Indeed, with some people having fewer ways to spend disposable their income and being happy to view and buy online, I would go so far as to say that some sales would not have been so successful if the situation were ‘back to normal’.

Some categories which had decidedly mixed results before lockdown – such as Victorian brooches and post-war gem-set rings – have actually performed rather better than might have been expected. The key, as always, is careful pricing and those auction houses which have held successful online sales have gone to considerable lengths to keep their estimates as realistic as possible.

One other important point to bear in mind has been the continuing strength in the price of gold – always a welcome psychological boost where sales of second-hand jewellery are concerned.

Sale data

ATG asked two of the auction houses that were most active during lockdown to share their data on recent jewellery sales. Both firms offering packing and delivery services, Fellows and Elmwood’s held a combined 18 jewellery auctions between March 23 and June 15.

Fellows’ eight jewellery and gemstones sales offered almost 5000 lots for an overall hammer total of £1.7m. Its top-performing timed auctions of jewellery during this period achieved sell-through rates of 92%-93%.

Elmwood’s held 10 jewellery auctions (seven live and three timed) selling 807 lots and achieving a hammer total of just over £1.7m.