HOW TO BID AT AN ONLINE JEWELLERY AUCTION & GEMOLOGUE JEWELLERY CURATION, SOTHEBY’S
So excited to show you some of the highlights from Sotheby’s upcoming auction on February 9th – Jewels Online: Part II. Just in time for Valentine’s Day! I was thrilled when the invitation came through to pick my favourite jewellery lots from so many exquisite pieces. And even though I was jet-lagged and it was just days after my wedding ceremony, I decided to go all out and shoot an editorial and video in my usual GEMOLOGUE signature style for Sotheby’s website, social media and newsletter.
Having had no previous luck shopping online for my wedding dress, I was pleasantly surprised to discover how fun and convenient an online jewellery auction can be. If you love online shopping as much as I do, you have to try it. It will spice up your online shopping experience immensely and you’ll be surprised by the jewellery bargains you can find. Some of them are truly unique! Just because you’re bidding on jewels from an prestigious auction house like Sotheby’s , it doesn’t mean you’ll be paying more.
Shopping online is so on trend right now. Online jewellery auctions only gemify the shopping experience, adding mystery and intrigue to what feels like a treasure hunt. It’s thrilling. What’s more, you no longer have to pay a buyer’s premium on a final online sales. Now’s your chance to join in the fun and find some of your own treasures at Sotheby’s Jewels Online: Part II.
Online bidding starts on February 9 to 19 at 1 p.m. GMT.
If you have never bid at an online jewellery auction before, I’ve put together a few tips to help you understand the auction buying process, as well as some of the terms commonly used at an auction:
HOW TO BID AT AN ONLINE JEWELLERY AUCTION
1 CREATE AN ACCOUNT
First, you’ll need to register on the Sotheby’s website here and enter your credit card details to verify your identity. Do not forget to verify your email.
2 FIND JEWELLERY AUCTION & REGISTER TO BID
Search for Jewels Online: Part II, and browse the catalogue to find items you wish to bid on. It will take a few minutes before you receive approval. Don’t forget to add upcoming auctions to your Google calendar, so you don’t miss out. On February 9th, once the jewellery auction starts at 1PM GMT, you will see how many bids have been placed, what’s popular and how much time you have left to bid. Bidding starts as low as $300. It’s a really exciting shopping experience and a great way to add glamour to your jewellery wardrobe.
3 BROWSE MY CURATED ITEMS AND PLACE A BID
Scroll down to see my jewellery curation of Sotheby’s Auction: Jewels Online: Part II and watch the GEMOLOGUE behind the scenes video. It will give you an up-close look and feel of some of the jewels in this sale and help you to pick your favourites. It’s important to see how jewellery looks on, and you know I never publish product shots without trying everything! You can also browse lots in the e-catalogue to see the bidding range. Each lot is given a low and high estimate, indicating a range in which the lot might sell at auction. Estimates are based on previous auction records of comparable pieces. As soon as you place and confirm your bid amount, it will be submitted. Sotheby’s will acknowledge the highest bidder via the online bidding system, and the lucky owner will be notifed.
4 DON’T BID BELOW THE RESERVE
Unless indicated, all lots are subject to a reserve. This is the confidential minimum hammer price at which a lot will be sold. The reserve is generally set at a percentage of the lowest estimate and will not exceed this amount. A pop-up screen will tell you if your bid doesn’t meet the reserve. Some jewels and watches are offered without reserve and will be sold to the highest bidder if you submitted a bid equal to or in excess of $50.
5 COLLECT YOUR JEWELS
Once your payment has been received and cleared, your jewellery purchase is ready for pick-up. Unless otherwise agreed by Sotheby’s, all purchases must be claimed by the 30th calendar day following a sale. This is a minor inconvenience and not like Net-A-Porter or MATCHESFASHION where shipping and handling are covered.
6 CHECK EXPORT AND PERMITS
If you cannot collect your jewels in person and you need to ship your items overseas, be aware that Sotheby’s and the Consignor make no representations or warranties as to whether any lot is or is not subject to export or import restrictions or any embargoes.
You can find more information on how to bid at a Sotheby’s online-only auction here.
This beautiful gold bracelet combines curb and braided linking for a chunky, three dimensional look and feel. This bracelet has a lot of movement to it, which I like, as it curves to your wrist. Signed by Tiffany & Co., it is approximately 182mm in length and weighs about 79.2 grams. Estimate: £2000
Don’t pass this lot up. It is a total bargain and has immense resalable value.
Beautifully textured in gold, a wonderful addition to your work wardrobe, and a classic in design, this oval link bracelet is approximately 210mm in length and weighs about 104.9 grams, with French assay and partial maker’s marks. Estimate: £2000
A timeless, classic, beauty, this textured bracelet is one of my favourite lots from Jewels Online: Part II.
There’s something warm and vintage about these fabulous earrings. The symmetry of the piece wears like a hoop design, but the angular elements add another dimension, highlighted with a rectangular step-cut peridot and brilliant-cut diamonds. Estimate: £900
A classic Scavia design, this clip earring come with Italian maker’s marks and case stamped Scavia. They are signed by Scavia, Domenico Scavia, started the Scavia jewellery tradition with his first workshop in Italy in 1911. A unique design showing the beautiful art of Italian jewellery-making tradition, wearing these fabulous earrings is like wearing a piece of history.
A gorgeous design of not one but two flowers, each with their own individual characteristics and beauty. One is collet-set with a circular-cut morganite, framed by brilliant-cut diamonds, surrounded by circular-cut tsavorite garnet and circular-cut ruby petals. The other flower is beautifully different, more modest and surrounded in innocence, totally unaware of its own beauty as it tucks under the petals of its more extravagant partner. This bloom is set with circular-cut rubies and brilliant-cut diamond petals , and comes with maker’s marks; size O½. Estimate: £1000
You’d be crazy not to bid on this beauty! But you’ll have to out-bid me first, because even though this lot feature is not signed, it’s one statement ring that’s worth the risk.
You know how much I love jewelled animals and this serpent design, set with tsavorite garnets and circular-cut diamonds, fits nicely on the finger (Size O½). I love how the eyes are highlighted with circular-cut amethysts. Estimate: £1000
It’s an evocative piece and the kind of ring that will empower you. Wear this ring and evoke the animal spirit of the serpent, a creative life force with the power to transform you. Are you ready for that? Start bidding!
Tie those hearts in bows, open your minds to romance and get ready for Valentine’s Day! A beautiful gift for your sweetheart, this brooch is set with circular- and calibré-cut rubies and circular-cut and rose diamonds, with a suspending pear-shaped diamond drop. Estimate: £1500
Nothing says Valentine’s Day quite like a rubied heart. A 20th century brooch would make a unique gift indeed. But you’ll have to outbid me first. I can’t resist the delicacy of this piece, the fine bows and flowers were enough to catch my eye, but the diamond drop captured my heart. It’s the perfect final touch to such an exquisite piece.
This lot is rich enough for royalty and made for a king! According to ancient Hindu culture, rubies symbolised power, passion and protection and were known as ‘Rajnapura’ or the King of Gems. It is a beautiful oval ruby, framed by brilliant-cut diamonds (size M½), and signed by Chantecler. It also comes with a gemological report. Estimate: £4500
If you haven’t heard of Chantecler jewels, you’re missing out. I discovered them during my travels to Capri, the Island of joie de vivre. They are famous for being adored by many famous women who loved the lifestyle of this beautiful island. Some Chantecler clients include Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Maria Callas, Greta Garbo, Rita Hayworth, Liz Taylor and Grace Kelly.
This lot would make a significant gift to a loved one for Valentine’s Day. I love the diamond setting and how it raises the ruby into the spotlight. A perfect evening jewel.
We all dream of the perfect emerald ring and online auctions seem to offer a wide selection of classic beauties. This ring is set with a step-cut emerald, framed by brilliant-cut diamonds, to a scroll engraved mount (size K), and it comes with the all-important gemological report. Estimate £1500
Such a beautiful, vintage setting in this lot. The brilliant cut diamonds mesmerised me with their huge sparkle and classic setting. The perfect emerald for every woman.
Such a wonderfully modern look to this design and a love the the pendant design and the way the whole moves. Set with circular-, single-cut and baguette diamonds, there’s a certain bridal allure and evening glam to these earrings. Comes with screw and butterfly fittings and is accompanied by a gemological report. Estimate £1500
BOUCHERON DIAMOND RING AND GOLD RING
Both rings in this lot are signed by Boucheron and hold enough substance to carry that mark! The first ring has a fluted design and is set with brilliant-cut diamonds (size H) that makes it the perfect for your pinky. Putting this ring on is a real treat. It’s almost as if it were made just for the pinky. The other design is a hefty, plain gold band (size P½) of classic design and lasting quality. This ring is also signed with French assay and maker’s marks. Estimate: £1100
Who can resist tourmalines, especially when they’re signed by Tiffany & Co. Set with green and pink cabochon tourmalines, spaced by brilliant-cut diamonds (size N), this is a signature design and will be scooped up quickly. Estimate £750
Set with a square fancy red diamond weighing 0.19 carats, framed by brilliant-cut diamonds and pink diamonds, to brilliant-cut diamond shoulders, size M½. Accompanied by a GIA gemological report and a facsimile of an appraisal. Estimate £50,000
Red diamonds are so rare that I have only seen three or four in my whole career as a jewellery blogger. So when I saw this lot, I had to do a double take. Even though this red rarity is only 0.19 carats, surrounding white and pink diamonds help it to stand out.
The perfect family jewel and a piece to do a bride proud on her wedding day, the surmount of ribbon bow design, set with single-cut diamonds, calibré-cut sapphires and a cultured pearl comes with a detachable suspending pendant of open work foliate design set with oval and calibré-cut sapphires, single-cut diamonds and a cultured pearl. Estimate: £2000
Such a beautiful piece, it almost looks like it was designed for royalty to wear in their hair. That would be my choice for this piece. If only I had known about this before my own nuptials, I would have changed my plans to a castle wedding and come down the aisle with this piece adorning my hair. Sapphire and pearls, so castle worthy!
Every jewellery box needs a diamond ring or two, and one with three diamonds is even better. Set with three brilliant-cut diamonds, weighing 2.03, 0.69 and 0.67 carats respectively, size M½. Estimate: £3000
Elegant and beautiful and a bargain at that estimate, this diamond trinity would make an ideal engagement ring.
Can’t wait to watch the bids on these magnificent pair of earrings. So classically Van Cleef & Arpels, each earring is set with a mother-of-pearl quatrefoil motif, suspending a butterfly turquoise, signed VCA, numbered, Swiss and French assay marks. Also comes with a fitted case, pouch and bag stamped Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate: £5000
Butterfly and clover motifs are super signature of VCA. A must-have for every jewellery lover. The winner of this lot will be the envy of all her friends. Don’t forget to register online to watch all the fun and place a bid on your favourite item.
Watch all the behind-the-scenes fun and how this editorial was created, right here on the GEMOLOGUE YouTube channel:
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I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery.
GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.
Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
*Photographed by Julia Flit at Sotheby’s Bond Street. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.
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