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Christie's Hosting Exclusive Online-Only Hong Kong Jewels Auction

Christie's Hosting Exclusive Online-Only Hong Kong Jewels Auction

Christie's is currently hosting an event called Hong Kong Jewels, which is an online-only auction with more than 90 lots available. Most of the lots for sale in this event come from one private collection. Selections of diamonds, colored stones, cultured pearls, jadeites and watches are included in this sale.
This is the very first time that jadeite jewelry pieces are being auctioned online. Bidding began on September 19 and will run through October 3. Items (or lots) include a group of carved jadeite and diamond pendants, a jadeite bangle, and a group of jadeite, enamel, ruby and diamond jewelry.
The Hong Kong Jewels auction is the latest installment of Christie's continuing series of online-exclusive sales. The world's number-one high-end auction house plans to add various categories for this type of auction in the future. Over the past two years, the firm has committed to building an e-commerce platform and has held several Internet-exclusive sales, including the first online-only auction for the Chinese works of art category, which occurred in July 2013.
"Hong Kong has become one of the most important jewelry auction centers in the world, alongside Geneva and New York," said François Curiel, president of Christie's Asia. "This September, we will be innovating again by organizing our first online-only jewelry sale in Asia. To answer the growing demand for top quality jewelry at all price levels, we will be presenting a wide range of diamonds, colored stones, pearls, and signed jewels, with attractive estimates accessible to global collectors."
Key pieces of the Hong Kong Jewels auction include a ruby and a diamond pendent necklace, estimated at $7,500 to $10,000, a set of emerald and diamond necklace and ear pendants, estimated at $10,000 to $15,000, and a set of cultured pearl, diamond and ruby necklace, ring and ear clips estimated at between $10,000 and $15,000.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

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Lockdown jewellery auctions: why digital sales are thriving, and our pick of the top lots

April usually signals fine jewellery sales at auction houses, big and small, across the country. Covid-19 has curtailed most of them, with the majority of planned sales now postponed until it’s safe to gather bidders together again. But like many industries, the ‘new normal’ is forcing auction houses to embrace digital. A number of online jewellery auctions are still going ahead - music to the ears of magpies who now have extra time on their hands to pore over the digital catalogues.

While inspections in person are off the cards, auction houses are offering condition reports via video call - and, occasionally, via Instagram stories - allowing prospective buyers to see the piece up close before buying. Some houses are also offering free contactless delivery on lots purchased.

Even before the coronavirus crisis, online bidding has revolutionised the auction industry. In 2019, Christie’s sold £8.5 million of jewellery via online sales - almost double the amount sold online in 2011. At Sotheby’s, half of the winning bids for jewellery in 2019 were placed online. The house has seen strong results in its online auctions even amid the uncertainty caused by Covid-19.

The four online jewellery sales hosted at Sotheby’s since the beginning of March together totalled $6.1 million (£4.8 million), above the combined high estimate of $5.7 million, with 92 per cent of lots achieving a sale. The London Fine Jewels online sale, which ended on April 7, set a new record for a digital jewellery auction, achieving $3.7 million. Thirty per cent of the bidders were aged under 40, signalling a growing appetite for vintage and antique jewellery among digital-savvy millennials.

While Sotheby’s has rescheduled its New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Geneva Magnificent Jewels sales to June and July, in the meantime it is running a series of online sales - including a single-lot auction of a Cartier Tutti Frutti bracelet, running from April 24-28. The bracelet carries an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, the highest ever estimate for a jewel offered in an online auction at the house.

There’s good reason to suspect that even a piece this valuable could sell online. In 2016, an internet bidder placed the highest bid on a pair of fancy blue and pink diamond earrings which, at $6 million, are the second most valuable item ever sold by Sotheby’s online, after a $6.4 million Jeff Koons artwork.

For those with slightly more shallow pockets, there are plenty of gems to be found in the online jewellery auctions running this month. Below are a few of the lots that have caught my eye. All estimates are before Buyer’s Premium, which varies according to each auction house, and some online bidding platforms garner additional fees. Contact the auction houses to discuss shipping fees and timings.

Sotheby’s New York online fine jewels (ends April 29th)

Bulgari, Tiffany, Graff, Buccellati and Van Cleef & Arpels all feature among the 135 lots in this online auction, which offers chunky, contemporary jewels for those who like their accessories to do the talking. There’s plenty for collectors to get excited about, including a black enamel Serpenti bracelet by Bulgari (Lot 388, estimate $25,000 - $35,000), several Buccellati cuffs and a 30-year-old Cartier panther (Lot 356, estimate $15,000 - $20,000), but, appropriately, the star lots come from houses headquartered in NYC.

There’s a gold, amethyst and turquoise snake bracelet by David Webb (Lot 321, estimate $15,000 - $20,000 main image) whose textured-gold scales seem to be bristling with energy. Six lots by Verdura include one of the house’s signature wrapped hearts, a stonking peridot cocktail ring and a 14ct gold rope-twist bracelet-watch that taps into the 2020 trend for all things gold and chunky (Lot 322, estimate $12,000 - $15,000).

No serious jewellery collection is complete without a piece by elusive Parisian designer JAR, and the auction includes three pairs of aluminium or resin-only earrings, with estimates starting at $3,000 - $5,000 (Lot 396). It’s a chance to buy a piece of jewellery history for a (relatively) affordable sum.

Christie’s Jewels Online (ends April 24th)

Signed pieces from the world’s most prestigious jewellery houses form the bulk of this 161-lot online auction from Christie’s New York. There are opportunities to add a design icon to your collection: a Cartier Juste un Clou ring (Lot 14, estimate $2,000 - $3,000), a vintage Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra necklace (Lot 25, estimate $6,000 - $8,000) and a Bulgari Monete coin necklace (Lot 9, estimate $8,000 - $12,000) all feature.

A chunky aquamarine and iolite ring by Verdura (Lot 110, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) and an unusual sculpted gold Cartier design featuring an east-west set cabochon moonstone (Lot 3, estimate $3,000 - $5,000) are perfect cocktail rings for all those Zoom drinks evenings - as is the oversized aquamarine and diamond ring that’s similar to Princess Diana’s Asprey design worn by the Duchess of Sussex on the evening of her wedding (Lot 82).

The current bid of $2,600 (at the time of writing) against an estimate of $500 - $700 shows that Meghan’s move to LA has done little to quash her status as a style icon across the pond.

Top of my virtual wishlist in this auction are several chunky gold pieces: bold, oversized and perfect for teaming with plain white shirts and t-shirts as we head into summer. I don’t need to feel the slinky links of lot 10 (a Pomellato gold and coloured diamond Narciso bracelet, estimate $10,000 - $15,000) or lot 133 (a ruby and diamond buckle bracelet, estimate $2,000 - $3,000) to know that they’d feel like a second skin - and earn a place in my wear-forever jewellery wardrobe.

Fellows online timed jewellery auction (ends April 30th)

Fellows saves the best gemstones and signed pieces for its Fine Jewellery auctions, but there are some highlights among the 672 more humble lots here, including finely finished Victorian dress rings, late 19th-century cameos and a series of plique-a-jour animal brooches of which Lady Hale would be proud.

The low estimates in this timed auction, with many lots estimated around the £200 - £300 mark, make a little lockdown shopping a very enticing prospect, but there’s no guaranteeing a total bargain. Last time I checked, my personal top lot had six bidders chasing it, with a week to go until bidding closes on April 30.

My highlights include a sweet pair of old-cut diamond floral earrings (Lot 17, estimate £200 - £300) which would work with anything from quarantine casuals to evening wear, and an unusual sapphire and diamond ring (Lot 92, estimate £200 - £300) which would provide a beautiful distraction for at-home typing fingers.

Bids can be placed any time until the auction closes on April 30, and you’ll receive a notification via email should you be outbid. There’s free shipping on all items won, although the house warns it might take longer than expected.

Elmwood’s Charity Jewellery sale (23rd April, 2pm)

Boutique Notting Hill-based saleroom Elmwood’s fine jewellery sale is, for now, still slated to go ahead on May 6th. In the meantime, it is hosting an online sale of affordable antique and vintage jewellery, with bidding via the-saleroom.com, the profits of which will be donated to the National Emergencies Trust to help communities affected by the coronavirus crisis.

The auction house is using a Georgian garnet pendant in the shape of a red cross (Lot 34, estimate £500 - £800) to promote the charitable nature of the auction. It’s just one of several unique antique pieces, including Victorian mourning jewellery, antique cameos and a selection of suffragette jewellery (e.g. Lot 79, estimate £200 - £300) which feature amethysts, peridots and pearls - a colour scheme designed to represent loyalty and dignity (purple), purity (white), and hope (green).

On offer are several antique chains which look fantastic wrapped several times around the wrist, or worn long around the neck strung with a charm - why not opt for one of the heart-shaped trinkets (Lot 54, estimate £400 -£600 Lot 16, estimate £250 - £350 or Lot 125, estimate £200 - £300) for an antique take on a very ‘now’ trend?

Given my aforementioned penchant for chunky gold, it’ll come as no surprise that my top lots include a chubby curb-link bracelet (Lot 27, estimate £500 - £700) that would look sensational peeking out from beneath a silk shirt, and a pair of ornately crafted 18ct gold earrings (Lot 73, estimate £500 - £700) that are crying out to be worn with a tan and a wafty beach dress (one can only dream).

And if lockdown has got you in the mood for romance, there are several pretty rings with very reasonable estimates that would be the perfect way to say ‘sorry for monopolising the house with my conference calls’.

Bonhams Luxury Online sale (ends May 1)

The online Luxury sale from Bonhams’ Hong Kong showroom includes 55 fine jewellery lots, with estimates ranging from HK $5,000 (£520) to HK $260,000 (£27,000). As is to be expected for a jewellery sale in Asia, there’s plenty of jadeite, lots of rubies (red being an auspicious colour), a smattering of pretty butterflies and birds, and several intact suites of matching jewels.

The top lot in the sale is an unsigned 234.5cm long chain of bezel-set brilliant-cut diamonds, totalling over 29 carats (Lot 529, estimate HK $190,000 - $260,000), bringing a whole new level to the concept of ‘diamonds by the yard’ pioneered by Elsa Peretti at Tiffany.

Elsewhere, a pair of pastel-hued sapphire, opal and diamond earrings by Claudia Ma (Lot 538, estimate HK $28,000 - $45,000) evoke the prettiness of spring blooms, while Michele della Valle’s cocktail ring featuring a carved cabochon rubellite surrounded by a rainbow pavé (Lot 523, estimate HK $26,000 - $38,000) would bring cheer to even the most withered-by-constant-washing hands.

There are several joyful pieces by the Rome-born jeweller in this sale, including a ring and a bangle both featuring turquoise cabochons. Turquoise is known as a protective stone - and after the Queen chose to wear it in her address to the nation earlier this month, who are we to question its talismanic properties?

Sign up for the Telegraph Luxury newsletter for your weekly dose of exquisite taste and expert opinion.


Watch the video: Zao Wou-Kis . 2017 World Auction Record (January 2022).