HONG KONG - 2014 has been another exhilarating year for top-quality rare gemstones at Sotheby’s, with record-breaking results propelled by frenzied bidding in packed salesrooms. Driven by the burgeoning wealth of a new generation of buyers from new markets in China, Russia and the Middle East, the market for exceptional gemstones is thriving. Despite a relatively sluggish world economy, we saw little impact in the saleroom as the highest annual total for worldwide jewellery sales in the company’s history was achieved.

Sotheby’s continues to be at the forefront of selling exceptional Burmese Mogok rubies, with Geneva crowning the season with a highly important 8.62-carat “Graff Ruby,” establishing a world auction record at USD 8,600,410. This spectacular gemstone of crystal-like purity surpassed the auction record broken earlier in the year in Hong Kong for a 29.62-carat ruby ring by Cartier which sold for USD 7,340,000

Lustrous “velvety cornflower” blue Kashmir sapphires are dominating the market. Sotheby’s achieved consecutive per carat price records last year, starting with the 28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire at USD 180,731 per carat in New York, which was surpassed by a 12.00-carat Kashmir sapphire by Cartier at USD 193,975 per carat, and finally, topping the record in the same auction, the “Imperial Kashmir,” which achieved USD 236,404 per carat in Hong Kong. The distinction of Kashmiri origin has set a benchmark for all sources of sapphires, however fine Burmese and Ceylon sapphires are also setting new milestones at auction, affirming the strength of the sapphire market.

Moreover, Colombian emeralds from the famed Muzo mines have proved remarkably resilient this year, with collectors paying top prices for extremely fine emeralds. The El Dorado emerald, which achieved USD 59,266 per carat, and a 35.72 carat Colombian emerald, which achieved USD 121,720 per carat, are two notable examples of impressive Colombian emeralds of the finest vibrant green colour – spared of clarity enhancement – that went under the gavel last year.

With the extreme shortage of fine quality gems, prices for truly exceptional Mogok rubies, Kashmir sapphires and Colombian emeralds continue to soar. Demand is outpacing supply and the auctions of incredible private collections and phenomenal gems have been generating remarkable prices. With Sotheby’s exemplary history of bringing exceptionally rare gems to market, we invite you to join us in making market history.

Take advantage of a strong market and consign now. We are currently accepting consignments for Sotheby's international jewellery sales in 2015.

Flora Wong is Director and Asia Senior Specialist in the Jewellery department at Sotheby’s Hong Kong

Tags:Auction Results, Hong Kong, Jewellery