The Apollo earring is blue and much rarer than its pink Artemis partner, and hence the more expensive of the pair, which were sold as separate lots for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061, respectively.
The paired gems sold at Sotheby's spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, with the Apollo Blue sold against an estimate of $38 to $50 million, and the Artemis Pink estimated at between $12.5 and $18 million.
In the end, Apollo fetched CHF41,862,500 (US$41,255,566) and Artemis for CHF15,256,250 (US$15,035,061), for a total buy price of CHF57,118,750 (US$56,290,627).
"Pink Star" sets a new world auction record - $71.2 million
The sale of the world's most celebrated and valuable earrings follows closely on the sale of the world's most valuable gem stone on April 4, 2017,
Sotheby's captured both records, selling the Pink Star for HK$553 million (US$71.2 million), and more than doubling the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond that was set at $31.56 million in Geneva in May 2016 for the 15.38-carat Unique Pink' diamond.
The Pink Star was acquired by renowned jeweler Chow Tai Fook, and has joined a number of outstanding stones in the company's collection including the Aurora Green (a 5.03-carat vivid green diamond which set a new world record for a green diamond of US$16.8 million), and the Cullinan Heritage (a 507-carat rough diamond acquired for US$35.3 million in 2010).
The Pink Star (now renamed the CTF Pink Star) is a 59.60-carat oval mixed-cut pink diamond, measuring 2.69 by 2.06 cm (1.06 by 0.81 in) and weighing 11.92 g (0.42 oz). It is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid pink diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded, and it received the highest color and clarity grades from the GIA for pink diamonds. Mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, the 132.5-carat rough diamond was meticulously cut and polished over a period of two years and transformed into this stunning gemstone.
The gem had been previously sold for a world record of $US83 million in 2013, but the buyer defaulted and Sotheby's had to buy it back the diamond. Not surprisingly, it claimed the record once more, though more than $10 million shy of the previous sale price.
The jewelry and colored diamond marketplace
Gems and jewelry have, like art, long been considered an investment, but the gem marketplace has been returning excellent results of recent times and the prospects look good for both short and long term returns.
The graphics above and below from the recently released Knight Frank Wealth Report clearly illustrate that colored diamonds and jewelry are performing exceptionally well compared to most alternative asset classes.
The KFLII (Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index) is a composite index based on the weighted performance of existing indices for nine classes of collectable asset: fine art; Chinese ceramics; classic cars; coins; furniture; jewelry; stamps; watches; and fine wine.
One of the advantages of these "investments of passion" is their low price volatility in comparison to standards such as the gold and shares. In the chart below, the volatility of various investment sectors is compared to gold and the FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index) – a share index of the top 100 companies with the highest market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange, one of the most important market indices.