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eBay Diamond Auction Market is Racing for Virtual World Bidders

1990: eBay Diamond Auction Market is Attractive for Powerhouse Players

June 1999

While Sotheby’s and Christie’s make deals to enter the Internet auction arena, eBay, one of the fastest growing companies on the Internet, has acquired the 134-year-old Butterfield & Butterfield Auctioneers Corp. In a $260 million stock deal, Butterfield agreed to the eBay takeover.

eBay’s revenues have been extraordinary with a growth of ten times from the first quarter of 1998 to the same quarter of this year. The Company reported first quarter net income for 1999 of $5.9 million. Butterfield, on the other hand, achieved $20 million in revenue last year with a net income of $1.5 million.

The Internet auction market is rapidly filling with powerhouse players. Both Yahoo! and now have on-line auction services and both of the top auction houses are now racing for the same bidders in the virtual world as well as the actual auction block. Sotheby’s begins it’s on-line auctions this summer. v

New York Auctions Continue

Christie’s next major sale, Fine Jewels, June 10, will include a diamond and sapphire ring (estimated price $70,000 – $90,000) and a diamond double clip brooch (estimated price $25,000 – $30,000).

Sotheby’s Antique and Period Jewelry sale is set for June 9 and will include a wide array of Art Nouveau diamond jewelry. Among other pieces offered are a platinum and diamond bracelet (estimated price $75,000-$100,000) and a platinum sapphire and diamond bracelet (estimated $25,000-$30,000).

Phillips International Auctioneers & Valuers and William Doyle Galleries will be presenting several quite important pieces at upcoming sales.

Doyle’s Provident Loan Society Sale takes place June 9 and 10, with the preceding exhibition running from June 5 through 8.

Phillips’ Fine and Period Jewelry Sale will offer, among other pieces, a diamond tiara of 31.00 carats comprised of round and baguette-cut diamonds (estimated price $20,000 – $25,000) and an Art Deco platinum, diamond and pearl brooch (estimated price $10,000 – $15,000).



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