Buying Fine Jewelry at Auction
Buying fine jewelry at auction is an exciting endeavor. Whether it is contemporary, antique or vintage jewels, auctions offer rare assortments of pieces perfect for collectors of all tastes.
You can browse detailed images and thorough descriptions of each item’s online listing, and request additional information on each piece from our team of skilled jewelry specialists. At Fortuna, we want you to know the benefits of buying at auction, as well as the many different ways you can bid on the perfect piece.
Benefits of Buying at Auction
Choosing to buy fine jewelry and watches at auction versus an online marketplace comes with multiple benefits:
Transparency With the Items Offered
Have you ever bought a piece of jewelry online, only for it to arrive damaged or look nothing like its photos? When you buy jewelry or watches at our auctions, we provide all the piece’s specifications upfront, before you place your bid. Our specialists—many of whom have worked at globally-renowned jewelry houses—inspect and catalog every lot of jewelry or timepiece we offer at auction. This process ensures every detail of the piece, from its history and style to its craftsmanship, is accurate and available for you to reference at any time. We also encourage all of our bidders to contact our specialists if they would like more information or additional images of a piece that strikes their interest.
Access to Some of the Rarest Treasures on Earth
One of the most exciting elements of bidding at auction, is the opportunity to take home some of the rarest pieces in jewelry and watch history! Whether it is a sublime piece of Art Deco Cartier jewelry handcrafted in the 1920s or a rare limited edition Rolex watch, Fortuna is the perfect place for buyers to seek unique and singular pieces that can’t be found anywhere else on the market.
Multiple and Frequent Opportunities to Buy
Most auction houses have a set seasonal schedule for their jewelry and watch auctions. Other online retailers don’t have a set schedule for selling items, which means you could miss out on some beautiful pieces—or wait years until the next posting. At Fortuna, we pride ourselves on our frequent auction events—occurring every 1-2 months.
How to Buy Fine Jewelry at Auction
Although our headquarters are in New York City, you can participate in our live and online auctions from anywhere in the world! If it is your first time registering to bid with Fortuna, you may be asked to submit photo identification and credit card information to verify your identity and confirm your seriousness as a bidder. We are committed to creating a fair and trustworthy bidding experience for each one of our bidders, and recommend that all new bidders register at least 24 hours ahead of the auction. Once you have been approved to bid, you will be added to our book of trusted bidders and immediately pre-approved for all future sales.
Bid in Person at the NYC Showroom
Come to the auctions, held in New York City. Upon registering to bid, you will be assigned a number and given a paddle. During the auction, just raise your paddle to place a bid on the item currently offered. The auctioneer will make note of your bid, and the staff with send you an invoice after the event, listing all the items you won.
Please Note: In-person bidding will be temporarily unavailable, in compliance with the statewide response to stunt the spread of COVID-19.
You can bid directly on Fortuna’s online auction platform a few ways, including:
- Registering online on Fortuna’s website
- Downloading the Fortuna iOS or Android mobile app
- Using LiveAuctioneers, Bidsquare or Invaluable (Please Note: Using these third-party platforms will incur additional online fees.)
Bid Over the Phone
If you can’t attend the auction in person, but would like eyes on the auction floor, you can bid by phone through a Fortuna proxy who is present at the auction. Just list the different lots you would like to called for on our phone bidding form, or notify us in advance by email. Several minutes before your lot comes up for bidding, your proxy will call you, keep you abreast of competing bids, and raise your paddle on your behalf if you wish to place a bid.
Bid as an Absentee
If neither the time nor location of the auction is convenient for you, you are welcome to leave an absentee bid, which is the highest hammer price you are willing pay for the lots you’re interested in. You communicate this by filling out an absentee bidder form and returning the form by email. If your noted price is higher than the hammer price, you will win the bid for the amount of the hammer price, even if it is less than what your maximum absentee bid was.
Terms and Conditions for Buying
The day after an auction, successful bidders will have their invoice sent to the email listed upon registration. The final purchase price on the invoice will include the hammer price, the buyer’s premium, any local taxes that apply (Fortuna is required to collect sales tax for lots shipped to Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia), and an insured shipping quote. Bidders on LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and Bidsquare will be subject to an additional 3% over the buyer’s premium because of the additional fees charged by these bidding platforms. Our buyer’s premium structure is as follows:
25% on the first $300,000
20% from $300,001 to $3,000,000
12.5% on the excess of $3,000,000
Please note, however you choose to bid, it is your responsibility to inquire about the lots you intend to bid on, should you have any questions. We’re happy to send you additional photos and videos of the items. We strongly advise all to read and understand the full Terms & Conditions of Sale before bidding with Fortuna Auction.
Other Ways to Buy
If no auction is currently taking place, you can still buy through Fortuna®. We offer private, one-on-one sales, ideal for those seeking anonymity outside an auction venue. Please let us know what types of jewelry or watches you’re looking to purchase and we will be happy to assist.
To speak to one of our jewelry specialists, please call or email us today. We are pleased to assist with any inquiries you may have.
608 5th Avenue, Suite 507
New York, NY 10020