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A Rich History: The Story of Bonhams

Bonhams is a privately owned British auction house founded in 1793, specializing in fine art, jewelry, motorcars and collectors’ markets. According to Bonhams, it conducts some 400 annual sales in its major salesrooms in London, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Some record sums achieved by Bonhams include a painting in a Russian sale (Roerich, £7.9 million), a South African painting (Irma Stern, £3.0m) as well as record prices in diamonds, colored stones, Art Deco and antique pieces. In early 2013, the world record price was set when a fancy deep-blue diamond was sold for £6.2m (about $8,800,000 million).

In March, 2016, Bonhams reported a resurgence of interest in colored stones, specifically sapphires, emeralds and rubies, among couples who are getting engaged. Bonhams added that this trend is also prevalent among independently wealthy women, who are “choosing sapphires because they want something different and more of a statement gem in their ring compared to a classic diamond.”

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