Magnificent Jewels a Record-Breaking Auction for Fortuna

A Pair of Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Studs, 4.04ct Total. Achieved $87,500. All prices include buyer’s premiums.

Important White and Yellow Diamond Prices Soar in Magnificent Jewels Auction

In their first-ever Magnificent Jewels auction, Fortuna shattered their previous sale records, with the sale realizing a total of $2.3 million, selling 70% by value. With strong interest around the globe, registered bidders came from 41 countries across six continents. The top price achieved in the sale was $994,000 for a rare 10.33ct D Color Internally Flawless emerald cut diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels.

A 5.01ct D IF Emerald Cut Diamond Ring. Achieved $200,000.


Asian Private Collectors

Fortuna’s strength in the Asian market continued to shine, with three of the six highest grossing lots being sold to Asian private collectors. “There is a burning desire for important jewelry and gemstones in Asia that far surpasses what we see in the American and European markets. Many of our Asian clients are actively building large private collections, and are very proactive in acquiring large flawless diamonds, gem-quality untreated colored stones, and rare signed pieces. We consistently sell our cover lots and sale highlights to these collectors,” said Anna Lin, Fortuna’s Director of Fine Jewelry, Asia.

7.65ct Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring. Achieved $237,500.

Diamonds Soar

Important fancy yellow and colorless diamonds stole the show: a pair of Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ear studs weighing 2.02cts each achieved $81,250, a 7.65ct Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond ring achieved $237,500, a 5.01ct D Color Internally Flawless emerald cut diamond ring achieved $200,000, a 3.05ct D color Internally Flawless marquise cut diamond ring achieved $81,250, and a pair of diamond cluster earrings achieved $75,000.

Oscar Heyman Brothers Art Deco Bracelet. Achieved $27,500.


Intense bidding wars erupted for many of the lots including an Art Deco diamond bracelet by Oscar Heyman Brothers which sold for $27,500—nearly three times its low estimate, and a Retro charm bracelet that brought $11,875, triple its low estimate. “Excitement and energy filled the auction room. Many of the lots garnered very intense bidding, going far beyond the opening bid. It was a phenomenal sale for us to end the year with, and we look to 2018 with confidence and optimism,” said John Saxon, Fortuna’s President.

Van Cleef & Arpels 10.33ct D IF Diamond Ring. Achieved $994,000.


The cover lot and highlight of the sale was the 10.33ct D Color Internally Flawless emerald cut diamond ring, by Van Cleef & Arpels. The 10.33ct diamond ring was consigned by an affluent collector on the West Coast, and created a buzz of excitement among diamond collectors and connoisseurs. Not only was the diamond graded as the top color and clarity, but was also determined to be Type IIa. Often called “Golconda” diamonds, after the famous mine in India, Type IIa diamonds are the most chemically pure and are highly sought after by collectors. The chemical purity makes a D grade stone look even whiter than other D grade stones, and often gives them a transparent, watery appearance—making them a true treasure to collectors.


Cartier Coral Diamond and Emerald Brooch. Achieved $21,250.

Exceptional Growth

The successful Magnificent Jewels auction wrapped up a record-breaking year for Fortuna. Overall sale revenue was up over 300% from 2016, and the recent December auction grossed over 500% more than the December auction of 2016. Fortuna’s no-risk approach to selling, along with their base of private collectors in Asia, has attracted increasing numbers of affluent clients seeking assistance in selling their jewelry and gemstones. “This Magnificent Jewels sale is a major milestone for us. The performance of this sale and the caliber of jewelry and gemstones we sold has shown our strength in selling very important jewelry. We have already seen an increase in private clients contacting us to sell their higher value items,” said Seth Holehouse, Fortuna’s CEO.


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Entrepreneur Success: Interview with Fortuna Auction’s John Saxon

Fortuna Auction’s President John Saxon was interviewed on IdeaMensch, a site featuring entrepreneurs. Here’s his Q&A:

John is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic vision, and high-level oversight of global operations and business development for the auction house. John has more than 15 years of experience in business development and growth strategy and holds a Master’s Degree in engineering.

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Antique Trader: Finding favor in the fine jewelry market

By Antoinette (Toni) Rahn, Antique Trader

It’s a match made of gems and jewels for husband and wife business partners Seth Holehouse and Anna Lin, and John and Maria Saxon, owners of Fortuna.

The foursome work side-by-side to bring fine jewelry, from all corners of the world, to auction. Recently, Antique Trader caught up with Seth and John ahead of the company’s Spring Jewels Auction, slated for April 6. The two provide insight about their business operation, today’s secondary jewelry market, and three of the company’s principle strategies to good business.

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Business Success Stories: Interview with Fortuna Auction’s Seth Holehouse

Fortuna Auction’s CEO Seth Holehouse was interviewed on, a site featuring web-based entrepreneurs. Here’s his Q&A:

What kind of business do you run? When did you start it and where is it based?

Fortuna is an auction house that specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. We began in 2011 and are based in New York City. In the world of auctions, we are fairly young—and that’s a good thing. Having a narrow focus on jewelry gives us an edge over traditional houses, especially in the internet age where the buying landscape is so fragmented. Our auctions are hosted 4-6 times a year. We have bidders live in the sale room, over the phones, and through online platforms from all over the world.

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Fortuna Auction’s Spring Jewels Sale Excites at Waldorf Astoria

The May 17 Spring Jewels auction marked an important milestone for Fortuna Auction, one of the world’s few boutique jewelry auctions, and the only one headquartered in New York City.

Past auctions were always held in our showroom on 5th Avenue. It was a big step for us to hold our preview and sale in such a prestigious hotel, and we were overwhelmed (emotionally and logistically) with the turnout.

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Maine Antique Digest—A Small Town Approach in the Big City

By Mary Ann Brown

Maine Antique Digest

Fortuna Auctioneers and Appraisers, owned and operated by partners in business and marriage Seth Holehouse and Anna Lin, GG, is a relative newcomer to the jewelry auction scene in New York City. The company held its fine jewelry sale on January 19.

Lin and Holehouse started the venture about four years ago, and the auction house complements a separate business they created seven or eight years ago. Anna Lin Antique and Diamond Jewelry ( “is mostly focused on searching for and finding investment quality gemstones and old jewelry for people in Asia,” according to Holehouse. They travel to Asia “a few times a year, finding buyers for important Art Deco, Cartier, Kashmir sapphires, and such.”

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THE RIDE: Competing With the Big Guys

By Mildred L. Culp

Knoxville News Sentinel

Rarely does a founding entrepreneur launch in a big way or a start-up become large overnight. Size, or lack of it, spells “obstacle” for many entrepreneurs.

Seth Holehouse, managing director (now CEO) of Fortuna Auction in New York, N.Y., works less than two blocks from Christie’s, the largest jewelry auction in the world ( “Our main … obstacle is gaining a name and building it with wholesalers and store owners,” he says. Interacting face-to-face with domestic and international buyers is essential for a fine jewelry auction to build trust. He does a lot of it, shaking hands and meeting gazes.

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Financial Times—Alternative auctions: Boutiques find niche in an underserved marketplace

By Syl Tang

Financial Times

For decades, the only reputable option for watch and jewellery aficionados looking for something vintage or collectable were the big name auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, where buyers were assured of authenticity and quality.

But, with global marketing of large auctions leading to record-setting hammer prices, deals have become increasingly difficult for collectors to find, never mind wholesalers hoping to acquire for resale.

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NY Observer—Get Your Rocks Off: Kissing the Ring at Fortuna Auction’s Fall Fine Jewels Preview

By Drew Grant

New York Observer

… Everywhere we looked was gold, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, diamonds, diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Mauboussin, Tiffany & Co., and David Webb all made appearance in wearable form, as well as several items from Ms. Yarmak’s personal collection. Michele Gerber Klein, Elena Moussa, Mickey Boardman, Cass Almendral, and R. Couri Hay mingled among the champagne and baubles, occasionally trying on an especially transfixing piece before circling its corresponding number in the catalog.

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