Auctions Simplified



Bidding at an auction, or even attending an auction, is an adventure that’s entertaining and fun.

Some people wonder if going to an auction might see them leaving with treasures they didn’t mean to buy. The idea of bidding on something because you winked your eye or coughed does make some people a little nervous. The auctioneer works hard to recognize real bids, so a laugh or a raised eyebrow likely won’t generate a bid.

Dupuis provides you with the opportunity to acquire beautiful jewels through the highly respected centuries-old process of auction.

Buying at auction is simple, you can bid and buy with confidence and comfort. At auction, we aim to provide as much detail and information as possible.



All Dupuis auctions have a catalogue that includes a photo of each jewel, a title, and a  description. Catalogues are issued in print for Dupuis Live auctions, and catalogues are on line and on phone and tablet apps for all auctions.



In many cases, there is an additional “condition report” to make you a well-informed bidder. Condition reports may include measurements, ring sizes, colour descriptions, and other pertinent details.



If you need additional details that are not included in catalogues or condition reports, Dupuis is happy to answer to your questions.  We can provide more information or photos.



Previews allow anyone to try on any of the jewels in the auction. Dupuis Auctions features a gallery with all of the jewels displayed in showcases. Dupuis knowledgable staff are on hand to assist. Previews are free, and no bookings are necessary to visit.



Dupuis live auctions are held on one Sunday in November, and one Sunday in June. Online auctions last for one week.

In order to bid at the auction, you do need to register. The process is very simple, there is one form to fill in, it can be done in advance, on line, or on auction day at the venue.


Each item in the auction is offered for bidding. There is a pre-auction estimate stating the estimated selling price range. The estimate serves as a guideline to bidders, items may sell within the range, or sometimes for more.


There is a “reserve”, or minimum, on most items at auction. Items offered at auction are not for sale below a reserve. Reserves are confidential. You could assume that the lowest selling price might be the low end of the pre-auction estimate.



Once you have found what you absolutely must have (very likely at a Dupuis auction), you will want to think about how much you want to spend. Successful bidders have so many things to choose from. You may want to provide yourself with some alternatives in case you find that someone wants it even more than you, and bids beyond your limit.

If you are bidding, a bid is an offer to buy. If you are the highest bidder, the jewel is yours (once you pay). You will be required to pay the bid amount plus a buyer’s premium of 25% and appropriate sales tax. Remember this when planning your budget.




Some people will lead off on the bidding, others will hold back to see what’s going to happen, jumping in at the last minute. Some nod their head or scratch their ear, it’s easiest for the auctioneer to see a paddle held high. There’s no correct way, but auctioneers prefer that you bid high and bid often.



If you are the successful bidder, you have 5 days to pay for the jewel that you have purchased. Payment can be made by bank draft, wire transfer, or credit card.


About Duncan Parker

Duncan Parker, FGA, FCGmA, CAP (CJA), Vice President. Duncan is a columnist and contributor for industry magazines and journals. He has been an instructor of the gemstone course at Ryerson University, the Gemmology courses of George Brown College and Canadian Gemmological Association as well as instructor Master Valuer Program with the Canadian Jewellers Association. A renowned expert, he speaks regularly at international gem and jewellery conferences and symposiums, as well as at less formal events. He has served as President of the Canadian Gemmological Association since 1995. Before joining Dupuis Auctioneers, Duncan was a director of research at Harold Weinstein Ltd., a leading and respected jewellery appraisal company.
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