The Enduring Sparkle of Diamonds at Auction

PUBLISHED: 16:07 07 April 2009 | UPDATED: 15:54 20 February 2013

An impressive single stone diamond ring by De Beers, weighing 11.05 carats, G colour, VS1 clarity

An impressive single stone diamond ring by De Beers, weighing 11.05 carats, G colour, VS1 clarity

Diamonds are proving popular as an investment - but only the very best will do, reports Tarn Harrison.

Diamonds are proving popular as an investment - but only the very best will do, reports Tarn Harrison.

Diamonds are forever' is a familiar phrase in modern culture, but its current significance within the auction world should not be overlooked, as the market for jewellery at auction provides reassurance for both buyer and seller in an otherwise turbulent economic period.

Diamond, taken from the Greek word 'adamas', meaning 'invincible', has long been symbolic of love, purity, eternity and strength, characteristics which are less likely to go out of fashion during a credit crunch! Therefore diamonds, together with other precious commodities like gold and silver, have seen steady climbs in value over the last 12 months. This has not escaped the attention of buyers, who have chosen to invest in pieces of antique and modern jewellery at auction, perceiving them to be a more sensible investment than turbulent financial markets. And a piece of jewellery has the added tangible benefit of bringing joy to the owner each time it is worn!

A few years ago, a buyer may have been willing to purchase any luxury they desired, but a more volatile market requires more careful choice, a desire for classic, timeless pieces, and the best one can afford. For this reason, larger stones, and especially those over 5 carats, have been in particular demand over the last six months, as proved by the large single stone diamond ring (1), weighing 11.05 carats, which recently sold for a hammer price of £290,000.

An engagement, a significant birthday, or a wedding anniversary is rarely postponed because of the economic climate, and many buyers now recognise that securing a well chosen piece of antique or pre-owned jewellery at auction also represents good value. Certain periods and styles are currently in particular demand, notably the Belle Époque and Art Deco periods, which often combine delicate, intricate designs with high quality craftsmanship and materials. A good example of this is the Belle Époque pendant (2) which is set throughout with diamonds in a platinum mount, and recently sold for 54,000. Signed pieces are also popular, with buyers recognising the enduring quality and appeal of names such as Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Boucheron. The bracelet by Cartier (3), circa 1920, recently sold in a similar sale at Bonhams for 48,000.

The confidence which buyers continue to show for antique and modern jewellery is very good news for those who have jewellery languishing, unworn, at home in a jewel box, safe or lodged at the bank. A lack of pieces coming to sale has further increased demand, and if you are paying high insurance premiums for items you no longer wear, now may be an excellent time to get an up to date market valuation.

For further information regarding jewellery sales at Bonhams, or to arrange a valuation for sale purposes, please contact Tarn Harrison FGA DGA on 01564 732963 or email tarn.harrison@bonhams.com

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Warwickshire Life