Top 20 Most Expensive Fine Assets Ever Sold at Auction

Auctions tend to attract a wide variety of bidders and buyers, both in person and over the phone, due to the variety of rare and scintillating items on sale.

The most prestigious of auctions offer one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery and artwork, timeless memorabilia, and other rare treasures found nowhere else but under the hammer.

It’s for this reason that auctions have been known to fetch large sums for single items. From art to artefacts, yachts to precious gems and metals, reputable auctions are renowned for hosting the most coveted items in the world, with prices entering the hundreds of millions.

Here is a roundup of the most expensive items ever sold in auction houses.

20) Marilyn Monroe’s “Subway Dress”

Possibly one of the most famous items of clothing of the 20th century, the ivory pleated dress was designed by William Travilla in 1955 for Marilyn to wear in the movie “The Seven Year Itch,” directed by Billy Wilder.

Almost as iconic as the wearer herself, the dress concocts the image of Marilyn Monroe stood atop a subway grate, trying to use its skirt to cover herself. The famed footage has since found its way onto thousands of ‘retro’ themed items, from clothing to home wares. To own the original, however, is something altogether different.

Previously owned by Singin’ in the Rain actress Debbie Reynolds, the dress’ style echoes that of 1950s and 1960s Hollywood, with a halter-like bodice and a plunging neckline. Monroe’s husband at the time, Joe DiMaggio, was said to have “hated” the dress.

Debbie Reynolds sold the dress, which had become ecru in colour due to its age, in 2011 – estimating that it would sell for $1-2 million.

In actual fact, the gown fetched $5,500,000 at the auction in Beverly Hills, becoming the most expensive item of clothing ever sold at auction.

19) The British Guiana One Cent Magenta stamp

Were this list measured on price per square inch, this item would surely top it.

At .04 grams in weight, the British Guiana One Cent Magenta stamp was once sold for a penny when it was first printed, in 1856. The rarest stamp in the world, it is a one of a kind collector’s item which has belonged to such names as Count Philippe la Renotiere von Ferrary, Arthur Hind and John E. du Pont.

After du Pont’s death, the stamp was sold several times at various auctions, ultimately claiming a spot as one of the most expensive items ever sold at Sotheby’s.

Its value comes from its rarity, and the prestigious pastime of stamp collecting.

The stamp was bought by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman for the sum of $9,000,000. When collecting the item, Weitzman reportedly tucked the stamp into his back pocket, so as not to draw attention to it.

18) The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

First minted in 1794, the Flowing Hair silver dollar was the first dollar coin ever issued by the United States.

The coin was struck in silver, following the establishment of a national Mint by Alexander Hamilton. Today, the coin is an incredible rarity, with very few surviving from the era.

In 2013, the over 200-year-old coin more than doubled the previous world record of $4.1 million for a coin sold at auction, according to Stack’s Bowers Galleries [link: https://www.stacksbowers.com].

It’s said to have been the finest known surviving coin from the original minting, hence its value. It was part of the Cardinal Collection, amassed by collector Martin Logies, before it went under the hammer.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries sold the coin for $10,000,000 in New York to Legend Numismatics, a rare coin firm based in New Jersey.

17) Cycladic Marble Figure

Christie’s Antiquities Department topped the world record price at auction for a Cycladic marble figure in 2015. A reclining female figure carved in marble, the sensational sculpture is over 3000 years old, dating back to circa 2400 BC.

Standing at just 11.5 inches tall, the piece is the only complete figure of the twelve works attributed to the Schuster Master known to have survived [link: http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/129/schuster-master-cycladic-active-about-2400-bc/]. It was acquired by Madame Marion Schuster of Lausanne in 1965 and was subsequently moved to a private collection in the United States.

The carved marble figure sold for $16,882,500 at Christie’s.

16) Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication Watch

Commissioned by billionaire Henry Graves Jr, this painstakingly crafted 18 carat gold watch took eight years to create.

Previously sold at auction in 1999 for $11,000,000, the watch was purchased by Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani of the Qatari royal family, who sold it back to the auction house 15 years later.

The final bid at Sotheby’s in 2014 was 23,237,00 Swiss Francs – at the time, over $24,000,000 – making the Patek Philippe Supercomplication the most expensive watch in the world.

Explore some of the watch’s competitors for the title of ‘most expensive’ in our list of The Most Expensive Watches Sold At Auction Ever. [link: https://pawnbrokersrodeodrive.com/the-most-expensive-watches-sold-at-auction-ever/]

15) Fauteuil Aux Dragons by Eileen Gray

This leather armchair was once owned by Yves Saint Laurent, and was designed by Irish artist Eileen Gray [link: http://www.eileengray.co.uk/]. Originally crafted in white, the chair is now upholstered in brown leather.

Standing at just 24 inches high, the unique French piece is known as the ‘dragon’s’ armchair, due to its ornate sculptured armrests. Gray, who studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, spent two years crafting this item, from 1917 to 1919.

The chair’s original owner was Suzanne Talbot, Gray’s first ever patron.

Philippe Garner, Christie’s international head of 20th Century Decorative Art and Design, said of the piece: “It is a fabulous price. The sale was a homage to the great personalities, designers, collectors and patrons who so marked their era in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s and to the pioneering vision of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge as collectors.” [citation: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/artsales/4805374/Small-brown-armchair-sells-for-19-million.html]

The piece sold for an astonishing $28,300,000 – significantly higher than the $3,000,000 at which Christie’s had it valued.

14) Roman Era Statue of Artemis and the Stag

The 2000 year old bronze statue [link: http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2007/egyptian-classical-and-western-asiatic-antiquities-including-property-of-the-albright-knox-art-gallery-n08325/lot.41.html] was unearthed in 1920, and depicts the goddess Artemis. It has been said that the piece is a superb example of ancient Roman bronze sculpture, and one of the most beautiful works surviving from the era.

London art dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi bought the statue for an anonymous collector, after an unusually long round of bidding at Sotheby’s. When the hammer fell, the price sat at $28,600,000 – setting a new record as the most expensive sculpture ever to sell at auction.

13) Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Leicester

In 1994, Microsoft founder Bill Gates purchased a 72 page notebook at auction. The collection of pages contains ideas, drawings and diagrams from the mind of renowned polymath Leonardo Da Vinci.

Historians regard Da Vinci as a genius with a “feverishly inventive imagination”. He was a painter, inventor, sculptor, and engineer – to name just a few of his areas of expertise. But this item focuses predominantly on his passion for science, and houses his notes and thoughts on the relationship between the Earth, sun and moon.

Bill Gates puts the notebook on display at a rotation of selected museums [link: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/dec/04/rare-leonardo-da-vinci-notebook-to-go-on-show-at-british-library], allowing visitors to see first-hand the innermost workings of Da Vinci’s mind.

The manuscript was purchased by Gates for $30,800,000.

12) The Clark Sickle Leaf Carpet

This Islamic carpet sold at Sotheby’s in June 2012, setting the auction record not just for an Islamic carpet, but for any Islamic work of art.

The piece is thought to have been woven in Kirman in the 17th Century. Its distinctive elegance has retained an exquisite quality despite its age. Decorated with swirling vines and vibrant flowers, the carpet was stored for decades by the Corcoran Gallery of Art [link: http://www.corcoran.edu/].

Mary Jo Otsea stated that the carpet was the “highlight of [her] 30 year career”, saying that “no-one ever expected to see it on the market. Its beauty and rarity – the closest comparisons are in museums.” [citation: https://www.claremontrug.com/press-article/the-clark-sickle-leaf-carpet/]

After a ten minute multi-bidder contest, this remarkable carpet was sold to an anonymous bidder for $33,700,000.

11) Marie Antoinette’s Pendant

This drop-shaped natural pearl pendant sold in 2018 at Sotheby’s in Geneva, and was billed as a once in a lifetime purchase.

This was the crowning piece in a set of 10 pieces formerly owned by the Queen Marie Antoinette, some of which had not been seen in public for 200 years until the auction date.

The last Queen of France before the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette was the wife of King Louis XVI. Both were executed during the uprising in the 18th Century that brought down the aloof opulence of French royals.

She smuggled some of her most treasured possessions to her relatives during the revolution.

The pendant sold for $32,000,000 at Sotheby’s.

10) Badminton Cabinet

This magnificent cabinet is made from ebony and decorated with fine ormolu and pietra dura. Made in 1726 by Florentine workshops, the piece was commissioned by a then 19-year-old Henry Somerset, the third Duke of Beaufort.

The piece is a triumph of craftsmanship, incorporating a wide range of materials, including agate, lapis lazuli, Sicilian red and green jasper, chalcedony, amethyst quartz and other superb hardstones.

It takes its name from Somerset’s home, Badminton House, where the 12ft 7in cabinet stood for over 25 years. Following the death of the tenth Duke in 1984, the cabinet made its way into the public domain when it was sold at auction.

When it returned to auction in 2004, it broke its own record price and sold for $36,662,106 to Dr Johan Kraeftner, Director of the Lichtenstein Museum in Vienna.

9) Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 by Georgia O’Keeffe

In 2014, Jimson Weed/White Flower No.1 broke records as the most expensive work by a female artist. The world-renowned Georgia O’Keeffe’s previous auction record was $6.2 million, a figure which was eclipsed by the sale of this painting.

Best known for her signature style and subject of magnified flowers, this particular canvas is unusually large for O’Keeffe. Born in 1887, O’Keeffe is recognised today as the mother of American modernism for her work.

Sotheby’s described the painting as “a strikingly bold and elegant representation of the artist’s mature intent and aesthetic.”

The purchase was primarily funded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, who helped to obtain the piece for the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The piece sold for $44,400,000 in New York.

8) 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta

Another record-breaking sale, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta is the most expensive car ever sold at auction.

Hailed as the “Holy Grail in collectable cars,” the Berlinetta was built to compete in the 3-litre class FIA World Championship in 1962. It won the 1962 GT championship and has over 15 wins to its name. It was also driven by Phil Hill, the first American Formula 1 World Champion. What’s more, it is also fit for street use.

Ferrari’s GTO ‘family’ consists of just 39 cars, and this Berlinetta lived safely under the ownership of Italian enthusiast Fabrizio Violati for 49 long years, until it was re-sold in 2014.

The car sold again in 2018 at Sotheby’s for $48,000,000.

7) Oppenheimer Blue Diamond

There could have been a number of rare diamonds on this list, but the Oppenheimer Blue diamond made history in 2016 as the most expensive jewel ever sold at auction.

The diamond is also the largest vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction, with its rectangular cut weighing 14.62 carats and previously belonging to Philip Oppenheimer.

The previous record was held by the Blue Moon Diamond, which sold for $48,600,000.

Bidding opened at 30 million Swiss francs at Christie’s in Geneva and was ultimately sold for $57,600,000 to a phone bidder after an extensive 20 minute battle.

6) Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) by David Hockney

This enigmatic painting of two men and a swimming pool by David Hockney sold at Christie’s in November 2018.

David Hockney is a talented painter, craftsman and set designer. He has been on the art scene since the 1960s and is currently enjoying somewhat of a renaissance.

The painting, by an openly gay artist, depicts the emotional life of gay men – a rare theme in artwork at such a price point. It was one of the most admired paintings at Mr Hockney’s retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Surpassing its predecessor, Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons, the painting broke records as the most expensive work by a living artist, selling for $90,300,00.

5) Rabbit by Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons wasn’t without the record for long, however. The controversial artist’s sculpture took the place as the most expensive work by a living artist just six months after David Hockney’s painting broke the record.

The shiny stainless steel sculpture, created in 1986, was inspired by a child’s inflatable toy and has been revered by art critics as elegant and alluding to earlier pieces by Duchamp and Warhol.

Koons’ career has been uneven, and so the sale comes as validation after he was forced to downsize his studio in 2017.

The sculpture sold at Christie’s to Robert E. Mnuchin, an art dealer and father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The price stood at $91,100,000 when the hammer fell.

4) Giacometti’s Pointing Man

“L’homme au doigt” or “Pointing Man” is a life-sized sculpture of a thin man in the typical style of artist Alberto Giacometti. Giacometti is widely celebrated as a giant of the modern art world.

The sculpture took just nine hours to make – Giacometti created it in one night in 1947, hurrying to have it ready for his first exhibition in New York. Initially it was meant as part of a larger composition, but Giacometti changed his mind, deciding that the sculpture was a complete work on its own.

As a result of this sale at Christie’s in 2015, The National Portrait Gallery announced its first ever Giacometti exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death, which ran in 2016.

When it was sold in New York for $141,000,000, it became the most valuable sculpture ever sold at auction – beating another of Giacometti’s sculptures, the famous “The Walking Man”, which sold in 2010 for $104,000,000.

3) The Gigayacht

The most expensive online auction was the sale of the Gigayacht. The Gigayacht is a 405 foot long pleasure yacht kitted out with innumerable luxuries, from a movie theatre and helipad to its 18 guest rooms and suites. However, the yacht was not yet built on the date of the sale.

The yacht’s design has a unique draw of just 5 feet, allowing her to motor into most ports.

Craig Timm, president of 4Yacht Inc, asked for a half price bid, with the understanding that the actual price would be twice that, due to eBay’s inability to process bids above $99,999,999.

The winning bid was $168,000,000 on eBay.

2) Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) by Pablo Picasso

Painted in 1955 by Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) [link: https://www.christies.com/features/Pablo-Picassos-Les-femmes-dAlger-6039-3.aspx] was created as part of Picasso’s rivalry with Henri Matisse that turned into a sort of adoration. After Matisse’s death in 1954, Picasso mourned by creating 15 works in homage to Eugene Delacroix’s 1834 painting Les Femmes d’Alger, which was held in high regard by the late Matisse. The original depicted Algerian concubines in their harem and was known in the 19th century for its sexual content. In the 1950s, it hung in the Louvre where Picasso would visit it.

When asked how he felt about Delacroix, Picasso replied “That bastard. He’s really good.”

The vivid cubist masterpiece sold at Christie’s in 2015, to an uproar of cheers, applause and gasps, for a breathtaking $179,400,000.

1) Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

A long-forgotten painting, it was authenticated in 2008 as a lost masterpiece of Leonardo Da Vinci by some of the world’s greatest Da Vinci experts in London. One such expert remarked that the painting had “presence.”

Despite rumblings in the art community that the painting was illegitimate, and possibly the work of Da Vinci’s imitator, Bernadino Luini, the portrait of Christ was unveiled for the first time in the National Gallery in 2011. Six years later, it sold at Christie’s and became the most expensive painting ever auctioned. It was purchased for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and was scheduled to be unveiled in September 2018. However, for the time being, it has been postponed without explanation.

Whilst some critics have taken the postponement to mean that the painting has been discovered to be a fake, the most likely theories suggest that there has been significantly more restoration required on the painting than previously anticipated. Some images have been released of the restoration, which has cleaned back some of the original treatment by respected restorer Dianne Dwyer Modestini.

With only 20 or so Da Vinci paintings surviving today, the Salvator Mundi – if indeed authentic – is truly priceless – which explains why it tops our list at an enormous sale price of $450,300,000.

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Rolex – History of the Icon

In the world of high-end watches, there are many worthy brands to choose from. Watch collectors and lovers will wax lyrical about their favourite makers – but ultimately there is one which has done something incredible.

One brand has made the leap from being revered in watch-circles, to being globally known as a style, design, and mechanical marvel. Over the course of a century, that brand has continually grown in popularity through innovation, while retaining their classical elegant appearance.

That brand is, of course, Rolex, and this is their journey.

From humble beginnings

Rolex is now a multi-billion dollar company, making multiple hundreds of thousands of watches a year which are sold and revered in every corner of the world. But an icon is never born an icon, it’s the result of hard work and humble beginnings – Rolex is no different.

Hans Wildorf founded Wilsdorf and Davis, the company which would later become Rolex S.A with his brother-in-law, Alfred Davis, in 1905. Despite Rolex being renowned in Swiss watch-making, Wilsdorf himself was German-born and the shop was established in London, England.

The company’s long connection with Switzerland first began through Wilsdorf and Davis importing Swiss watch movements from Hermann Aegler. These movements would be implanted into cases made locally, and the resulting watch could be sold to local jewellers – many of whom were able to customise them by engraving their own names within the dial.

Wilsdorf had a vision that encompassed much more than making a little profit – he wanted to transform the wristwatch itself. At the time, wristwatches were little more than mostly re-purposed pocket watches. They were bulky, tempramental, and unreliable.

It was Wilsdorf’s goal to make a wristwatch that was everything the current wristwatches weren’t. He wanted to offer customers something truly reliable, an accurate timepiece that could be comfortably worn. This is why he began importing the superior quality Swiss movements.

The birth of an icon

1908 would be the birth of the word “Rolex”, the year the name was trademarked. But, what’s in a name? Well, in the case of Rolex, quite a lot – it was a name that was hard thought and had to satisfy several strict criteria.

Wilsdorf had a view of a global watch brand, and so he wanted his watch to be very easy to pronounce in any language. The name Rolex itself is famously attributed to his belief that it was onomatopoeic – he thought it was similar to the sound of a watch being wound. The name also had to be short, so as to easily fit on the face of a compact wristwatch.

La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland would become the sight of a new office from which Wilsdorf and Davis would sell their new brand of “Rolex” watches. The company would not become known as Rolex until later years.

Wilsdorf had a passion for making accurate timepieces, and the company quickly became known for the accuracy of their movements and the reliability of their watches. Rolex became the first watchmaker to earn chronometer wristwatch certification, in 1910.

A “Class A Precision Certificate” was awarded to a Rolex watch in 1914 by the Kew Observatory. This was notable because a regular wristwatch was being awarded a precision certification usually reserved for marine chronometers – which are of course held to a higher standard of accuracy.

Following this, the company name would begin to change. Firstly to Rolex Watch Co. Ltd in 1919, and then Montres Rolex S.A. a year later – this would later be shortened to Rolex S.A. The move to Geneva came in 1919 when a combination of heavy import costs for the precious metals used in the watch cases, and post-war luxury import levies forced Wilsdorf out of England.

The Hans Wilsdorf Foundation currently runs the company, and has done so since 1960 when Hans Wilsdorf died. The foundation itself was established after his wife’s death in 1944, and in which Wilsdorf would entrust his Rolex shares.

Most popular Rolex models

The Rolex catalogue of watches is filled with historical timepieces, too numerous to mention each in depth. There are, however, certain models among the brand’s offerings which have become cultural institutions of their own accord. Here are the most popular Rolex models.

The Datejust

If you’re a watch lover, or you have paid any attention to watches, you’ll notice that most of the modern watches you see today can trace their lineage back to the Rolex Datejust. Introduced in 1945, it combined a date feature on the watch dial with an automatic winding capability.

This allowed the date to be automatically adjusted at midnight, every day, and it would become the foundation for the overwhelming majority of wristwatches that followed over the next fifty years. The Datejust is a highly versatile watch, equally suited to everyday wear as well as special occasions.

The Submariner

Rolex created their highly famous waterproof watch and named it the Submariner. It was the second watch ever created that could remain waterproof up to 330 feet, with a multi-directional bezel to monitor both depth and diving time. The goal was for the Submariner to be easy to operate even when wearing gloves and underwater.

Rolex has a strong history with diving and waterproof watches. A specially made Rolex “DeepSea” was attached to the side of the underwater exploration vehicle Trieste during its historical exploration of the Mariana Trench. It kept perfect time on the 11,000 metre dive and the journey back to the surface.

The Daytona

Rolex has a history of sponsoring great sporting events, and their partnership with the famous Daytona Road Beach Course culminated in the release of the Rolex Daytona in 1963. As official timekeepers, the watch was designed to be worn by racing drivers, with features to match.

The Daytona is a strongly build watch, waterproof, and capable of resisting the g-forces drivers experience when racing at high speed. It’s also capable of measuring speeds of up to 400 kilometres per hour, with three sub-dials within the face for measuring seconds, minutes, and hours.

The Yacht-Master

Many of Rolex’s most famous designs are several decades old, which makes the relatively new Yacht-Master something of a modern classic. It was released in 1992 and, as the name implied, had sailors in mind thanks to its waterproof construction and easy to read dial.

The Yacht-Master is a consistent favourite among Rolex lovers because of its striking design, its reliability, and its usability. The face has been designed to be easily read, even in strong storms and adverse weather conditions, making it an excellent choice for an “everyday Rolex”.

Rolex GMT-Master

Rolex has a history of designing watches to suit the needs of certain types of people – the Submariner for divers, the Daytona for racing drivers, and the Yacht-Master for sailors. The GMT-Master was designed with pilots and navigators in mind, in conjunction with Pan Am Airways.

One of the most famous features of the GMT-Master is its ability to display two alternate time-zones at the same time, allowing for much easier cross-continental travel. The face has also been designed to be as easy to read as possible, when working in dimly lit cockpits and cabins.

Notable wearers and sponsorships

Rolex has become a global icon of watch-making not only through their exquisite quality and accurate time-keeping, but as a result of their popularity with a large number of celebrities and cultural icons. Rolex have also been known to sponsor a large number of high profile sporting events.

Famous wearers of their watches include Hollywood A-list celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Robert Downey Jnr. They were also popular with cultural icons such as Steve McQueen and Paul Newman – Newman’s specially designed Daytona became the most expensive watch ever sold in 2017, when it made $17.75 million at auction.

Rolex also found favour with many other historical icons. Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, and the Dalai Llama have all been photographed wearing, or expressed their appreciation for, Rolex watches. Marilyn Monroe gifted a Rolex Day-Date to John. F. Kennedy before her famous “Happy Birthday, Mr President” performance.

Rolex Oysters were worn by Tenzing Norgay, along with other Hut Expedition members, when they famously ascended Mount Everest in 1953. Rolex is also an official timekeeper in multiple tennis tournaments, such as Wimbledon, the Grand Slams, as well as the US, French and Australian Open.

Rolex serves as the official timekeeper for multiple golf events, including the Open Championship, U.S Open, as well as the European and PGA tour. As exhibited with their famous Daytona model, Rolex serves as title sponsor for the 24 Hours of Daytona, and since 2013 has been the official timekeeper of FIA Formula 1.

Rolex today

All of this storied history, cultural importance, and time-keeping excellence has led to Rolex still being at the top of many people’s list when they consider a truly premium watch. An impressive feat for a company established well over a century ago – however, Rolex appears to be going from strength to strength.

Rolex still makes its home in Geneva, from which they operate a multi-billion dollar company selling high-class watches to customers the world over. Rolex are famously guarded about certain statistics regarding their business, but it has been estimated they currently make in excess of 800,000 watches a year.

Purchasing a Rolex is, at its heart, purchasing a fine-quality timepiece. But, it’s about more than that. When you buy a Rolex, you buy something truly special. If you choose your model well, you have an investment-grade watch that will always be desirable.

Rolex is, and always will be, synonymous with excellence.

If you are looking to sell your watch in the LA or Beverly Hills area, then we will buy your watch from you today! For more specific information on each of over 43 brands of fine watches we buy or loan against please visit some of the pages of the individual brands: Harry WinstonHublotIWCJaeger Le CoultreOmegaPiagetRoger DubuisNardinA Lange & SohnePreziusoAudemarsPiguetBamfordBlancpainBreguetBreitlingBvlgariCartierFranck MullerPaneraiPatek PhilippeRichard MilleRolex, or Vacheron Constantin to name just a few of the many brands we buy or loan against.

Loans on fine watches as Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe – The Story of an icon

Anyone who has ever had the honour of owning a hand finished and highly individual Patek Philippe timepiece will know what a marvel of design creativity and watchmaking genius it is.

They are aspirational items; watches favoured by the highest echelons of society and members of royal families for generations. Demand for new Patek Philippe watches is so high that some of the Genevan manufacturer’s most-sought-after items are only available on application, and you join a waiting list that could last years. The process also requires evidence of your credentials as a collector.

How did Patek Philippe become such as illustrious brand, and what’s the story behind the company’s globally renowned expertise?

Defining the indefinable

Among the many reasons that distinctive and distinguished Patek Philippe watches earn such devotion is they are not ostentatiously “high end”. Their genius is often in their understated simplicity of design, to complement the intricacies of their watchmaking craftsmanship.

The words that spring to mind include elegant, unpretentious and confidently genius.

One of the ways that the Patek Philippe company underpins and protects this high value and strong brand loyalty is by not over-producing its ageless timepieces. Only a limited number of watches are crafted each year. In the company’s prestigious 180 year history, less than a million timepieces have carried that distinctive logo.

This has all served to increase the passion to own a Patek Philippe, as demand outstrips supply.

The care and precision that goes into each watch is also another factor that makes the company’s output less prolific than other brands. It is believed that Patek Philippe invests at least nine months of production time in each item that carries its moniker. Some of its more complex timepieces are the result of around two years of professional design, construction and quality checking.

The movements in a Patek Philippe watch are always created by hand, with infinite attention to detail. Each case is usually created in-house from solid gold or platinum.

Many of the skills used today are the same as those employed in the earliest days of the company’s history. Though engineering expertise is important to Patek Philippe, it believes that superlative handcrafting is far more important than the ability of modern technology to “save time”.

It is this incredible expertise in watchmaking that ultimately sets the company apart. It’s the little details that provide evidence that each piece is a “labour of love”, including flawlessly polished hands, faceted batons and intricate multifaceted movements.

The origins of this watchmaking artistry

Patek Philippe is a rare company, in that it has been forging its craft continuously since 1839 and has guarded its fortunes against the interests of bigger conglomerates and brands. It is the last, big independent Swiss watchmaker.

Patek Philippe has been owned by the Stern family for four generations.

Even as recently as May 2019, the current Chairman, Thierry Stern, was vocal in his assertion that Patek Philippe is “not for sale”. Instead, he vowed to guide the iconic brand forwards until his own children – or some other worthy successor – can take the helm.

The announcement was prompted by rumours that Patek Philippe was the subject of a buyout of between $8 billion to $10 billion.

(source: https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/news-analysis/patek-philippe-chairman-says-company-is-not-for-sale)

The Patek heritage

This fiercely independent and private owned watch manufacturer began life in the hands of Antoine Norbert de Patek. Patek was born in Poland in 1812 and fought in the Polish-Russian War, ultimately receiving his home country’s highest military honour for his heroism. When the uprising was repelled, Patek settling in France. He later moved again to live in Geneva, Switzerland.

Patek began developing his interest in the intricacies and creativity of Swiss watchmaking. He also soaked up inspiration and new skills from the work of Geneva’s outstanding plethora of jewellers and engravers. In May 1839, in partnership with fellow immigrants and family members, this fascinating man launched Patek, Czapek & Cie – Fabricants à Genève.

Though Patek’s initial partnership and company names were eventually replaced, more than once, this in no way indicates a rocky start to the company’s early years. The watches produced found immediate popularity. This growth was underpinned by success at the French Industrial Exposition of 1844, where Patek earned a Gold Medal for his patented mechanism for winding a movement, and positioning hands, without the use of a separate key.

This success was just one of the ways early Patek watches were cast firmly into the limelight, as Antoine Norbert de Patek was as astute at marketing as he was at watchmaking. He travelled extensively to promote his innovative and handcrafted products, eventually passing away in 1877 at the age of 65.

The Philippe heritage

Jean Adrien Philippe, born in 1815 in France, was also a gifted and visionary watchmaker. While living in Paris, he invented his own winding mechanism, one that enabled pocket watch owners to use a crown instead of a key.

Patek and Philippe crossed paths in Paris, at the previously mentioned French Industrial Exposition of 1844. As a result of their instant mutual respect, the gifted French watchmaker became technical director of Patek’s growing enterprise in 1845.

He was tasked with improving manufacturing methods to develop new models with additional distinctive features. This gave him the opportunity to further perfect his keyless winding mechanism, and to add more patents to the team’s list of watch process innovations. Philippe literally conceptualised the systems that are used to create movement in watches to this day.

The coupling of Patek and Philippe proved to be a “match made in heaven” in terms of superlative watchmaking. Now, the resulting handcrafted products benefited from Philippe’s mechanical genius, as well as Patek’s understanding of decoration, enamelling and jewellery.

From visionary founders, to passionate entrepreneurs

Time passed, and the founders, Patek and Philippe, were gone. The venture changed identities again in 1901 from Patek Philippe & Cie to the lengthy joint stock company “Ancienne Manufacture d’horlogerie Patek, Philippe & Cie, Société Anonyme”.

However, the company was fortunate to be in the hands of a new shareholding board of directors who were determined to protect both its future and its integrity.

Then came the Wall Street Crash and the economic hardships of the 1930s. The prestigious watchmakers reached a new watershed moment in its history. The shareholders agreed that a buyer was needed to assure its future.

The directors began talks with one of the company’s leading suppliers, dial manufacturers, Fabrique de Cadrans Stern Frères, which was owned by brothers Charles and Jean Stern. An already mutually beneficial working relationship eventually evolved into the Stern family owning the Patek Philippe company outright, from 1932 until the present day.

This new regime was responsible for the watch known as Ref. 96. The reason this is worth noting is that this product was the prototype for the Calatrava collection, which many argue is the purest line of watches in existence.

The newly reborn company also patented the Gyromax balance, another revolutionary watch mechanism that earned global interest, among other award-winning innovations and industry “firsts”.

Under the Stern family ownership, Patek Philippe also began applying its legendary innovation and vision to other business areas too. This included using the skills of its electronics team to become market leaders in railway and airport information systems.

New engineering focus, for brand betterment

The art of prestigious watchmaking remained the core of Patek Philippe.

One of the company’s most fertile periods of growth and innovation came in the 1970s. This is when engineering prowess was further developed, without compromising any of Patek Philippe’s artisan and sharply honed processes.

Building the firm’s engineering abilities served to protect manufacturing standards, and to ensure that the company’s components, watch servicing and repairs were of an unfailingly high calibre. It also supported a “new breed” of much sought after Patek Philippe watches.

It was during the 1970s that Philippe Stern – a keen sportsman – became determined to create a watch that met the needs of his generation of discerning buyers. From this came the classic “Nautilus Ref 3700/1A” in 1976, sold with the branding “One of the world’s most expensive watches is made of steel”.

The 1970s also saw the launch of the globally renowned ultra-thin Patek Philippe Caliber 240, which included a patented automatic winder.

The innovations continued. In 1989, the 150th anniversary of Patek Philippe was marked by the launch of the Calibre 89, which at the time was the most complex and intricate watch in existence (a record held for 26 years). These watches rarely come up for auction, but a yellow-gold Calibre 89 watch sold for over $5 million in 2009.

(source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolbesler/2017/03/11/sothebys-to-offer-patek-philippe-caliber-89-will-it-smash-the-24-million-record/#7912cb2a4af6)

This was not a record, however, as a Patek Philippe Ref.1518 fetched $11 million in 2016.

There is more on the history and ethos of the company on its own website https://www.patek.com/en/company/the-manufacture#patek-philippe-key-points and interesting information on Patek Philippe heritage and innovation on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patek_Philippe_SA

What is the value of a Patek Philippe watch?

The above examples illustrate an irrefutable fact. Both new and vintage Patek Philippe watches command prices that outstrip other iconic companies in this sector.

This is particularly true of items that stand out for additional reasons, in terms of rarity or commemorative appeal.

According to Christie’s, re-sale of Patek Philippe’s 175th-anniversary collection reached “extraordinary prices” the instant it became available. The iconic company’s 5131 Cloisonné Enamel doubled its retail value at auction within days of its original sale.

This is a watch brand that grows in value very quickly, and substantially. For example, in November 2018, Christie’s illustrated this phenomenon, saying: “An original Nautilus from the 1970s, which originally retailed for less than $3,000, now trades for more than $50,000.”

(source: https://www.christies.com/features/5-reasons-collectors-love-Patek-Philippe-7390-1.aspx)

The high investment potential of a Patek Philippe’s watch is clearly another reason why owners are generally extremely reluctant to sell a timepiece crafted by this prestigious company.

Authenticity and archives

To protect the brand and to enable owners or potential owners to research each individual timepiece, Patek Philippe has an unrivalled system for authentication.

Every watch made by the company has a distinctive feature – almost like a unique fingerprint – that enables it to be individually listed in the company archives. These archive entries are date stamped and ‘searchable’.

If you wish to explore the value of your Patek Philippe watch and potentially secure loan funding from your timeless timepiece, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive.

If you are looking to sell your watch in the LA or Beverly Hills area, then we will buy your watch from you today! For more specific information on each of over 43 brands of fine watches we buy or loan against please visit some of the pages of the individual brands: Harry WinstonHublotIWCJaeger Le CoultreOmegaPiagetRoger DubuisNardinA Lange & SohnePreziusoAudemarsPiguetBamfordBlancpainBreguetBreitlingBvlgariCartierFranck MullerPaneraiPatek PhilippeRichard MilleRolex, or Vacheron Constantin to name just a few of the many brands we buy or loan against.

We buy and pawn against Patek Philippe Watches

Top 10 Most Expensive Patek Phillipe Watches Ever Sold on Auction

Patek Philippe has been responsible for designing some of the most beautiful and sophisticated watches, and commands great acclaim across the globe for the fine craftsmanship and innovative technologies of every timepiece in their range. The company was founded back in 1839 by designers Antoni Patek and Francois Czapeck, though the name at that time was Patek, Czapeck & Co. They started out designing and selling high-end pocket watches, and in 1845 Francois Czapeck moved on from the company. Antonie Patek soon met a new business partner by the name of Jean Adrien Philippe, and in 1951 the company’s name was changed to Patek Philippe & Co.

In 1868, history was made when Patek Philippe created the world’s very first wristwatch. This would go on to become the preferred type of timepiece, with pocket watches gradually losing popularity ever since. Today, the iconic Geneva-based company is responsible for bringing a number of groundbreaking innovations to the industry, and retains its place at the top of the pile when it comes to luxury watchmakers. Numerous figures from the worlds of celebrities, dignitaries and even royalty wear a Patek Philippe watch, and some of the designer’s most complex and intricate watches are also among the most expensive that have ever been sold at auction.

Here are the top 10 Patek Philippe watches ever sold at auction:

10. The 1936 Pilot Watch

This timepiece first came into the world in 1936, and stood out primarily due to its revolutionary case size, which has a diameter of 55 millimeters. It is thought to be a prototype made on special request, and as such there is only a single model known to exist. The casing is made from chrome and nickel, the dial a superb black lacquer, and the scales are carved from the finest ivory varnish. The combination of these luxurious features culminates in a piece that is a work of pure art, and the auction price of the piece has reflected this. It sells at auction for around $1.7 million, and is a deserving member of this list.

9. The 1925 Grogan

There is one feature of this watch that is particularly unique: it is the only model to the Patek Philippe name that was designed specifically for left-handed people to wear. As such, the controls and keys are all fitted on the left hand side of the watch, and the chronograph is custom designed. In terms of design, it features a more square face with defined corners and the casing is fashioned from gold. When auctioned by Christie’s in 2006, the 1925 Grogan fetched $1.95 million and earned its place as one of Patek Philippe’s top timepieces.

8. The 1944 Model 1591

In 1944, the world was introduced to Patek Philippe’s model 1591; a timepiece with a bold, functional stainless steel case. It features a perpetual calendar and boasts a water-resistant design that was really quite innovative for the 1940s. It is an incredibly rare piece, with only two of them known to exist in the world. Few were even aware of the existence of this model until it first came to auction in 1996. Astonishingly, it came to the auction house via India’s Maharajah, who had given it as a gift to his wedding planner. The second known Model 1591 was auctioned by Christie’s in a 2007 event, where it made history by becoming the most expensive watch with a stainless steel case ever to be auctioned. The price there for the Patek Philippe Model 1591 was a staggering $2.26 million.

7. The 1957 Model 2499

The first series Patek Philippe Model 2499 is another diamond in the ruff, with only five known to have been produced. It is a rose gold marvel, bearing the signature Patek Philippe stamp and weighing in a 18 karats. In 2007, during a special event at Christie’s, a 1957 Model 2499 became one of the most expensive watches ever to be sold up to that time. The winning bidder parted with $2.28 million to become an owner of one of the rarest watches in the world.

6. The 1953 Heures Universelles Model 2523

Patek Philippe’s Heures Universelles Model 2523 first hit the market in 1953 and it’s a real stunner. Its face is adorned with a vibrant design that does full justice to the grand name. You will be hard pressed to find a more meticulously-designed watch amongst the brand’s proud and extensive back-catalogue, with the enamel dial representative of a map of the entire of north America. The case of the Heures Universelles Model 2523 is made from 18 karat gold, and the piece has fetched as much as $2.9 million at auction.

5. The 1923 Officer

The 1923 Officer is a peerless, one-of-a-kind timepiece that exudes classic sophistication and stylistic features. Its case is crafted from yellow gold with a weight of 18 karats, and its chronograph is distinctive and memorable. The piece incorporates an exterior chapter ring, which features calibration for 1/5th seconds, and two subsidiary dials: one at the ‘9’ position displaying continuous seconds, and a 60-minute register at the ‘3’ position.

The 1923 Officer is the only chronograph watch from Patek Philippe’s portfolio which includes a 60-minute counter, and it is also the only model they have which features a dial of white enamel adorned with black Breguet numerals. It is also the world’s earliest know split-seconds chronograph born as a wristwatch from any watchmaking company. The chronograph function is controlled via the button on the band for stop, start and reset, while the split-second hand function can be controlled with the winding crown. The Patek Philippe Museum was the subject of a fierce bidding war, and eventually ended up in the hands of the Patek Philippe Museum for a cool $2.965 million.

4. The 1927 Minute Repeating Wristwatch

This enigmatically-shaped watch includes beautiful yellow gold and bears the coat of arms of the Graves family. Henry Graves had a close connection with Patek Philippe, and also owned their Super Complication piece, which carried a value of $11 million but wasn’t worn on the wrist. When auctioneers at Sotheby’s put the 1927 Minute Repeating timepiece up for sale, with a reserve price of $600,000, it actually ended up selling for a grand total of $2.99 million. One defining feature of the watch is that it was specially made for Henry Graves, and incorporated his personal “Esse Quam Videri” message, which means “To be, not to seem”.

3. The 1951 Ref 2499

The First Series of Ref 2499 Patek Philippe wristwatches is made from rose gold with a weight of 18 karats. Its many outstanding features include signature stamping, a moon phase dial and a perpetual calendar. A standard 1951 Ref 2499 First Series watch will cost at least $2.12 million at auction, but that’s not the piece we are interested in here. In 2012 a very special platinum Ref 2499 was auctioned; one of only two that were constructed with this platinum casing. But what made it truly special was that it came from the private collection of music icon Eric Clapton, known for his long-term commitment to collecting Patek Philippe watches. His piece sold for $3,655,757. It is special characteristics like this, or sometimes seemingly minute distinctions, that can make all the difference when it comes to auction price. Collectors love scarcity, and unique features are extremely in-demand.

2. The 1939 Platinum World Time

The platinum World Time wristwatch stands out as Patek Philippe’s absolute masterpiece in terms of design. There was only a single World Time model produced, which instantly sets it apart from most other watches out there. Meticulous, rigorous craftsmanship was poured into every element of the design, which incorporates a list of no less than 42 of the world’s most prominent cities and 24 time zones from all over the globe around the face in painstaking precision. It sold at the Antiqorum in 2002 for an impressive $4.03 million.

1. The 1943 Ref 1527

The most impressive Patek Philippe wristwatch ever to appear at auction also held the highest pricetag. The 1943 Ref 1527 sold for an incredible $5.5 million in a record-breaking sale at a 2010 Christie’s auction in Geneva – the home of the company’s headquarters for its entire history. It became the most expensive wristwatch ever made, with only two pocket watches topping its remarkable price. The winning bid was made by a Swiss museum that wanted to exhibit the timepiece for its unique features and Patek Philippe’s close connections to Switzerland.

The vintage timepiece includes a chronograph, an elaborate moon phase display and a relentlessly iconic perpetual calendar. Add to this some deluxe features like minute markings, gold Arabic numbers, bi-metallic compensation balance, a date indicator and no less than 23 encrusted gemstones and it’s no wonder this beautiful work of art fetched such a high price at auction. The 37 millimeter dial is silver matte, and larger than the vast majority of dials on watches produced around the same era. Its case is yellow gold and weighs in at 18 karats.

In a digital age where smartphones reign supreme, it’s encouraging that people are still willing to pay good money for the precision engineering of a deluxe clockwork timepiece. Whether the value comes from a tried-and-tested way of telling time or the beauty of wearing a work of art on the wrist, watch buyers are prepared to invest serious amounts of money in the most luxurious watches. Patek Philippe watches are some of the most in-demand as collector’s items, and the pieces listed here are at the very top-end of the scale in terms of what people have been willing to spend their money on at auction.

If you are looking to sell your watch in the LA or Beverly Hills area, then we will buy your watch from you today! For more specific information on each of over 43 brands of fine watches we buy or loan against please visit some of the pages of the individual brands: Harry WinstonHublotIWCJaeger Le CoultreOmegaPiagetRoger DubuisNardinA Lange & SohnePreziusoAudemarsPiguetBamfordBlancpainBreguetBreitlingBvlgariCartierFranck MullerPaneraiPatek PhilippeRichard MilleRolex, or Vacheron Constantin to name just a few of the many brands we buy or loan against.

How to get your fine watch valued in Beverly Hills

Top 10 Most Expensive Rolexes Ever Sold at Auction

If you’re looking for a watch that perfectly matches your style, stands the test of time and provides that extra touch of classic appeal, then you’ve likely considered the Rolex. One of the world’s premier watchmaker brands, there’s a reason that these luxury time-pieces carry such a hefty price tag. The ultimate in indulgence, a Rolex isn’t just a purchase; it’s an investment.

However, when it comes to the best Rolexes in the world, it’s not the average piece you can pick up in a store. To go big, you need to go to auction. Especially when it comes to those one-of-a-kind models or unique examples of precisely what Rolex can do. Read on to discover ten of the world’s best Rolexes, and how much they sold for at auction.

1. James Bond’s 1973 Rolex Submariner

When it comes to expensive taste in watches, there are few men with taste as good as James Bond. While the character himself may be fictional, this 1973 Submariner was tailor-made for one movie particular – the eight film in the series, 1973’s Live and Let Die starring Roger Moore. In comparison to the usual Rolex, Bond’s included some additional career-specific features, including a sharp bezel to cut rope. Though the magnetic field is not a feature on the real watch, it still served to provide plenty of entertainment to movie-goers.

Designed in pure silver with gold accent pieces for added effect, this watch is as classic as they come and perfectly matches to 70s Rolex aesthetic, adding that integral final part to any tuxedo look you might choose. Sold in 2015 for $365,000, this piece of movie history is sure to be just as enjoyable for its new owners as it was for Bond fans, especially considering its unique history and famous past owner.

2. Steve McQueen 1967 Rolex Submariner

Another Submariner on the list, proving just how popular this specific model of Rolex is to the right and famous. One of Hollywood’s brightest stars, Steve McQueen’s 1967 Submariner was chosen to match his aesthetic and style and was no stranger to his many fashion editorials and premiere appearances. Clean, classic and always in style; just like McQueen himself.

Featuring a more muted colour palette that worked perfectly for one of Hollywood’s most in-demand actors, McQueen’s Rolex is as reliable as it is appealing to look at. With a navy bezel, black face and white accents, all on a silver base, there’s little not to love about this simplistic design. It says it all. Selling at auction for $234,000, its high price was entirely based on its past owner and his ongoing legacy as one of Hollywood’s greats.

3. Dr Rajendra Prasad’s Rolex Oyster Perpetual in Gold

Unique in appearance and with an impressive history that will appeal to any collector, this gold Rolex dates back to 1950, where it was gifted to India’s first president, Dr Rajendra Prasad, on the first day of his constitution. The design of the watch was personalised for the man himself, including an 18k pink gold map of India, in addition to an engraving of the date he became president. Following his death, the watch was lost or stolen before reappearing at auction in 2011, 47 years later.

A true example of the robust nature of the Rolex, this decades-old time-piece continues to be just a striking as the day it was created, thanks to its vibrant gold finish and distinct design elements. With such a unique piece of history, it’s no surprise that the watch went for a staggering $440,000 at auction, continuing its legacy as one of the most valuable Rolexes in history. However, to this day it seems the family of Dr Prasad are still hoping to reclaim the lost time-piece, despite its increasing worth.

4. Paul Newman Ferrari Red Rolex Daytona

If you’ve even considered collecting or familiarising yourself with the world of Rolexes, then you’re likely already heard of Paul Newman’s penchant for some of the most prolific Rolexes in the world. Known for a wide range of different personas, from his work as an actor to a film director, and even his time as a race car driver, Paul Newman’s history is part of what makes this Ferrari Red Rolex so appealing. The watch was a gift to the star directly from Rolex, with only eight of these limited Rolexes still existing today.

Instantly recognisable for their vibrant red face, set against black elements and finalised with a beautiful silver exterior, the Ferrari Red Rolex is impressive enough alone with its fascinating history. However, with Paul Newman’s name attached to this time-piece, this unique piece of the past sold for an astonishing $267,203 at auction.

5. Eric Clapton’s 1971 Rolex Daytona

Known as one of the world’s greatest musical artists, the name ‘Eric Clapton’ is sure to add value to any time-piece. Known for his affinity for luxury wristwear – including several Rolexes – it’s no surprise that the musician was able to take his pick. This ‘Oyster Albino’ Daytona is one of a minimal run of four, further adding to its value and making the piece highly coveted by collectors worldwide.

With a silver appearance and black accents, this watch is as slick as is it attractive, with a distinct 1970s feel to it. Created from stainless steel, Eric Clapton’s 1971 Rolex Daytona is worth far more than the sum of its parts. Though the time-piece has changed hands multiple times over the years, its most recent price at auction was a very impressive $1.4 million back in 2015. As one of the most expensive watches in history, there are very few collectors who wouldn’t want to get their hands on this unique design.

6. Bao Dai Rolex

A completely unique, and utterly fascinating Rolex, the Bao Dai Rolex in unlike anything else. Previously owned by the last emperor of Vietnam, and known for its visually striking appearance, this Rolex has a fascinating history, and was initially sold at auction in 2002 for a far lower price than you’d expect for such a luxury item; $235,000.

With a striking black dial, diamond indexes and a yellow gold finish, including a moon phase and calendar, it soon turned out that over $250,000 for this Rolex was an excellent deal; with collectors the world over soon gaining interest in the truly one-of-a-kind watch. In 2017, the watch sold for twenty times its original auction value, at an astounding $5.1 million, proving that a profit can certainly be made when it comes to collection the world’s most famous watches.

7. Paul Newman’s Personalised Rolex Daytona

When it comes to Rolexes, Paul Newman’s name is a regular occurrence. In comparison to his Ferrari Red Rolex, however, this unique time-piece tops the charts by a large margin. One of the most sought-after Rolexes on the planet, this beautiful watch was originally a gift from Newman to his wife, Joanne. Personalised with ‘drive carefully me’ and purchased originally in New York, this rare time-piece is a popular favourite not just for its design, but for its unique history too.

With a more contemporary leather strap and a combination of creams, browns and silvers, this Rolex could be considered understated in comparison to some of the other watches on this list. However, the ultra-rare design, combined with the engraved message, resulted in a mind-blowing auction price of $17.8 million for this fascinating historical piece.

8. The 1971 ‘Unicorn’ Rolex Daytona

When it comes to the types of Rolex available, the Daytona seems to always come out on top. From Paul Newman’s priceless models to the beautiful and luxurious Unicorn, these watches always seem to fetch an excellent price. Named for its almost mythical design and impressive construction, the Unicorn originates in the 1970s and is one of the rarest variations of the Daytona on offer.

Created in an elegant 18k white gold, and utilising quality metal instead of acrylic in its design, the Unicorn is unique and one-of-a-kind, making it highly sought-after for its attractive appearance and style. As you’d expect for such an incredible time-piece, the Unicorn fetches an excellent price at auction, with its latest sale in 2018 costing $5.9 million. It’s marginally more expensive than the Bao Dai Rolex, making it the second most expensive Rolex ever to be auctioned.

9. Paul Newman 1969 Cosmograph Daytona

Paul Newman’s excellent taste in watches doesn’t end with his personalised watch for his beloved wife. The Cosmograph Daytona is yet another example of excellence in design from Newman’s extensive time-piece collection. Created in 1969, this legendary time-piece included screw-down pushers as well as an Art Deco style design, making it a piece that’s more highly coveted than practically any other watch in existence.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the elegant time-piece is still in like-new condition fifty years after its creation, further adding to its value. Thanks to the robust and functional design, this Rolex will still function like new for its new owner, should they choose to wear it rather than store it away. As with Newman’s other watches, the Cosmograph Daytona auctions off for an outstanding amount at auction, selling in 2017 for $3.7 million.

10. 1942 Rolex Antimagnetique

The oldest Rolex on this list, the Rolex Antimagnetique has origins back in 1942, making the time-piece now over 77 years old. Finely-crafted to gift to racing drivers, the popularity of Rolexes increased from this time due to their rarity and attractive style. With 12 watches in total, each with a wide diameter of 44mm, they are the largest Rolexes ever produced.

With several different variants of the famous wristwatch available, these watches are increasingly sought-after by collectors. In 2016, one of the 12 sold at auction for an incredible $2.4 million, doubling its previous sale only a couple of years prior. At this rate, the Antimagnetique range will only continue to skyrocket in value as they become rarer and more challenging to maintain.

If you’re a fan of Rolexes, or if you love the feel of a valuable watch on your wrist, then auctions might be the way to go. With more and more sought-after Rolexes being found at auction every year, there’s never been a better time to pick up that variant you’ve been coveting, or that design you’ve fallen in love with.

If you are looking to sell your watch in the LA or Beverly Hills area, then we will buy your watch from you today! For more specific information on each of over 43 brands of fine watches we buy or loan against please visit some of the pages of the individual brands: Harry WinstonHublotIWCJaeger Le CoultreOmegaPiagetRoger DubuisNardinA Lange & SohnePreziusoAudemarsPiguetBamfordBlancpainBreguetBreitlingBvlgariCartierFranck MullerPaneraiPatek PhilippeRichard MilleRolex, or Vacheron Constantin to name just a few of the many brands we buy or loan against.

5 Types of Jewelry Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive Will Loan on Right Now !

 

When you need to get money fast, one of the ideas that is likely to cross your mind is to sell your precious jewelry. Of course, this means parting with prized items that may have as much sentimental value as monetary value. Fortunately, there is another way your jewelry could help you get money fast. If you have the right type of jewelry, you could use it as collateral to take out an asset loan from Pawnbrokers at Rodeo Drive, the ultimate pawnbroking service in Beverly Hills. If you need cash, check out this list of 5 types of fine jewelry that are sure to secure you a loan to solve your problems.

Pawn your engagement & wedding rings

Do you have any valuable engagement or wedding rings? These are truly special pieces that typically hold a particularly high dollar value – in Geneva in 2015, a diamond ring sold for an incredible $28.5 million at auction! But far greater than this is their sentimental value. Parting with these items at times when you need cash can be an incredibly difficult thing to do, but fortunately, you don’t have to actually pawn your engagement & wedding rings. Many people choose to borrow against these valued pieces as a great way to secure your much-needed capital.

With items of such importance, you need to be assured that we make every effort to keep them safe and secure whilst we hold them. At Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive, we use a highly secure storage facility when our clients take loans against engagement & wedding rings. You can rest assured your precious possessions are kept safe while you are making your loan repayments. Whether you are paying off debt, investing in a house or car or making a business move, taking out a loan against your engagement or wedding ring is a popular option. And at Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive we work with expert jewelry valuers to ensure you get the best possible loan.

Beverly Hills Pawnbroking & lending offers loans against engagement rings and loans against wedding rings amongst the many other pawn services they offer.

Pawn your vintage jewelry

Antique and vintage jewelry can be a complicated asset due to the fact that opinion can vary on its value as an antique piece. If you decide to pawn your vintage jewelry, you run the risk of getting an inaccurate valuation, and you also give up an asset that might continue to appreciate in value over time. A far better option is to take out loans against vintage jewelry if you are in need of capital. As long as you keep up with your repayments, you will get your antique back, ready to keep in the family or make money for you further down the line.

We work with professional, experienced valuers to ensure your vintage jewelry is always valued accurately. We are customer service driven, striving to offer the best payout on your valuables in every transaction. Vintage jewelry is typically understood to be something that is more than 30 years old, and if it is over 100 years old then it becomes antique. The La Peregrina pearl, once owned by King Philip II of Spain, sold for $37,000 in 1969, but then sold for $11.8 million in 2011. Age and history are what make vintage jewelry so precious, and their value can increase dramatically. At Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive, we are happy to accept fine vintage jewelry for asset loans.

Pawn my diamond necklaces

A popular option to secure a substantial payout is to take out loans against diamond necklaces. In our two decades of experience as a leading pawnbroker in Beverly Hills, we have helped countless clients secure instant access to capital for a huge range of purposes with loans against diamond necklaces. Again, it is a preferable option to pawning your diamond necklaces, as you can have your item returned once the loan period expires.

We have our own resident diamond brokers and gemological specialist advisers to evaluate fine diamond necklaces. Our appraisals are conducted with objectivity and accuracy to ensure your loan is in line with the current market sale value. Diamonds are consistently the most valuable type of stone on the market – in May 2016, a ring adorned with the Oppenheimer Blue diamond sold for $57.7 million in Geneva. While your diamonds may not reach such Earth-shattering prices, you should be able to achieve a good value to borrow against, helping you with whatever your monetary need may be.

Pawn your estate jewelry

The term ‘estate jewelry’ refers to any item of jewelry that is inherited through the estate of a deceased individual. Even if you have only owned the piece for a short time, it is an estate piece if you inherited it from someone else. However, the term is usually only used for jewelry that was made within the last 30 years or so, as anything older than that could be moving into vintage territory. In any case, if you want to use it to raise some capital you have the choice to pawn your estate jewelry or take out a loan against it.

At Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive we specialise in providing instant loans against estate jewelry at the high end of the market. We understand the sentimental value that can come with estate jewelry, as it has such strong connections with deceased loved ones. If you wish to borrow against estate jewelry, we urge you to approach us as we will handle the transaction with the appropriate care and compassion. We consistently grant loans against estate jewelry and handle your prized possessions with the greatest of care and security.

Beverly Hills pawnbroking & Lending offers two possibilities to estate jewelry owners: loans against estate jewelry or sell your estate jewelry. Call us today to pawn your Estate Jewelry.

Pawn my other fine jewelry

If you don’t have any of the specific pieces listed here, we offer you the opportunity to release capital by taking out loans against other fine jewelry. We are professional, high-end pawnbrokers with 25 years of experience working with fine jewelry of all types, and we will go all out to offer you the best value for your pieces. We accept things like Cartier watches and necklaces, art nouveau pieces by Rene Lalique and gemstones such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds and tanzanite.

Our resident specialists in jewelry, diamonds and gemology provide expert assessment and evaluation, so whether you want to take out a loan or pawn your fine jewelry you are certain to get the right price. We value every client that comes through our door, and guarantee to offer the same high quality of service and care with every transaction. Whatever your reasons for coming to us, and whatever assets you choose to bring to the table, you are in good hands with Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive.

Fine jewelry is a precious thing to possess. Its beauty, and the value it carries, give it a unique significance that can make it symbolic of the most important things in our lives; our loved ones. The capital you can generate from fine jewelry can be really helpful when you need money, but no-one wants to part with their most treasured items. An asset loan is the perfect solution to release capital without sacrificing your jewelry, and at Pawnbrokers Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills we specialise in this type of loan. Get in touch today for more information on getting a loan against your fine jewelry.

If you are looking to Sell Your Diamonds or Jewelry then we will also buy your pieces! Read more about the type of diamonds and some of the few brands we buy or loan against HERE, visit our loans on fine jewelry webpage, our loans on diamonds page or our antiques and collectibles webpage.

The Most Expensive Watches Sold at Auction Ever

There are few more lucrative auction items than collector’s edition watches. Hand-crafted with masterful precision and decorated with a taste for luxury, these timeless timepieces are works of beauty to treasure forever.

If you’re wondering what the ultimate in investment watches might be, here’s a round-up of the most expensive watches ever sold in auction houses.

maintain luxury watch

1) Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication (1932)

One of the most intricate watches ever produced, Patek Philippe’s 18-carat gold watch has a grand total of 24 complications. It was commissioned by Henry Graves Jr, a billionaire in banking and railroads, who wished to trump his professional rival James Ward’s Packard Grande Complication. This pocket watch was eight years in the making, and sold for $23,983,000 at Sotheby’s in Geneva.

 

2) Rolex Paul Newman Daytona Ref. 6230 (1968)

Formerly owned by the Hollywood star Paul Newman, the Daytona Ref. 6230 gathered lore around it (some even calling it the ‘Holy Grail’ of luxury watches). Initially gifted to the actor by his wife Joanne Woodward, the watch became iconic when he wore it constantly whilst launching a career in motor-racing. In 1984 he gifted it to his daughter’s boyfriend, and its whereabouts was unknown for decades until it surfaced in 2017 and was auctioned as part of Bacs & Russo in New York’s ‘Winning Icons: Milestone Watches of the 20th Century’ sale, at a final price of $17,753,000.

3) Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Ref. 1518 (1943)

This perpetual calendar wristwatch with chronograph sold at Phillips in Geneva for a total of $11,137,000. Painstakingly fabricated in stainless steel, 35mm in diameter, manually wound and with an ebauche movement by Valjoux, the watch was the first of its kind and is rare for being a complicated wristwatch in such a simple metal. Only four examples are known to exist in the world.

4) Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Ref. 5016A-010 (2015)

This unique piece was produced in 2015 for the Only Watch auction that year at Phillips in Geneva, where it sold for $7,259,000. Only Watch is a charity auction occurring every two years to benefit research into muscular dystrophy. The 5016A-010 was at that time the most complicated watch ever produced by Patek Philippe, and had a stainless-steel case and a dial in blue enamel displaying Arabic numbers. This hand-wound watch also features a tourbillon minute repeater and a moon-phase calendar.

5) Patek Philippe Titanium Ref. 5208T-010 (2017)

This Grand Complication wristwatch was produced for the Only Watch charity auction in 2017 at Christie’s in Geneva, and sold for $6,226,000. The watch is a self-winding minute repeater with a chronograph and a perpetual calendar that indicates the changes between day and night. Its rare titanium casing makes it especially notable, which accounts for the watch’s value. The watch comes with two choices of caseback, one in solid titanium and the other emblazoned with sapphire crystal.

6) Rolex Daytona Unicorn Ref. 6265 (1970)

Named the ‘Unicorn’ after its distinctive and rare white-gold design, this one-off wristwatch raised $5,937,000 at Phillips in Geneva, and the money was donated in full to the charity Children Action by watch collector John Goldberger. Featuring a black Sigma dial with white-gold indices and 18-carat engraving on its back, this luxurious sports watch is one of a kind. The Unicorn has a manually winding mechanism and a stainless-steel crown. The bracelet is also in white gold and was added by Goldberger to replace the original leather strap.

7) Patek Philippe Gold Chronograph Ref. 1527 (1943)

Produced during World War II, this stylish one-off watch features hallmarks of the era such as a large dial and curved lugs. Decorated in 18-carat rose gold with a perpetual calendar mechanism, this chronograph wristwatch features a moonphase indicator and a tonneau-shaped case. Its lever movement features a nickel finish and the watch is decorated with 23 gems. Arabic numbers decorate the dial. The 1527 was sold at Christie’s in Geneva for a total of $5,709,000.

8) Rolex Bao Dai Ref. 6062 (1952)

Once owned by Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam, who purchased it on a diplomatic trip to Geneva, this watch is the stuff of legends. It was produced in yellow gold with a triple calendar and moonphase indicator, as well as a dial in black and diamond indices. The watch has a waterproof Oyster case and a chronometer-assured automatic movement. It’s as easy to read as it is rare and storied, and it fetched $5,060,000 at Phillips auction house in Geneva in May 2017.

9) Patek Philippe Yellow Gold Calibre 89 (1989)

Produced to mark the brand’s 150th anniversary, the Calibre 89 was then hailed as the most complicated pocket watch in the whole world. Nine years in the making, it features 33 complications, 24 hands and a staggering sum total of 1,728 components. Produced in 18-carat yellow gold, the watch has an in-built thermometer and a star chart as well as a moonphase display, and weighs over a kilogram. The Calibre 89 was sold at Antiquorum auction house in Geneva in 2009 for a total of $5,042,000.

10) Patek Philippe White Gold Calibre 89 (1989)

A white gold version of the Calibre 89, this features all of the same features as its yellow-gold counterpart and was sold at Antiquorum in Geneva in 2004 for $5,003,000.

11) Patek Philippe Stainless Steel Ref. 130 (1927)

This monopusher-mechanism chronograph is a beautiful vintage piece and only two examples exist in the world (the other one is on permanent display in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva). It boasts a distinguished 13-inch ebauche movement by Victorin-Piguet and a silvered dial with two subsidiary dials and Arabic numerals. The rarity of the stainless-steel model is a large part of its value as well as its undeniable elegance. This watch sold for $4,987,000 at Phillips in Geneva in 2015.

12) Breguet & Fils, Paris, No. 2667 (1814)

This rare 19th-century pocket watch is made from 18-carat gold. Impressively, this precision watch features two distinct movements within the same plate. The jewelled mechanism is surrounded by calibrated lever escapements. Originally sold for 5,000 francs, this prized collector’s item raised a total of $4,686,000 at Christie’s in Geneva in May 2012.

13) George Daniels Yellow Gold Space Traveller’s (1982)

“When you are on your package tour to Mars you need a watch like this,” claimed the watchmaker when promoting this unique chronograph pocket-watch. Its double-wheel construction keeps track of both mean-solar and sideral time, as well as the age and phase of the moon, and indicates the equation of time. This cosmic timepiece is encased in 18-carat yellow gold and was sold at Sotheby’s in London for $4,325,000 in 2017.

14) Patek Philippe Platinum World Time Ref. 1415 (1939)

Developed in the late 1930s at a time when international telecommunication was becoming popularised, this early example of a world-time chronograph wristwatch features a revolving metal bezel engraved with the names of cities around the world. It was bought for $4,027,000 at Geneva’s Antiquorum in 2002.

15) Patek Philippe JB Champion Ref. 2458 (1952)

JB Champion was a very successful criminal defence lawyer with a passion for fine timepieces. This one-off platinum example was produced especially for him and features finely honed movements that were crafted to compete in a chronometry competition organised by Geneva Observatory. The watch was sold for $3,993,000 at Christie’s in Geneva in 2012.

If you are looking to sell your watch, then Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive will buy your watch from you today! Visit our webpage on 42 brand watches you can sell to us right now. Alternatively, if you are looking to pawn your watch with us please visit our loans on fine watches page.

How Much can I Borrow against my Luxury Watch?

If you need to raise capital quickly and you possess a luxury watch, perhaps the easiest way to achieve this is to consider borrowing against the value of your timepiece via Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive. Loans can be secured against brands like Cartier, Breguet, Hublot, Piaget, Rolex, Tiffany and more.

Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive has 25 years of experience when it comes to fine watch loans. As a respected international pawnbroker, the business prides itself on offering advice, information and a discreet service where you can unlock funds by pawning your luxury watch. As part of the service you can expect complimentary appraisals and instant funding. You can even sell your assets for access to immediate cash.

Understanding how a pawnbroker works

When it comes to working out the value of a pawned item, a broker will take many factors into account. Because most luxury watches are unique, there’s no set criteria that encompasses all timepieces – although there are some basics that each pawnbroker will consider before coming to a conclusion.

Luxury watch market value

When visiting a pawnbroker with your watch, the first thing they will take into account is the market value of the item.

Approximately 85 percent of borrowers go on to reclaim their watch after they’ve repaid their loan – but a pawnbroker must always consider what could happen if the owner of the luxury timepiece cannot afford the repayments. The pawnbroker may then be in a position to sell the watch to recoup any funds they have lost on the loan.

When assessing the market value of a luxury watch, a pawnbroker will base their assessment on what the watch is likely to fetch at auction if the loan secured against it goes unpaid. An experienced pawnbroker will consider several factors to ascertain market value. All good pawnbrokers have expertise industry knowledge, and they’ll also look at current price lists or check the prices of similar items at auction to come to an estimated value. In cases where the luxury timepiece is particularly rare or unique (for example, if it was once owned by a person of note) the pawnbroker might have to consult a specialist in order to accurately evaluate the worth of the watch.

The market value of your timepiece will not equal the amount you can borrow against it. In most circumstances, a pawnbroker will offer you between 60 and 70 percent of the market value of your watch.

Supply and demand

Market saturation often dictates how much a broker will agree to lend you against your watch. If the current luxury watch market is filled with a particular brand, such as Antoine Perziuso or Audemars Piguet, it’s likely that the watch will command a lower price than a rare item. However, supply and demand trends have a tendency to change with time, and prices can fluctuate based on changing market variables.

Luxury watch model

The make and model of a watch are important when it comes to deciding pawn loan values. Rare, exclusive and limited-edition models will typically command higher values, as these are often thought of as “investment pieces”. Brands like Rolex, Chopard, FP Journe and Harry Winston are usually in high demand among collectors, although changing markets mean that what once was a collector’s item may now seem out of fashion, and vice-versa.

The condition of your luxury watch

Before agreeing to provide a loan, an experienced pawnbroker will take some time to scrutinise a luxury watch to ensure it is in excellent condition. Luxury watches are renowned for their precision, so any malfunctions or inabilities to accurately keep time could have a huge impact on market value. Occasionally, minor imperfections won’t affect the value of the watch too much (if it is a particularly old or rare model, or if the watch can be easily repaired, for example). However, well looked-after, cared for and properly stored watches will inevitably be worth more than watches that have been “around the block” a few times.

Authenticity

In a world flooded with bogus fake watches, a pawnbroker must be 100% certain that any watch which comes into the store is authentic. It’s therefore important to bring all relevant documentation with you when visiting a pawnbroker. This can include certificates of authenticity and any relevant repair documentation.

How much could my luxury watch sell at auction for?

The price your watch could command at auction will depend on all of the above factors. As you might expect, rare or limited-edition models have a greater chance of commanding large values at auction – although demand also plays a key part in determining how much your luxury timepiece could sell for. For example: even if you have the rarest watch in the world, if there are no interested parties at the time of going to auction it could sell for far less than its market value.

However, it’s unusual for a rare watch to not command interest under the hammer. In 2018 alone, there were at least five auction houses that sold watches for no less than $2 million. Some of the most expensive watches ever sold at auction include:

1) Patek Philippe’s Henry Graves Jr Supercomplication

This watch reached a final asking price of $23.98 million during an auction overseen by Sotheby’s in Geneva. The luxury pocket watch is regarded as one of the most complicated mechanical timepieces ever created. It boasts 24 complications and is manufactured from 18-carat gold. This watch was commissioned by the banker Henry Graves Jr, from where it gets its name.

maintain luxury watch

2) Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona

In 2017, a Rolex wristwatch owned by the actor Paul Newman sold at Phillips’ auction house in New York for $17.75 million after a 12-minute bidding war. Over the course of the day, the auctioneer sold watches totalling almost $29 million from manufacturers including Heuer, Omega, Audemars, Piguet and Cartier.

loans against fine watches

3) Patek Philippe Star Calibre 2000

Back in 2012, this watch (reference 990/1) reached a final asking price of $3.28 million during an auction held by Christie’s in Hong Kong. This exceptionally rare 18-carat double-dial clock watch features 21 complications, Westminster chimes, a leap year cycle and more.

Do personal circumstances affect how much you could borrow against your luxury watch?

In short, yes. Most pawnbrokers will look at your personal situation when considering the likelihood of whether you’ll be able to pay your loan off. If you have a poor credit history, a pawnbroker might be more likely to prepare to sell your luxury watch on in the event of non-payment, and will factor this potential additional work into your loan terms.

Pawnbrokers are in the business of making money from the interest charged on loans. They would rather see customers repay their loan and redeem their timepiece than have to go to the trouble of selling a luxury watch. Customers who are considered “low-risk” are likely to be offered a better loan agreement that those who are an unknown quantity. Repeat customers are usually a good bet for pawnbrokers, as they already have a history of reclaiming their items after repaying a loan. It’s estimated that 80 percent of those who use pawnbroking services do so twice or more each year.

To get a great deal while negotiating a loan contract against your luxury timepiece, it makes sense to choose a reputable, experienced pawnbroker. At the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, you are always guaranteed a fair service with knowledge, expertise and advice. If you’ve got a luxury watch and need access to funds, why not contact the team today?

If you are looking to sell your watch, then Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive will buy your watch from you today! Visit our webpage on 42 brand watches you can sell to us right now. Alternatively, if you are looking to pawn your watch with us please visit our loans on fine watches page.

Tips on pawning jewelry

Fine Jewelry: The Collateral in Your Cupboard

Fine jewelry has the ability to brighten up our lives. It makes the wearer feel confident and special, and is a sheer joy to admire. However, if you are in need of funds and possess jewelry that tends to stay locked away in a box gathering dust as opposed to taking pride of place during social occasions, you might want to consider taking out a loan against the value of your pieces with the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive.

Taking out a pawn loan is quite simple:

• Bring your jewelry to the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive
• Allow our team of experts to assess the value of your piece
• Receive a same-day loan based on the market value of your piece
• Reclaim your jewelry after all loan repayments have been completed

Upon repayment of your loan, you can redeem your jewelry – it’s a great way to access funds when you need them the most. Of course, it helps to have an understanding of just how valuable your necklaces, rings, bracelets, and cufflinks are before pawning – but what should you be looking out for?

Desirability

Jewelry making is a craft which requires incredible skill and a keen eye for detail – both in the design and manufacturing processes. Creators require great patience when working with precious metals, fancy color diamonds, 13th-century emeralds and other gemstones. Renowned jewelers are held in high regard in much the same way that the work and prestige of an artist informs the value of fine art. Rare or sought-after collections are highly sought-after and will typically command higher price tags in comparison to mass-produced items.

Some of the biggest names in jewelry include Cartier, Graff, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels. These companies are well-respected and produce intricate jewelry that can sell for thousands. That’s not to say small-name pieces can’t command a large price tag too – historic pieces are often highly desired, particularly if there is an interesting backstory behind them.

If you have jewelry, old or new, that you believe to be of significant value, it’s important to check the piece and its case/box for logos or branding. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the brand, a cursory internet search should help provide you with an idea of the collection or its designer before you come to visit the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive for a complimentary appraisal.

Material quality is important

The term jewelry is derived from an old term for precious gemstones. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the value of most pieces of fine jewelry is dictated largely by materials they are constructed from. However, it’s important to understand that second-tier jewelry is often manufactured from materials that emulate the appearance of precious stones and metals. Cubic zirconia, gold flake, and plated silver can be misleading as although they might appear to be as attractive as gold, diamonds and silver, they are only worth a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

The weight and texture of a piece should give you an initial idea as to whether your jewelry is genuine. Plated pieces will generally feel lighter than precious metals, and fake pearls will feel unnaturally smooth. However, if you are certain that your jewelry is constructed from authentic platinum, silver or gold, it’s crucial to verify its authenticity. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to find out – the piece itself should hold some all-important visual cues.

Items manufactured from genuine gold will generally be hallmarked. Look for a small symbol that has been stamped into the metal during the construction process. This hallmark will provide you with all manner of information. Hallmarks feature different text and icons that will help you to uncover the manufacturer, the date it was made and how many carats the item is – again, internet research is a huge help here.

Most precious stones and metals will bear some sort of mark of authenticity. You don’t necessarily have to understand what each hallmark means, as it’s something the experts at Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive can do for you – although a quick check will help you to estimate whether your piece is valuable or not.

Proof of authenticity

Proof of authenticity, or provenance, can help your piece command a higher price tag. Information on where the piece was made, where it was purchased and whether it has ever been altered can all affect price. If an item is rare or part of a limited collection, possessing the relevant certificates or documentation could help to increase the amount of money you could borrow against it.

If you are in possession of documentation, such as a certificate of authenticity, you are advised to bring it to your pawnbroker as this will 1) speed up the loan process, and 2) provide you with a more accurate valuation.

Beverly Hills pawnbroking & Lending offers two possibilities to estate jewelry owners: loans against estate jewelry or sell your estate jewelry. Call us today to pawn your Estate Jewelry.

How much does fine jewelry sell for at auction?

The condition and history of a piece will generally inform how much a piece of jewelry will sell for at auction. Renowned pieces with old cut diamonds, pink diamonds, diamond studs and/or GIA certified diamonds can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. For particularly rare pieces, the sky is the limit. Some of the highest sums commanded by jewelry pieces at auction include:

1) Oppenheimer Blue Diamond Ring
This stunning ring set a new record for jewelry sold at auction back in 2016. The piece sold for $57.7 million at Christie’s in Geneva. When the final figure was announced, the auction room erupted into applause. The ring is named after its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer. At 14.62 carats, the blue diamond adorning the ring is the largest to ever appear at auction.

2) Unique Pink Diamond
The “unique pink” is a pear-shaped diamond set onto a platinum band. Pink diamonds are incredibly rare, accounting for less than 5% of all colored diamonds, which explains why this piece commanded a price tag of $31.56 million at Sotheby’s of Geneva. The value of pink diamonds has risen by more than 350% in just ten years.

3) Sunrise Ruby Ring
Weighing in at a staggering 25.59 carats, the Sunrise Ruby ring proves that it’s not just diamonds fetching huge sums at auction. This piece sold for $30.3 million at Sotheby’s of Geneva back in 2017. The huge ruby is flanked by white diamonds on either side, and set into a Cartier ring. It takes its name from a 13th century poem.

4) Cartier La Peregrina Necklace
Sometimes, jewelry with an interesting backstory can command a high price. This piece was owned by Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most glamorous ladies of the silver screen. Her love of jewelry is well-documented, and this Cartier piece of hers sold for nearly $12 million – almost four times its pre-sale estimate.

Allow the experts to value your items and unlock funds today

When you visit the Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive with jewelry that you wish to secure a loan against, our team of experts will provide you with a complimentary valuation. We’ll appraise them item, check its provenance and estimate its current market value.

From here, we will work with you to arrange a great-value loan against the worth of your fine jewelry – the majority of people who pawn their precious pieces have every intention of redeeming them after the loan is repaid, which is why we treat all items that come into the store with complete respect, and ensure maximum security measures are put in place to protect them.

For more information on how to secure funds against your fine jewelry, simply contact a member of our friendly and experienced pawnbroking team today.

If you are looking to Sell Your Diamonds or Jewelry then we will also buy your pieces! Read more about the type of diamonds and some of the few brands we buy or loan against HERE, visit our loans on fine jewelry webpage, our loans on diamonds page or our antiques and collectibles webpage.

How to Get the Best Price when Pawning your Jewelry !

Deciding to pawn jewellery can bring huge financial benefits. However, the world of pawnbroking can feel like a confusing space and you may be wondering where to begin to free up some capital from those items hidden away in your home. Here at Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, we offer a luxury pawnbroking service dealing in the highest quality jewellery and diamonds.

Choosing the right pawnbroker

Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive offers a highly confidential and secure service to those wishing to explore the income that could be gained from the jewellery hidden away in jewellery boxes in their home. Whether a single piece or a collection, we can work with you. Offering immediate loans on luxury items, Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive accept jewellery, watches, cars and other luxury items such as art, making us a specialist in the field. With loans received quickly and all information kept entirely confidential, this is a quick, easy and stress-free way to solve those financial niggles.

We offer pawnbroking and auction services for the best jewellery in the world including princess cut diamonds, Harry Winston, Cartier and Tiffany. If you chose to entrust your family heirlooms to Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive, they will be treated with the respect they deserve.

Once you have decided you are ready to pawn some of your jewellery, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure that you are truly getting the best price possible.

After all, the Pink Star Diamond which sold for over $70 million dollars in 2017 was auctioned in just the right way to get the right price!

Here are our six top tips on getting the best price when pawning your jewellery:

1. Establish what the piece really is

No piece is ever just a pair of earrings or a necklace. Establish whether the piece is fine jewellery and how it was made. Was it made by a well-known jeweller, such as Cartier? These highly sought-after pieces can gain a considerably higher price, so it’s important to establish all of the finer details about each piece of jewellery you wish to pawn. A knowledge of cuts, clarity and metals will help you to assess what the piece really is. You don’t need to know all the details – the experts can help with that – but it can be good to have an idea of what the piece is so you know how much capital you can realistically expect to gain.

2. Care for your jewellery

Making sure precious items are well cared for will help you to achieve the best possible price. Storing pieces in suitable boxes and cleaning gently and carefully before taking the item to be valued will give your jewellery the best chance of getting a high price. Research the best way to care for specialist items and always use a professional to clean fine jewellery.

3. Consult an expert

Jewellery is a specialist field and it’s always best to turn to a trusted advisor to discover the true potential of your prized possessions. It’s best to do your research and find the specialist who’s right for you. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive has over 25 years of experience and offers specialist knowledge on a wide variety of luxury items with a quick, confidential service. Aiming to bring this ancient trade into the 21st century, we are a fantastic place to turn to for expert advice and to discover the true worth of your valued possessions.

4. Prioritise your pieces

Before agreeing to a loan, consider prioritising your collection. Which pieces would you like to pawn first? Try to be strategic about this: holding on to some higher value pieces or only pawning one more valuable piece may be the best way to manage your finances. Once you have the knowledge of an expert, you can consider which pieces to pawn and which to keep back for later. Jewellery often has very strong emotional attachments, so consider which pieces you don’t want to be parted from, even temporarily. For example, a piece from an ex-partner could be easier to pawn than an inherited family heirloom. Taking time to consider your collection before pawning will mean you make the right decision for you.

5. Only pawn with a trusted pawnbrokers

Unfortunately, there are some pawnbroker businesses which don’t respect the client and can offer unfair prices or even tamper with jewellery. Make sure you choose a trusted, professional pawnbrokers to take your fine jewellery. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive is a truly professional service with a strong knowledge of fine jewellery and offers a friendly and confidential service to all of its clients.

6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

Professional pawnbrokers care about their customers and will be willing to discuss the item’s worth and come up with a price that you are both happy with. Although it’s good to be open-minded, you can discuss and negotiate the worth of the item as part of the pawning process.

What to expect when you go to a pawnbroker

Going to the pawnbrokers for the first time can be stressful, but with the help of our trusted experts, we can help you feel at home. Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive even offer an online service where you can fill in a quick form and be contacted quickly with an offer. In store, staff are friendly, knowledgeable and offer fantastic service.

The single best way to get the price you want from pawning jewellery is to pick your pawnbrokers carefully. An expert in fine jewellery will understand the true value of your pieces and offer you a fair price and terms. Talking to a true expert in the field will not only help you to reach the best price possible, but you are bound to feel more comfortable leaving high-value items in their care.

Whether you are simply feeling the pinch or wish to invest in special experiences such as an upcoming family wedding, a trip of a lifetime or boosting your child’s college fund, pawning the items you already have lying around your home is a quick and easy way to free up some capital and live the lifestyle you want. Items sitting at home have no real value until you speak to an expert and discover just how much could be gained from pawning them. This way you make the most of the capital available with the opportunity to get back your precious items.

For a luxurious and professional pawnbroking experience and to get the best price possible for your jewellery, contact Pawnbrokers of Rodeo Drive now.

If you are looking to Sell Your Diamonds or Jewelry then we will also buy your pieces! Read more about the type of diamonds and some of the few brands we buy or loan against HERE, visit our loans on fine jewelry webpage, our loans on diamonds page or our antiques and collectibles webpage.