christie's where you are required to buy them. However as a seller to them, of course we get our catalogs for free.
If you are interested in buying from an auction, do not forget the additional charges; buyer's premium, shipping insurance and handling fee, and any charges from the method you placed your bid.
Other Impressive Pieces at Sotheby's
Here are some of the other pieces that caught our eye at the jewellery auction. For more information, head to Sotheby's Hong Kong Autumn Auctions 2019; Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite.
1) Don't forget about the buyer's premium!
They may go up to 27% depending on which auction houses.
2) Always check the gemstone in person during travelling or pre-exhibitions.
Never buy solely based on an image. Pictures only show the best side of the gemstone.
3) Always examine coloured gems in a variety of lighting (Daylight and Yellow Light).
4) Always cross refer prices with similar past auction results.
Check with various auction houses, i.e. Sotheby's, Christies