DALLAS — A 1.21-carat Fancy orangy red diamond shattered estimates September 29 when it sold for $1,755,000 in Heritage Auctions‘ Fall Fine Jewelry Signature® Auction. The final price was nearly 12 times the ultra-rare gemstone’s high estimate of $150,000 and was the highest price ever paid for an item of jewelry at Heritage Auctions.
The scarlet sparkler, one of only a few diamonds to display enough saturation and intensity to be graded as a true red, helped lead the event to $8,168,119.
“Diamonds described as predominantly red are extraordinarily uncommon, and finding one over 1.00 carat is especially rare,” said Heritage Auctions’ Executive Director of Fine Jewelry Jill Burgum, adding, “So we weren’t surprised that this magnificent specimen caught the eye of our discerning bidders. But we were thrilled to see the winning bid and elated for the diamond lover who gets to add this beauty to their collection.”
Before it made its way to Heritage, the red diamond was set in a bracelet the consignor inherited from her mother. Heritage’s experts suspected the red diamond was color treated, as were about half of the colored diamonds sprinkled throughout the bracelet, so Heritage sent the diamond to get tested. Only then did everyone realize the red diamond was, in fact, a natural color.
At that point, Heritage was thrilled to inform the consignor of the hidden treasure. “Once the red diamond was identified,” Burgum said, “the owner placed her trust in Heritage to present it best, hence it not being reset into the bracelet.”
While red diamonds certainly rank among the world’s most elusive and expensive gems, yellow diamonds are similarly captivating, as evidenced by a 17.63-carat Fancy Intense yellow diamond ring that realized $591,000 in the fall auction. Hailing from the estate of Dallas philanthropist Mary Anne Sammons Cree, the ring was one of more than 125 jewels Heritage offered from Cree’s extraordinary collection.
Proceeds from the sale of Cree’s jewels, which brought $1,886,292, will benefit the Rosine Foundation Fund of Communities Foundation of Texas, so named for Cree’s mother, from whom she inherited her spirit of giving. Upon her death in 2021, Cree left the jewelry to CFT, which manages more than 1,200 charitable funds and has awarded more than $2 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.
Other standout pieces from Cree’s collection included a pair of platinum and 18K gold diamond earrings, which sold for $225,000; a platinum and 18K gold ring featuring a 6.68-carat diamond flanked by two yellow diamonds, which sold for $168,750; and a platinum and 18K gold necklace adorned with 21.80 carats of Asscher-cut diamonds and 25.75 carats of Asscher-cut yellow diamonds, which sold for $162,500.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/