How to bid - Iskenderian, vintage and antique jewelry

Browse an auction

We encourage you to contact our specialists, whose contact information is included on the auction catalogue page. All property in the auction is available for viewing in our exhibitions or by appointment.

Place a bid through from the start of the auction until the lot closes. See below for how to bid in our online only and live auctions. Please contact us should you need any assistance.
Watch your bids! If you are outbid in an online only auction, you will be notified on the auction catalogue page and by email. In a live auction, you will be notified on the auction catalogue page, but not by email.
After your lot has closed, you will be notified on the auction and lot detail pages as well as via email. If you are the winning bidder, you will receive an invoice shortly after the auction including your total charges along with payment and property collection instructions.

Select the lots you wish to bid on and place your maximum bid. You will be asked to either log in or create a new account. You will then be asked to choose your account number and review and accept the Terms & Conditions before placing your first bid. The platform will place incremental bids on your behalf up to the maximum amount specified. Use the ‘Quick Bid’ feature to increase your bid to the next increment.


The closing time noted at the top of the auction page indicates when the first lot will begin to close. As the auction closes, a countdown timer will be displayed for each lot one minute before it closes. Each lot closes in one minute increments and will be extended by two minutes if a bid is placed within the final minute before the lot’s scheduled closing time. Lots may extend for up to two hours to accommodate competitive bidding.

There are four different ways to bid in a live auction: by telephone, online, and by either absentee or advance bidding ahead of the auction. You can register for telephone, online, via the Register to Bid link on the auction overview page. ‘Advance bids’ or ‘absentee bids’, both of which enable you to set your maximum bid on a lot, can be placed online or by contacting us ahead of the auction. Please note that auctions will either have advance bidding or absentee bidding, never both. At the stated date and time, a live auction will begin when the auctioneer opens each lot for bidding. Clients are able to participate by bidding by telephone, or online via Bids will be accepted in the order they are received and the highest bid placed will win each lot. When competitive bidding subsides, the auctioneer can send a ‘fair warning’ message to indicate that the lot will close imminently. Please note that placing the leading maximum bid before the live auction begins does not guarantee that another client will not outbid you before the auctioneer closes the lot.
Absentee bid: A maximum bid placed ahead of the auction which will be executed on your behalf by the auctioneer during the live auction, at the lowest price possible and never for more than the maximum bid amount you indicate. Successful absentee bidders will be notified after the auction.
Advance bid: A maximum bid placed ahead of the auction which will be executed on your behalf in response to any other bids placed on the lot. If your maximum bid is below the reserve, responsive bids may be placed by Iskenderian on behalf of the seller up to the amount of the reserve ahead of the live auction. Upon the start of the live auction, if your maximum bid has not yet been met, the auctioneer will execute the bid on your behalf at the lowest price possible and never for more than the maximum bid amount you indicate.

To place an ‘absentee bid’ or ‘advance bid’ ahead of the live auction, find your  desired lot and select ‘Place Bid.’ Set your maximum bid amount. Once you have chosen your bid amount, select ‘Continue to Confirm Bid.’ You will then be asked to either log in or sign up for a Iskenderian account. Select your Account to bid under, accept the Terms & Conditions, and confirm your bid. You will be asked to do this only once, upon placing your first bid in the auction. You will receive a confirmation of your absentee or advance bid on screen and via email. If you are outbid during this portion of the auction (before the live auction begins), you will receive notification on if you are logged in, via email. The advance and absentee portion of the auction will culminate in the live auction on the advertised date.


Iskenderian is your best resource to buy, consign and sell jewelry and unique jewels such as antique, vintage, modern, new, used and pre-owned women’s jewelry, engagement ring, wedding ring, wedding band, diamond ring, diamond pendant necklace, pearl necklace, ear clips, platinum and gold earrings, pearl earrings, brooch, diamond watch, or tiara with diamonds, estate jewelry, sapphire, emerald, ruby, aquamarine, turquoise, lapis lazuli, citrine, coral, onyx, pearls, yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, pink gold, silver or platinum, from jewelry houses including Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Bulgari, Buccellati, Boucheron, Hemmerle, Oscar Heyman, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Seaman Schepps, Verdura, Henry Dunay, Michele della Valle, Schlumberger, Sterlé, Aletto Brothers, Chaumet, Chopard, Graff, JAR, Marina B, Marchak, Tony Duquette, Zolotas, Lalique, Harry Winston, and Suzanne Belperron.


Maximum Bid

Your maximum bid is the highest amount you would like to bid for a lot. It will be executed by Iskenderian at the lowest price possible, and never for more than the maximum bid amount you indicate. Please note that if two clients enter the same maximum bid, the bid which was entered first will have priority.

For auctions with absentee bidding, your maximum bid will be executed by the auctioneer on your behalf during the live auction and you will be notified if you were successful after the live auction. You can increase your maximum bid at any point ahead of the live auction.

For auctions with advance bidding, the bidding platform will automatically place incremental bids on your behalf against any competition up to the maximum bid you have placed. The bidding platform will execute bids beginning at the lowest increment. If your maximum bid is outbid by another client, you will be alerted on if you are logged in, via email for a chance to increase your bid. For clients who are familiar with traditional auctions, a maximum bid functions similarly to an absentee bid, though you will know where your maximum bid stands ahead of the live event. While you can always return to the auction and increase your bid by single increments, we encourage you to take advantage of the maximum bid feature in the event you may be unable to return to your desired lot when the live auction begins.

Starting Bids

Each lot has a starting bid, which is the lowest possible bid you can place on a lot. You may bid at or above the starting bid (see above for how to place a Maximum Bid). Please note that leaving a bid at the starting bid may not necessarily mean you have met the reserve, though you will be notified if you are the leading bidder or have been outbid. Please note that Iskenderian reserves the right to lower the starting bid prior to the start of the live auction.

My Active Bids

Once you have left a bid in an auction, you can view that bid and any other active bids near the top of the auction page, in a dynamic section called ‘My Active Bids.’ This shows the status of all your active bids in the auction and is color coded based on the state of your bid. In addition to scrolling through the e-catalogue, you can easily navigate to your active lots by clicking into ‘My Active Bids.’ You can view your active, won, and lost bids.


+41 22 310 22 08

We encourage you to also contact our specialists, whose contact information is included on the sale catalogue page.

Auction Basics

An ancient and elementary form of commerce, auctions have long been the best way to establish the value of unique and rare items. Over our 100-year history, Iskenderian has perfected the basic diamond, jewelry and watches trade by offering the art of the auction, and yet is continuously seeking ways of updating the process. Today, modern innovations such as broadcasting sales over the Internet and accepting bids online in real time allow you to participate in our auctions from anywhere in the world.

Who can attend an auction?
All of Iskenderian auctions are free and open to the public, and there is no obligation to bid. Most auctions are held during the day, except for occasional evening sales. You may also watch our auctions online.

Iskenderian organizes and manages the best solution to help you to get the most of your jewelry, diamonds and watches. Iskenderian gathers a team and network of experts, specialists and auctioneers often with decades of experience. Our partner auctioneer based in Paris Drouot initiates the sale of each lot by briefly describing the item and then starting the bidding at a price that is lower than its reserve. The auctioneer acknowledges every bidder, whether they are participating via, or any other platform as, or over the telephone. They also place bids on behalf of absentee bidders. The auctioneer, whose authority is final, determines when the highest bid has been made and declares the lot sold.

After the auctioneer starts the bidding, they will accept incrementally higher bids until a sole bidder remains. This final bidder purchases the lot. However, if the bidding fails to reach the reserve price, the lot will pass unsold.

Iskenderian and its partner auctioneer generally comprise fine, antique, vintage and contemporary jewellery in sales.

Buying Basics

Looking to sell? Visit our easy Sell Your Jewelry with Iskenderian page.

Iskenderian experienced staff will guide you through a simple and seamless buying process: from selecting a work, to placing a successful bid, to shipping your purchase. Collectors rely on Iskenderian to understand current market trends and acquire pieces that have lasting value, allowing you to bid with confidence.

Three ways to find out what’s for sale:

1. Browse our e-catalogues on or on our Shop from your  computer or mobile device.
2. Visit our pre-sale exhibitions, which are open to the public. View our upcoming auctions.
3. Register to receive e-mail alerts so that you never miss a sale in your area of interest.

Register to Bid

In-Person Registration
To register in person to bid at the sale location before the auction begins, you will need to create an account  and provide a government-issued proof of identity such as a driver’s license or passport. A bank reference may also be required. You will also have the opportunity to record your communication details (email or post) and shipping preferences (collect or ship).

Online Registration
You also may register on by selecting Register to Bid from the drop-down menu under the Auctions heading. This will link you to an upcoming events page. Simply choose any auction and click on the Register to Bid button for that event. The detailed pages for each auction also provide the option to register. To be eligible to bid, please be sure to complete your application 24 hours prior to the auction.

If you require further assistance while registering to bid, please contact us:

Geneva: +41 22 310 22 08,

Place Your Bid

There are four ways to bid at Iskenderian. When you click Register to Bid you will be prompted to select your preferred bidding method:

– Online

Participate in real time via Iskenderian online bidding platform as or .

– Telephone

Register to Telephone Bid with our partner auctioneer’s representative who will call you during the auction.

– Absentee

Submit an Absentee Bid and allow the auctioneer to execute this on your behalf.

If your bid is successful, our Post Sale Service teams in each selling centre will be happy to assist with payment, as well as the collection or shipment of your purchase.

Pay for Your Purchase

Successful bidders may pay on the day of the auction, immediately after buying.  Otherwise, the Post- Sale Service team will send you an invoice and any shipping quote according to your pre-sale preference. The final amount due will include the hammer price the buyer’s premium, the overhead premium any local taxes will be in addition according to your national regulations.

Buyers may pay by bank transfer, credit card or cash (subject to any restrictions and legal limits). Certain credit cards are accepted, but please contact these sale locations directly for detailed information. Payment must be sent from the invoiced party, rather than from a third party.

Receive Your Property
Fully knowledgeable on all international regulations, the Iskenderian Post-Sale Service team can arrange expert and insured shipping and convenient delivery of your property. We offer exceptional service and competitive rates. Simply provide your delivery address when you register for a sale. Following a purchase, you will be sent a comprehensive shipping quote upon request. For property purchased, please contact our office directly to arrange for the transport of your purchases.

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Ready to talk jewellery 24/7, our team of client advisors, and experts will guide you at every step