Arts & Collections covers fine art, auction records, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world's finest items.
Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world's finest items.
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LOT 364 Diamond ring (£250,000 - 350,000)
LOT 364 Diamond ring (£250,000 - 350,000)

Car Boot Sale Diamond Was Sold for £656,750 at Sotheby’s Auction

Yesterday a surprising lot at Sotheby’s auction caught everybody’s attention. A diamond bought at a car boot sale was sold for £656,750 at Sotheby’s auction.

The famous auction house opened its doors once more for one of their most exciting fine jewellery sales to date. The evening was filled fantastic jewels and priceless pieces but the star of the show was the ‘Tenner’ diamond. The cushion-shaped 26.27-carat diamond drew a popular crowd at Sotheby’s. After hearing that the diamond ring was in fact purchased for a measly £10 at a car boot sale back in the 80s, a buzz of excitement surrounded it.

The jewel was expected to fetch between £250,000-350,000 at auction but hugely exceeded expectations when it sold for £656,750—almost double what was predicted. The owner of the piece had believed it was merely costume jewellery; it wasn’t until recently that the piece was identified by the Gemological Institute of America as precious.

Another highlight of the auction was a stunning Cartier brooch owned by Margaret Thatcher, believed to be worn by her on the day of her resignation. Mrs. Thatcher also wore the brooch on a number of other high-profile occasions. The brooch features a geometric chevron design, and it also sparked the interest of a considerable crowd. Like the ‘car boot sale diamond’, it exceeded its expected sale price of £25,000-35,000—actually fetching an impressive £81,250. All of the proceeds of this sale will be donated to the Endeavour fund, a charitable organisation that supports sick, wounded and injured servicemen and women.

Sotheby’s head of London’s jewellery department, Jessica Wyndham, said: ‘It was a thrill to bring the hammer down on two objects which have been the subject of so much interest and attention over the last few weeks and to see that attention translate into such strong bidding competition. Both were exciting punctuation points in a sale where the huge variety of material on offer was matched by a broad mix of collectors internationally—driving prices well above estimate on so many occasions.’

If you have enjoyed reading this article: ‘Car Boot Sale Diamond Sells for £670,000 at Auction’, click here to read more on Arts and Collections about trends in contemporary jewellery. 

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