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Christmas bling: buying jewellery at auction can save money

Adam’s latest catalogue shows the value of buying jewels on the secondary market

As well as the opportunity to acquire rare and beautiful finds, jewellery auctions can be a highly cost-effective way to purchase a bit of bling, depending on the condition of the item. Unless an item is a rare, coveted collector’s piece that will rise in value, most jewellery at auction has a value of half, or sometimes a third, of its regular retail price.

This is evident in Adam’s Fine Jewellery and Watches sale, which will take place in a live sale on Tuesday, December 5th.

Take lot 108, a pendant with a pear-shaped (5.01ct) diamond set in a brilliant cut diamond surround on a cable-link chain. It is estimated at €45,000-€55,000 and has an insurance value certificate from a Dublin jeweller in 2022 stating the piece is worth €150,000.

Another example is lot 132, a diamond solitaire ring with a 4.19ct stone and a €40,000-€45,000 estimate. Should you purchase the piece new, you can expect to pay 60-80 per cent more, according to Adam’s Claire Laurence Mestrallet, who curated the sale.


And some of the items for auction are not that old. Take lot 3, a Tiffany & Co Metro ring, which was purchased this summer. It comes boxed and has never been worn. Listed at €2,000-€3,000, should you buy it new it would set you back about €9,200.

More from Tiffany & Co is a Forever eternity ring, which has a full circle set with brilliant diamonds mounted in platinum. With about 2.80cts of diamonds, the piece, boxed in maker’s case with pouch (size of O½, is important, as most full-band eternity rings cannot be resized), would cost about €24,200 to purchase new, whereas in the sale it is listed at €3,500-€4,500.

A stainless steel Arceau, Le Temps Voyager gentleman’s’ timepiece by Hermès, a self-winding wristwatch described as joining “expert horology and beautiful design”, is aimed at those who travel between time zones. It comes with its maker’s case, outer box and booklet, along with its original invoice. Retailing at €21,000, this model is listed at €8,000-€12,000. Another lovely blue-strapped timepiece by Hermès is a stainless steel and diamond set Cape Cod watch, listed at €2,500-€3,500.

There are some really stunning bracelets in the sale, including a collectable retro Bulgari model from 1960, with four striped gold links (lot 57, €10,000-€15,000) and a more delicate model by Cartier (lot 62, €5,500-€6,500).

Lot 43 is a real whopper. Expected to achieve €35,000-€45,000, and described as “an important diamond bracelet circa 1935″, it has a central (2.80ct) dazzler surrounded by a further 25 carats of baguette and old European cut diamonds.

More affordable lots include a multicoloured sapphire eternity ring, which has a continuous row of blue, pink orange yellow and green sapphires so it resembles the rainbow flag (lot 148, €350-€450), and a super baroque pearl necklace with silver clasp (lot 226, €400-€600).

There’s something for everyone in the catalogue, including something you don’t see very often: a lovely mid-century gentleman’s diamond and agate dress set, with a pair of cufflinks, four shirt, and two collar buttons mounted on 18k gold and platinum (lot 20, €50-€700).