Prominent figures in Greek mythology, Artemis and her brother Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto. Artemis became the goddess of wild animals, the hunt, and of childbirth. Along with her brother, they became the protectors of young children. Apollo, too, was notable in his own right as the god of archery, music, prophecy, and healing. What better namesakes could there be for the world’s most expensive pair of earrings than these two siblings?
Sold at Sotheby’s
According to a report published by Bloomberg, previously, the record sale price for a pair of earrings was set by the “Miroir de l’Amour”. This pair of pear-shaped, white diamond earrings once sold at Christie’s for $17.7 million in November 2016.
When the auction of the earrings, listed as being the property of a lady, was announced, they were already destined to be at least one of the most expensive pairs of earrings ever sold. Artemis, a very important fancy intense pink diamond of 16 carats was estimated to auction for $12,612,367 and possibly up to $18,156,982. The final sale price for Artemis was $15,338,176.
Meanwhile, Apollo is a superb and extremely rare fancy vivid blue diamond. It is actually the largest internally flawless ever to be offered at auction and was expected to fetch a much higher price of $38,329,731 up to $50,429,359. However the flawless 14.54 carat diamond closed at $42,087,302. So the pair sold together for $57,425,478 and, as noted by Harpers Bazaar, “they don’t even match.” You can even see the “pair” being worn in the video below.
The divine diamond twins – one pink and the other blue – are perfectly matched in size, cut and tonality. — Sotheby’s
The buyer, who has chosen to remain anonymous, reportedly renamed Apollo the blue diamond “The Memory of Autumn Leaves” and Artemis the “The Dream of Autumn Leaves.” After the sale, David Bennett, the worldwide chair of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division and chairman of Switzerland noted, “I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings.”
The $151 million dollar auction at the Mandarin Oriental in Geneva, Switzerland ended up far surpassing its $100 million estimate. Both Artemis and Apollo would be proud. You can explore the full catalog at Sotheby’s: Magnificient Jewels and Noble Jewels, Session 3. So what did Sotheby’s have to say about the sale? David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewellery Division, said the following.
It has been a privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with the superb Apollo Blue and Artemis Pink, which have now been renamed. The results from today’s sale – which saw more the 90 per cent of lots sold and three new world auction records – once again underline the strong demand for top quality diamonds, gemstones and jewels.
These exquisite coloured diamonds are enormously rare and each is a wonderful stone in its own right. Together, as a pair of earrings, they are breathtaking. We named them after Apollo and Artemis, a twin brother and sister of great power and beauty who were among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. These are diamonds of great distinction, with extraordinary presence, and we were honoured that Sotheby’s was chosen to bring them to auction.
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