25 May 2021
Finding a solitaire at auction
The solitaire, the most classic and best-selling engagement ring, can be found in several upcoming auctions in forms that will surely add further to your bliss. We look at a few in diamonds.
By Marie-Laure Cassius-Duranton.
At first glance, all solitaires seem alike. But if you look closely, you can see that jewelers make play with the size of the diamond, and sometimes with its color, the shape of the ring and its proportions with the stone, the ornamentation of the shoulders, the type of setting, or the metal. And there is also the value represented by the 4Cs: Clarity, Carat, Cut and Color.
1/ Spoilt for choice at Crédit Municipal
This diversity is brilliantly illustrated by the “Bijoux de Prestige” sale. Some 30 solitaires are on offer, with estimates ranging from €300 to €15,000 with round-, heart-, oval-, cushion- and antique-cut diamonds. The stones may be held in closed or tension settings, or with four or six claws. The settings are in yellow gold, white gold or platinum and may be unobtrusive or ostentatious, anonymous or by a famous name.
2/ Two cushion-cut stones with Rouillac
The vast majority of diamonds today are characterized by a modern brilliant cut: a standard round cut with 57 facets designed to reflect the maximum amount of light. Fortunately, antique-cut diamonds are still found from time to time at auction, like the cushion cut: a slightly domed square with rounded corners with a unique and incomparable charm. One in this sale, with high color and clarity grades, is extremely rare: it has escaped standardization and being recut into brilliant form. The other, more modest, flanked by triangular sapphires, dates from 1910-1920. Its appeal lies in an extremely attractive estimate and the easy-to-wear aspect that will win over young women susceptible to the charms of antique jewelry.
4/ A truly American style with Van Ham
This solitaire is yellow: the color Americans like best, representing over 50% of GIA-certified diamonds in the US. Most feature a radiant cut: according to Alan Bronstein, owner of two famous colored diamond collections (“Aurora Pyramid of Hope” and “Butterfly of Peace”), “this is the one that best highlights the colors of the stone.”
5/ Pear-shaped stones with Ader
Promoted by jewelers like Chaumet, the pear-cut diamond (like the navette), less standardized than the round brilliant, is becoming popular again and its prices are soaring. This one should attract a host of buyers because it is of particularly fine quality: D (the highest on the grading scale), with VVS1 clarity, i.e. almost perfect.
6/ 2 carats at the Hôtel des Ventes de Bordeaux Tourny
The highly attractive estimate of this diamond of over 2 carats is explained by its K quality, meaning that it is not perfectly colorless, but has shades that can be yellow, brown or grey. These nuances are reflected and blend in with the yellow glow of the gold. Here is a solitaire for those who prefer carats to clarity!
7/ A sculpture with Lempertz, Cologne
The more daring can envisage the solitaire as a sculpture ring. This abnormally large one was made during the 70s-80s era. In addition, the Italian goldwork is powerful and refined, with chased Medusa heads framing the diamond.
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