The Occupy movement may have run out of steam since its apex of publicity this summer, but the $65million proceeds of a jewels auction at Sotheby's in New York on Wednesday is proof that the great divide still exists.
While families everywhere are cutting back on the necessities to splurge on Christmas luxuries, a mixture of Asian, American and International private collectors and trade investors were among those bidding for a remarkable selection of precious jewels.
The sale of magnificent gems belonging to beauty magnate Estée Lauder and her daughter in law Evelyn Lauder, as well as those of the art-collector Mrs Charles Wrightsman, fetched $64.8million amassing that auction house's highest ever total for a day of jewellery sales, a record previously achieved in December 2010 with a total of $53,327,840. The significant sum has raised Sotheby's worldwide jewellery sales for 2012 to $450.5million, a company record, with one more auction to come later this month. The lead lot in the Lauder auction was a pink and white diamond ring belonging to Evelyn Lauder, a fitting hue for the woman who co-designed the pink ribbon and founded a breast cancer research foundation which will receive the proceeds of the sale.
Six bidders competed for the 6.54 carat piece raising the hammer price to $8,594,500, paid by the English jeweller Laurence Graff. No stranger to the thrill of auction, in 2010 Graff set the record for the highest price paid for a jewel at auction, paying $46million for a pink diamond. On Wednesday he purchased two other lots, including a 22.16 carat diamond ring of his own design.