Auctioneers Sotheby’s recorded a ‘landmark year’ for jewellery sales in 2018, with worldwide sales totaling $414m (£328m) for the year.
Worldwide watch sales totalled $88.5m (£70.2m), up 60% on 2017 ($55.4m), with 55% of the bids for watches being placed online (42% for jewellery sales). The number of jewels sold online also increased by by 53% compared with 2017 (+45% in value for watches).
According to the group 2018 was also strong year for ‘noble and royal jewels’, which saw the sale of a natural pearl and diamond pendant from Marie Antoinette’s personal Collection for $36m (£28m).
Additionally, the Farnese Blue diamond achieved a sale of $6.7m (£5.3m), well above the estimated $3.6-5.2m, which was originally given to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, as a wedding present in 1715.
A statement by the group read: “This year, Sotheby’s held a series of highly innovative online sales, often based on partnerships with some of the world’s most prominent brands and actors in the watch, jewellery and diamond industry.
“These sales aimed at offering exclusive property and experiences to existing and new collectors. 2019 will see more of these collaborations and partnerships.”