Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Welcome to Whale Week 2013, our celebration of the city's biggest spenders.
The Graff Magnificent Diamond Ring. Image via Christie's
Twice a year, Christie's hosts its very own Luxury Week. This past December, that included six auctions in four different categories: jewelry, watches, wine, and 20th Century design. In total, the auction house brought in over $72.2 million in sales, significantly exceeding pre-estimates. Out of everything sold, the big hitter was a Graff magnificent diamond ring: It was a rectangular cut, 50 carats, and potentially flawless. Oh, and it sold for $8,370,500.
A spokesperson told us that out of all of the sales, jewelry tends to get the most intese. "Jewelry always sees competitive bidding, especially because people are so knowledgeable about the value of the stone. That can get very heated." Though the above-mentioned diamond arguably stole the show, the second runner-up wasn't so bad either. The 3.1 carat circular-cut fancy reddish-orange diamond sold for $2,098,500—a world auction record for a reddish orange diamond.
In addition to jewelry, the Steven Greenberg: Masterpieces of French Art Deco collection also saw a few surprises. We were told that it was "the most important collection of French Art Deco furniture that's ever come to auction in the United States. People came out from all over the world to bid on these pieces." For example, a Jean Dunand vase estimated at just $40,000 to $60,000 ended up going for a whopping $386,500.
As our rep explained, "It really is an exciting week because people can come in for a little bauble, or a painting in one of our interior sales, or they can leave with an $8 million diamond. It's a very glamour week." If you'd like to partake in any of those activities, you can do so at the next luxury week in June.
· Christie's [Official Site]
· All Whale Week 2013 Coverage [Racked NY]