For Bonham’s, being a private auction house has its benefits as well as its challenges. Bonham’s auction house was established over 220 years ago, and has been able to keep itself in private hands over the years, keeping true to its core values and heritage.
In the last few years, they have been gaining traction with their own specialists and their auctions. Although Bonham’s is not as famous as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, which some may consider a challenge or a handicap, we prefer to look at the bright side of things and we consider that having broken world records gives Bonham’s a certain position in the market.
In terms of fancy color diamonds and unique jewels, it has been able to keep pace. In fact, Bonham’s still holds records today that even the behemoths Sotheby’s and Christie’s cannot break.
Bonham’s auction house interior
Bonham’s Fancy Color Diamond Records
One such diamond record is the record that was set for a Fancy Deep Blue diamond. It was set by the “Trombino” style ring, sold to no other than the king of diamonds, Laurence Graff. Back on April 24, 2013, Graff acquired the 5.30 carat Fancy Deep Blue VS2 diamond for $9.5 million or $1.79 million per carat in a Bonham’s London auction, setting the record for the highest per carat price for a Fancy Deep Blue diamond.
The 5.30 carat Fancy Deep Blue VS2 diamond ring Image credit: Bonham’s
In terms of total price paid for a Fancy Deep Blue diamond, the current record holder is the 10.48 carat Fancy Deep Blue Flawless diamond that sold back on November 14, 2012 by Sotheby’s in Geneva for a total of $10.86 million.
The 10.48 carat Fancy Deep Blue Flawless diamond Image credit: Sotheby’s
World Record for a Spinel
The world record for a spinel was also set at Bonham’s. It was estimated to sell at around $300,000 back in September 2015, but it ended up selling for about $1.4 million, more than 4 times its value. It was a 50.13 carat spinel named the “Hope Spinel”.
The Hope Spinel Image credit: Bonham’s
Bonham’s is working hard at gaining further market share in the jewelry arena, and I believe that they will break another record soon enough. They are also leading the pack when it comes to Asia, having built their presence there for quite some time now. They hold a few records for Asian artworks, as well as in the collectible car division.
In some ways, it is great being private as it allows you to make decisions with much less bureaucracy, and the focus is service and clients. The rest falls into place in due time.
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