Auctioneer Sotheby’s has sold the most expensive pair of earrings in the world, at a combined price of 57 million Swiss Francs (£44.9 million).
The mismatched pair is made up of two coloured pear-shaped diamonds; one Fancy Vivid blue diamond named Apollo, which sold for 41.9 million Swiss Francs (£32.9 million, including buyer’s premium) and one Fancy Intense pink diamond named Artemis, which sold for 15.3 million Swiss Francs (£12 million, including buyer’s premium) to the same telephone bidder. They will remain together as a pair, and have been renamed The Memory of Autumn Leaves (blue) and The Dream of Autumn Leaves (pink). The 14.54-carat Fancy Vivid blue diamond, previously called Apollo, was undoubtedly the star of the show, described before the auction as “truly exceptional”. An “infinitesimally” low percentage of stones are graded Fancy Vivid Blue like this. The world’s most expensive blue diamond, the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, is a Fancy Vivid – it sold for £40 million at Christie’s in Geneva last May.
When considered as a pair with Artemis, a 16-carat Fancy Intense pink diamond, the set was described as being in “a class of its own”. Named Apollo and Artemis after the brother and sister Ancient Greek gods of power and beauty, the earrings were auctioned in Geneva as part of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale.
“The divine diamond twins – one pink and the other blue – are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality,” Sotheby’s says of the lots on its website. “The stones are currently mounted as a spectacular pair of earrings, but are being offered separately, on account of their extreme rarity, power and presence.” “It has been a privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the superb Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink, which have now been renamed,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division after the sale. “The results from today’s sale – which saw more the 90 per cent of lots sold and three new world auction records – once again underline the strong demand for top quality diamonds, gemstones and jewels. I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings.”
“These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we were honoured that Sotheby’s was chosen to bring them to auction.”