The Trends According to Auctions/ Avner Sofiov


Auctions provide deep insights about the market and information on current trends. A look at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions held in May 2012 shows gemstones are becoming increasingly dominant. They also show the added value of the designer and the upward trend towards high-end items.

Avner Sofiov

Auctions are a valuable source of information about market trends and provide insights into the current state of the market. In May, an analysis of Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions showed a dominance of gemstones and a trend towards high-end items, reflecting the added value of the designer. To fully understand the information gathered at auctions, it’s important to know who bought the items, what was bought, and the history of the items.

A Good Name is a Good Thing

A good name is a valuable asset in the jewelry market. The May auctions were characterized by secondary sales, including the sale of Suzanne Belperron’s private jewelry collection at Sotheby’s. Belperron was a renowned designer whose pieces fetched high prices, demonstrating the added value of jewelry with a brand name and signature from a well-known designer. Brands such as Cartier, Tiffany, and Van Cleef & Arpels are well known, but others such as JAR, a partnership of two designers, have also commanded high prices for their jewelry.

Similarly, the secondary sale of Lily Safra’s jewelry collection at Christie’s showed that special and “important” jewelry can be a profitable investment, and the value of jewelry can increase if it belongs to a well-known figure or bears a well-known brand name. In this case, the collection included pieces by Belperron and JAR, adding further value to the jewelry

The name of the designer can greatly impact the price of jewelry. The name of Suzanne Belperron, for example, was largely forgotten until Sotheby’s presented her jewelry in a 1997 auction, which sold for three times the pre-sale expectation and totaled $3.45 million.

Suzzane Balperron
The Gatchina Palace Egg

A similar example is Peter Carl Fabergé, a Russian jeweler and artist famous for his creation of the Fabergé eggs in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the Russian czar. The value of Fabergé’s jewelry is attributed to his reputation and the brand name he established.


Gemstones have become a highly sought after item in the recent auctions conducted by Christie’s and Sotheby’s. The popularity of gemstones in the market is such that they are even surpassing diamonds in value. The high prices paid for “important” gemstones can be attributed to their rarity, which can sometimes be several times rarer than diamonds. A good example of this can be seen in a recent Christie’s sale, where a pair of emeralds weighing 8.18 and 9.4 carats were sold for 40,000 dollars per carat. The value of the stone is usually the primary factor affecting the overall price, rather than the piece of jewelry it is set in. However, a piece from a well-known designer can increase the return by an additional 10-20 percent.

The growing demand for gemstones in the market is reflected in the items offered by Christie’s and Sotheby’s, which only offer items that are in line with current market trends. By simply perusing their catalogues, even without attending the auctions, it can be seen that gemstones are emerging as the rising star in today’s market, outpacing diamonds in value. The high prices paid for rare gemstones are a testament to their increasing popularity and demand. For instance, a 30-carat Kashmir sapphire had an estimated value of 100,000 dollars per carat, even though it was not sold due to its clarity.

To the Extreme

The market for luxury goods is becoming split into two extremes: very expensive and very inexpensive. The middle range is struggling. In order to remain competitive, it is necessary to focus on exceptional stones, colors, and jewelry and bring more commercial activity to Israel to become a trade center rich in goods and special items.

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