Sotheby’s Bourbon Parma Family Jewels Auction Yields $53.1 Million Thanks to Marie-Antoinette Jewels

Earlier this year, I broke the news here about the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family going up for sale at Sotheby’s. The White Glove Sale took place on Wednesday with 100 percent of the 100 lots, including pieces owned by Marie-Antoinette, selling. Additionally, one piece, a special pearl owned by Queen Marie-Antoinette, broke the world record for a natural pearl sold at auction – going for $36.2 million.

Queen Marie Antoinette’s Pearl was the big-ticekt item at the Royal Jewels from the Bourbon Parma Family auction by Sotheby’s November 2018Sotheby’s

The biggest-ticket item, the 18th century natural pearl pendant that sold for $36.2 million, was originally estimated to sell for about $1 to $2 million. In fact, the entire auction was initially expected to draw about $7 million in sales, but set a world record, for being the largest royal jewelry sale ever. Heretofore, the record was $50.3 million garnered at the Duchess of Windsor auction nearly three decades ago in 1987. Of the final total auction sales of $53.1 million, 10 pieces owned by the famous queen comprised the majority, at $42.7 million. The second largest sale was that of an important three-strand pearl and diamond necklace owned by the queen, which sold for $2.278 million.

It is said that before she was taken captive and later beheaded, Marie Antoinette had wrapped her jewelry – pearls, diamonds and rubies – in cotton and sent them along with some clothes in a trunk to Brussels. They then traveled to Vienna where the Austrian emperor was Marie-Antoinette’s nephew. He returned them to the queen’s daughter Madame Royale in 1795 and then passed in into the Bourbon Parma family, which put these pieces up for auction at Sotheby’s.

A model shows a stunning diamond pendant, supporting a natural pearl of exceptional size (26 mm x 18 mm) that belonged to Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France and will be auctioned in the ÒRoyal Jewels from the Bourbon-Parma FamilyÓ sale at SothebyÕs Geneva on 12 November 2018 (estimate: $1-2 million), at Sotheby’s on June 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Bowles/Getty Images for Sotheby’s)Sotheby’s

Other pieces up for sale in the auction included  jewels owned by later generations of the Bourbon Parma family. Fetching nearly $1 million was a diamond ara taht had belonged to Maria Anna of Austria in the early 20th century and was made by the Austrian jeweller Hübner.  Most of hte bidding during the auction — with bidders from 43 countriies  participating came in the form of online bids, with 25 percent being newcomers to Sotheby’s.

“Tonight we saw the Marie Antoinette factor work its magic. No other queen is more famous for her love of jewels, and her personal treasures, pearls and diamonds that survived intact the tumults of history, captivated the interest of collectors around the world,” says Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby’s Jewelry Chairman in Europe.


Jewellery exhibition off to a glittering start

A model showing a necklace at a jewellery exhibition in Vijayawada on Friday.

A three-day B2B exhibition Grand Abhushanam, organised by the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (AIGJDC), was inaugurated at SS Convention Centre here on Friday by Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Narayana said about four lakh people were dependent on making jewellery for their livelihood, and the government was committed to extending support to them and entrepreneurs looking to invest in the sector.

The government was giving incentives to attract investments, which jewellery makers should utilise, he said.

AIGJDC vice-chairman Anantha Padmanaban said road shows were conducted across the southern region in the last few weeks and jewellers were excited to visit the exhibition.

AIGJDC director Ashok Kumar Jain said the exhibition was intended not only to boost the trade in small towns and cities, but connect manufacturers from small towns with local trade bodies. Exhibition co-convener Rajesh Rokde, A.P. Bullion Gold, Silver and Diamond Merchants’ Association president K. Vijaya Kumar and chief organiser Shantilal Jain were present.


In conversation with jewellery designer, Archana Behede

by Radhika Sathe Patwardhan | November 30, 2018, 12:00 AM IST

Archana Behede

Getting the most exclusive jewellery for D-Day is every bride’s dream and brand Gautam Banerjee does just that. We have a tête-à-tête with designer Archana Behede where she talks about her journey, the design process and the brand’s collections.

“I did not know much about jewellery,” says Behede, “I was only a buyer.” But it was when she started learning jewellery design that she had found her calling. “I never knew my potential till then. I used to design for a few jewellery houses and seeing the good response my designs got, I decided to start this brand. I trained under designer Gautam Banerjee – whose name is given to the brand. I learnt everything (about jewellery design) from him.”

Archana Behede

Designer jewellery is considered very expensive by most, and it is something that one gets only for occasions – how much ever one may like it. “We wanted to clear this myth when we started this brand. We wanted every woman to wear a nice (jewellery) piece. When one spends one’s hard-earned money, they have the right to get one of the best pieces. As a designer, I always make something which fits the pocket of everyone. I want every woman to relish the jewellery she buys from us. We give good designs at good rates also. We don’t target to make only expensive jewellery; we are very flexible. We make jewellery so that a woman can keep it lifelong.”

Archana Behede

The brand has all the types of jewellery – cocktail jewellery, wedding jewellery or simple daily wear jewellery but “while designing we make sure that every design is really unique. We have simple designs because few people want really simple thing and therefore we have something for them too. But despite being simple, it is also unique in its own way,” Behede elaborates, “When it comes to the techniques we use in manufacturing, the quality of polish and the setting of the diamond, we always take lots of care and pain to see that there is no fault in them when they come to the store as well. After a jewellery piece is made – be it earrings, neckpiece or rings, I personally check it if it is done right, and there isn’t any problem with it like if it is uncomfortable to wear, any joints are stiff, etc. We have a very strict quality check.”

Archana Behede

The inspiration for design, Behede claims, comes from anything and everything. “Sometimes, even an ensemble or a motif on the dress inspires me to a particular jewellery piece. The inspiration can sometimes be something vague; sometimes it is just whatever catches my attention or my eye. For example, once I was travelling to Mumbai and was looking outside the window, and I saw multi-storeyed buildings. So I thought I should do something in multi-layered jewellery. So I designed a bangle which was multi-layered which had three layers. Anything can inspire me when it comes to work.


Spike in diamond jewellery demand on Diwali

Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.
DiamondNSE 0.00 % jewellery is witnessing good demand in the Dhanteras-Diwali season, according to jewellers and trade officials. Lightweight gold jewellery too has emerged as the preferred choice for the consumers this festive season.

Atul Sinha, SVP – Marketing, CaratLane said “We are witnessing a shift in trend among jewellery buyers. The impact of higher gold prices is not so much on jewellery that can be worn on a daily basis. There is a double-digit growth in demand for jewellery that women can actually wear every day rather than heavy jewellery or gold coins which typically end up in the locker. We are expecting an increase in footfalls and a further surge in online purchases in the next two days.”

Added Vijay Jain CEO, ORRA “Both the run up to Dhanteras and Dhanteras has been positive. While gold has seen a positive trend over last year platinum and diamond jewellery growth rates have been in excess of 30 percent.”

Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.

“People are opting for light weight jewellery in gold and diamond. Traditional Maharashtrian designs like Naths, Mohan Maal etc are preferred by traditional customers. We have also seen younger generation visiting the store. One more thing we noticed this year is that customers are not restricting themselves to dhanteras for gold shopping. When we look at the year on year sales, we are meeting the expected sales targets.” he said.

Pankaj Khanna, MD, Khanna Gems said “We are expecting a considerable growth of 15-20% in the diamond jewellery consumption this year, as an impact of the extensive marketing campaigns of diamond jewellery by the brands. On the other hand, the demand for gemstones & gemstone Jewellery will increase by 10-15% this year due to the increasing disposable income of Indians during festivals like Diwali & Dhanteras.



Bring change with fashion

The fashion industry is not just about the style quotient. It has taken a big leap with new technological expansions, opening up various doors for the designers to innovate. The budding designers are taught new softwares to aid their ideas, use eco-friendly fabrics and incorporating milk and even pineapple.

Fashion is more than what the big brands make it. If we combine the immense amounts of creativity and technology available today, sky is the limit. The JD Institute of Fashion Technology (JDIFT)’s fashion awards themed  ‘Change’ is a great example of that. Students were encouraged to think about the future, not only in terms of sustainability but in terms of inclusiveness as well. Right from the making of the fabric, to the selling of the garment, the designers are now looking to do things and bring about change.

“The theme was on how sustainability works. It is an attempt to make more responsible designers and think about more than just the fabric and the stitch,” Akshara Dala, director academics, JD Institute of Fashion Technology, says.

From a corporate line for the visually challenged that has QR code tags to read the description out loud to special athleisure wear in support of the LGBT community and a new collection for people with Down Syndrome, the students took up  various issues into consideration that they see around  and come up with a solution with their clothing line.

The collection ensures that it is comfortable with special care taken while choosing a fabric. The theme was also a great way to educate people and help them open up to ideas that they are otherwise unaware of.

Rudrani Chettri, India’s first a transgender who founded India’s first LGBT modelling agency, says: “People are a little intimidated but they know fashion is all about experimenting. The idea of a transgender is rather ugly to the people but with the help of fashion, this misconception can change. Fashion is now in the hands of the youth and they’re taking this opportunity to do more for the community than just setting trends. Fashion is about what you want to be and with the right kind of grooming and education, this is now a very realistic possibility.


GST anniversary: Jewellers expect govt to fix remaining issues

All India Gems And Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Nitin Khandelwal says GST has been a boon for the industry as it has to pay only one tax. Photo: Mint

All India Gems And Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Nitin Khandelwal says GST has been a boon for the industry as it has to pay only one tax. Photo: Mint

Mumbai: The gems and jewellery industry is expecting the government to sort out few issues, including 3% goods and services tax (GST) on gold import for export purpose, to give a boost to the industry as the new tax regime completes one year of rollout.

“Overall, GST has been good for the gems and jewellery export industry, even as there were some teething problems in the initial period,” the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) vice chairman Colin Shah told PTI. “However, things have settled down after that. Earlier, we had to pay Octrai, VAT and customs duties, not we just have GST, which is simple and presents less of paper work,” he added.

He said things are now better for the diamond sector with the 0.25% GST. The only issue is with the import of gold for export purpose, he said. “The process is a bit cumbersome where the banks are charging us 3% GST, for which we are getting reimbursement through input credit. But to make things easier, we are want it to be GST free. So far the government has been supportive and have resolved all our issues and we have been assured that this issue will also be considered,” Shah said.

World Gold Council Managing Director, India, Somasundaram PR said GST is a major fiscal reform since India’s liberalisation in the early 1990s. “While gold consumers will face a slightly higher tax rate, and the industry is going through a period of adjustment, we see the net impact on the gold industry as being positive. We expect GST to accelerate the process of making India’s gold market more organised and transparent, which should be good for consumers.”

This will support gold demand in the years to come, he said. “The positive aspect about the transition has been the government’s response to several feedback from the industry to make it work. However, there still remain areas that need to be addressed to make GST simpler in order to promote organised trading and exports if India has to emerge as the jeweller to the world and gold’s economic contribution substantially enhanced,” he added.

All India Gems And Jewellery Domestic Council Chairman Nitin Khandelwal opined that GST has been a boon for the industry as it has to pay only one tax. “Initially for the first 2-3 months things were difficult as jewellers did not understand the new system. We have spread awareness across the country on GST compliance through seminars, workshops and published materials for the domestic players. We have also developed an online programme on GST, which has helped an wider audience,” he said.

Whatever issued the industry had, the government took them into consideration, he said. “Now there are few small issue like no input credit on hotels when we travel outside the state to participate on shows. When it is one country one tax, so we should get it across the country as we are getting it in our home state. However, the government has assured us to take it up and we have full confidence that the issue will be sorted soon,” he added.

India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) director and chairman and managing director of PNG Jewellers Saurabh Gadgil said: “In the first 2-3 months of GST rollout there were problems as it happened on short notice without any preparation and jewellers were confused over the new system.”

However, gradually as things become streamlined the industry gained from it with things becoming more transparent, he added. Any reform needs time to settle down, but so far the transition has been smooth and things have become simpler, he said.”

There are still many issues which will be sorted by the government over time, including too many slabs. We need to rationalise them. Most countries who have GST have maximum 2-3 slabs and going forward I am sure the government will work towards it,” he added.


Auction Preview: Antique to Modern Jewelry at Jasper52, New York, Aug 15

Auction Preview: Antique to Modern Jewelry at Jasper52, New York, Aug 15

What: Antique to Modern Jewelry

Where: Jasper52, New York, USA

When: August 15

Top lots of the sale:

– 11.76ct Unheated Yellow Sapphire and 1.21ctw Diamond 18KT White Gold Ring (GIA Certified). Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 18K.  Gemstones: Sapphire, Diamond. Estimate $ 12,000 – $ 14,000

– 18.49ctw Diamond 14KT Yellow Gold Tennis Necklace.  Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 14K.  Gemstones: Diamond. One electronically tested 14KT yellow gold ladies cast & assembled diamond tennis necklace. Seventeen and one-quarter inch length necklace composed of a flexible graduating ribbon of diamonds, terminating in a concealed clasp with twin safeties. Identified with markings of “14K”. Trademark is “Orianne”. Bright polish finish. Condition is new, good workmanship. Tennis bracelets & necklaces got their unusual name from an incident involving the U.S. professional tennis player Chris Evert during a tennis match in the 1980’s. Evert had been wearing an expensive diamond bracelet, an inline string of individually-set diamonds. Previously these bracelets were known as eternity bracelets. When the clasp snapped during play, she asked the officials to stop the tennis match until the bracelet could be found. Since that day, bracelets and necklaces featuring an inline string of diamonds have been called tennis bracelets and tennis necklaces. Three prong set round brilliant cut diamonds, measuring 5.60 – 5.40 x 3.30mm (depth est.) approximate total weight of 3 Stones = 2.03ct. Estimate $12,000 – $14,000

– 3.04ct SI2 Clarity Center Diamond Ring (3.82ctw Diamonds) GIA Certified. Brand: Orianne. Metal Purity: 18K. Gemstones: Diamond. One electronically tested 18KT white gold ladies cast diamond ring with a bright polish finish. The featured diamond is set within a diamond bezel supported by elaborate intertwining diamond set shoulders, completed by a two millimeter wide band. Trademark is Orianne. Identified with markings of “18K”. Condition is new, good workmanship. One prong set cushion cut diamond, measuring 8.72 x 7.64 x 5.86mm exact weight 3.04ct. GIA Colored Diamond Report attached. Graded loose for color prior to setting in the GIA Laboratory, Report #2171301396. Clarity SI-2 Color Fancy Dark Yellowish Brown Depth 76.7% Table 61.5%. Sixty-Eight prong set round brilliant & baguette cut diamonds approximate total weight of 68 Stones = 0.78ct. Graded in the setting. Clarity SI-1 to I-1 Color G – I. Estimate $ 10,000 – $ 12,000

– Na Hoku 18k White Gold Diamond 7.28ct tw Palm Necklace. Carat Weights: 7.28ct. Size/Dimensions: 17″ long. Additional Info: Includes official Na Hoku appraisal document; see photos for details. Estimate $ 9,000 – $ 11,000

– Fine Estate Oval Ruby Ring Diamond Halo 18k White Gold. Carat Weights: 1.47ct Ruby, 0.75ct Diamond. Size/Dimensions: Size 6.5. Additional Info: Comes with Carte Blu jewelry report; see photos for details. Estimate $8,000 – $10,000

– 2.01ct SI3 Clarity F Color Center Diamond Ring (2.41ctw). Metal Purity: Platinum. Gemstones: Diamond. Estimate $ 7,000 – $ 8,000

– 1.77ct SI3 Clarity H Color Center Diamond Ring (2.38ctw). EGL USA Certified. Brand: Orianne.  Metal Purity: 18K. Gemstones: Diamond. Estimate $ 5,500 – $ 7,000