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Jewels Smash Estimates at Bonhams California Auction

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ANTHONY DEMARCO • 30-09-2023

Bonhams sold several items for well above their high estimates at its recent California Jewels sale, with the top lot going for four times its upper price.

The platinum, sapphire and diamond ring by important Beverly Hills jeweler Ruser achieved $127,500 at the September 19 sale, the auction house said last week. The ring bears an octagonal step-cut, 21.15-carat Sri Lankan sapphire framed by 3 carats of round diamonds. William Ruser and his wife founded Ruser in 1947. Known for its innovative use of materials and a following of Hollywood stars, the company stayed in business until 1969, when the owners sold their Rodeo Drive location to Van Cleef & Arpels.

In total, the sale brought in more than $1.5 million, with 72% of the 308 lots on offer sold.

Here are the rest of the top 10 lots:


An Art Deco platinum, yellow diamond and diamond ring, circa 1940, by J.E. Caldwell & Co. achieved $108,450, three times its high estimate. The ring is centered with a brilliant-cut, 4.26-carat, fancy intense yellow, VS1-clarity diamond surrounded by round, baguette and tapered-baguette diamonds.


A platinum ring featuring a 3.34-carat round brilliant diamond of F color and VS2 clarity flanked by tapered baguettes fetched $64,000.



A platinum ring by J.E. Caldwell & Co., circa 1920, centered with a 1.60-carat oval, mixed-cut ruby yielded $47,360, seven times its high estimate. The ring was further accented by baguette, pear-shaped and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.70 carats.


Earrings featuring baguette, round and single-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.80 carats suspending two round brilliant-cut diamonds weighing 2.91 and 3.02 carats brought in $40,960.


A 19th-century Boucheron silver topped-gold, blue enamel and diamond bracelet realized $35,840. The piece, featuring floral and foliate motifs set with and framed by rose-cut diamonds, went for nearly six times its high estimate.


An 18-karat gold riviera necklace set with graduated diamonds weighing approximately 28.20 carats fetched $32,000 against a $22,000 upper price.


A Tiffany & Co. platinum bracelet, circa 1920, with sugarloaf sapphire cabochons, baguette sapphires and old-mine-cut and old-European-cut diamonds sold for $28,160, exceeding its expected range.


Solitaire stud earrings with round diamonds weighing 1.85 and 1.81 carats with G color and VS1 clarity fetched $25,600, beating their $20,000 upper estimate.


Earclips by J.E. Caldwell in a cluster design centered with a round, 1.34-carat, fancy-yellow diamond and a round, 1.28-carat, fancy-intense-yellow diamond garnered $25,600, surpassing estimates. Each yellow diamond is surrounded by round, baguette and tapered-baguette diamonds.

Main image: The sapphire and diamond ring by Ruser. (Bonhams)

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