Christie’s kicks off its series of autumn jewelry auctions for 2014, beginning October 22, 2014 with the New York Important Jewels Sale to be held at their Rockefeller Plaza salesroom. A total of 350 jewelry lots will be on offer at the auctions taking place in two sessions; lots 1 – 158 going under the hammer in the morning session starting at 10.00 am and lots 159 – 350 coming up in the afternoon session starting at 2.30 pm.
The New York sale features an array of colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, and signed jewels from leading jewelry houses such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany & Co., as well as several pieces from an important private collection from the estate of Laura Thorn, a great-grand-daughter of John D. Rockefeller, a horsewoman, animal rights activisit and conservationist, involved in the management and development of an important equine breeding program.
Pre-sale estimates of the lots range from as low as US$2,000 to as high as US$6.25 million. The auction is expected to achieve a total sale in excess of US$30 million, a target that would be easily surpassed going by the ever-increasing collector demand for investment quality jewelry pieces and the impressive highest ever half-year result achieved by Christie’s Jewelry Department in the first half of 2014 of US$362 million, that established eight new world auction records, and the highest total ever achieved for a jewelry auction of US$154 million at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2014.
The top lot of the sale going by the pre-sale estimates is Lot 158 – An Impressive Diamond Pendant Necklace, with the highest estimate of US$4.25 – 6.25 million. The centerpiece of this necklace is undoubtedly the impressive cushion-cut diamond weighing 101.36 carats, certified by GIA as L-color, VS2-clarity, with excellent polish and symmetry. The diamond is suspended as a pendant by a black silk cord neckchain with pavé-set diamond terminals, mounted in platinum.
The next highest lot at the sale is Lot 350 – A Magnificent Diamond Pendant Necklace, with a pre-sale estimate of US$2.8 – 3.5 million. The necklace suspends a detachable pendant, set with three rectangular-cut diamonds, whose weights from the smallest to the largest are respectively, 7.04 carats, 15.30 carats and 81.38 carats and are spaced by circular-cut diamonds. The 18-inch neckchain of this necklace is designed as a line of 17 circular-cut diamonds, spaced by rectangular and square-cut diamonds mounted in 18k white gold. GIA report 5161298875 dated June 25, 2014, accompanying the lot certifies that the 81.38-carat, rectangular-cut diamond is K-color with a faint brown tint, and VVS1-clarity. A working diagram attached to the report indicates the clarity of the diamond may be potentially internally flawless. GIA further certifies that despite the K-color grading the diamond was determined to be Type IIa. This obviously means that the diamond has no detectable quantities of nitrogen impurities and is chemically pure. Hence, the faint brown color of the diamond is caused by plastic distortions in the crystal structure and not by impurities. The occurrence of such Type IIa diamonds is extremely rare in nature and constitute less than 0.1% of all naturally occurring diamonds.
Another highlight of the sale is Lot 254 with a pre-sale estimate of US$1.3 -1.8 million, designed as a graduated line of 50 circular-cut diamonds, with a heart-shaped diamond clasp mounted in platinum. Fifty one GIA reports accompany the lot certifying that the diamonds ranging in weight from 0.31 carats to 7.19 carats have colors ranging from D to G and clarity ranging from internally flawless to VS2.
Lot 307 – A Superb Diamond Ring with a pre-sale estimate of US$1.0 – 1.5 million was another highlight of the sale. The centerpiece of this platinum ring is a cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond weighing 10.03 carats. The gallery and hoop of the ring are mounted with circular-cut diamonds. GIA report 15306535 dated March 27, 2012, accompanying the lot, certifies that the 10.03-carat, rectangular-cut diamond is D-color with internally flawless clarity. GIA further certifies that the diamond is Type IIa, which are chemically pure and structurally perfect diamonds, that constitute about 1 – 2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds. Such diamonds are absolutely colorless falling under the color-grade D-F, also known as “top color” and sometimes referred to in superlatives such as “whiter than white,” “brighter than bright,” “diamonds of the purest water” etc.
Highlights of the colored diamond lots at the sale are Lot 207, Lot 251 and Lot 141. Lot 207 – An Important Colored Diamond and Diamond Ring, with a pre-sale estimate of US$ 800,000 – 1,000,000 is set with a cushion-cut, fancy intense yellow diamond, weighing 36.09 carats, flanked on either side by a marquise-cut diamond, mounted in platinum and 18k gold. GIA report 2155484851, dated June 3, 2013 certifies that the 36.09-carat, cushion-cut diamond is fancy intense yellow, natural color with SI2 clarity.
Lot 251 – A Colored Diamond Ring, with a pre-sale estimate of US$800,000 – 1,200,000 is set with a modified pear-shaped fancy intense green diamond, weighing approximately 3.51 carats, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond, mounted in platinum. GIA report 1162127474 dated May 7, 2014 certifies that the 3.51-carat, pear-shaped diamond is fancy intense green, natural color, SI1 clarity.
Lot 141 – A Colored Diamond and Diamond Ring, with a pre-sale estimate of US$480,000 – 700,000 is set with a pear-shaped, fancy brown-pink diamond, weighing 9.73 carats, flanked on either side by a bullet-shaped colorless diamond, mounted in platinum and 18k gold. GIA report 12853571 dated April 7, 2014 certifies that the diamond is fancy brown-pink, natural color and VS1 clarity.
Top among the colored gemstone lots will be Lot 244 – A Sapphire and Diamond Ring, with a pre-sale estimate of US$650,000 – 850,000. The centerpiece of this ring is a rectangular-cut Burma blue sapphire, weighing 22.97 carats flanked on either side by a triangular-cut diamond, mounted in 18k gold. Two lab reports by AGL and GGL certify the Burma origin of the blue sapphire with no evidence of heat enhancement.
Christie’s always presents the best and most iconic examples of jewelry, from the major jewelry houses at everyone of its auctions and the October 22, 2014, New York “Important Jewels” Sale is no exception. Over 130 signed jewels from major jewelry houses, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co, David Webb etc. will be on offer at the auctions.
Lots 46 and 47 are two of the iconic pieces of jewelry designed by Cartier. Lot 46 is a Diamond, Emerald and Onyx Parrot Ring by Cartier, with a pre-sale estimate of US$50,000 – 70,000. The ring is designed as a pavé-set diamond parrot, with circular-cut emerald eyes and an onyx beak, mounted in platinum and bears Cartier’s signature, no. 810546.
Lot 47 is an Emerald, Diamond and Onyx Panther Ring, by Cartier, with a pre-sale estimate of US$50,000 – 70,000. The ring is designed as a pavé-set diamond panther, set with onyx spots, nose and pear-shaped emerald eyes, the tail terminating with a cabochon emerald, mounted in platinum and bears Cartier signature nos D581 and 53.
Top lot of the Van Cleef & Arpels creations is Lot 124 – A Retro Aquamarine and Gold “Ludo Hexagone” Bracelet Watch designed around 1940. The lot with a pre-sale estimate of US$40,000 – 60,000 is designed as a flexible mosaic of honeycomb links, each with aquamarine accents, to the rectangular-cut aquamarine and sculpted gold buckle clasp, opening to reveal a watch, with mechanical movement, the rectangular dial with Arabic numerals and blued steel hands, mounted in gold, circa 1940. Bracelet, dial and case signed Van Cleef & Arpels.
Highlights of Tiffany & Co’s signed jewels are lots 202 and lot 83. Lot 202 – A Diamond “Legacy” Necklace by Tiffany & Co. with a pre-sale estimate of US$250,000 -350,000 is set at the front with seven graduated bezel-set modified cushion-cut diamonds, spaced by bezel-set circular-cut diamonds and thirty-three square-cut diamonds, each within a circular-cut diamond surround, mounted in platinum.
Lot 83 – A Sapphire and Diamond Ring, by Tiffany & Co. with a pre-sale estimate of US$100,000 – 150,000 is set with a rectangular-cut Ceylon blue sapphire, weighing 63.65 carats, flanked on either side by a half-moon diamond, mounted in platinum. A lab report by AGL certifies the Ceylon origin of the blue sapphire with no gemological evidence of heat enhancement.
Highlights of David Webb’s Lots are lot 98 and lot 290. Lot 98 – A Yellow Sapphire and Diamond Ring by David Webb, with a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000 – 50,000 is set with a modified cushion-cut Ceylon yellow sapphire, weighing 79.69 carats, with circular-cut diamond and sculpted 18k gold and platinum scrolling shoulders and gallery, mounted in platinum and 18k gold. A lab report by AGL certifies the Ceylon origin of the yellow sapphire, with no evidence of heat enhancement.
Lot 290 – A Coral, Diamond, Emerald, and Enamel Bracelet by David Webb, with a pre-sale estimate of US$25,000 – 35,000 is a flexible bracelet designed as two sculpted 18k gold opposing leopard heads with cabochon emerald and circular-cut diamond detail, to the band designed as a series of carved coral cabochons, spaced by white enamel and circular-cut diamond floret links, mounted in platinum and 18k gold.
Highlights from the estate of Laura Thorn include lots 147 and 149. Lot 147 – A Ruby, Diamond and Gold Bracelet, by Van Cleef & Arpels with a pre-sale estimate of US$15,000 – 20,000 is designed as a flexible 18k gold boule band, set at the top with diagonal rows of circular-cut rubies, intersected by rows of circular-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k gold.
Lot 149 – A Diamond and Cultured Pearl Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, with a pre-sale estimate of US$30,000 – 50,000 consists of a neckchain 20.25 ins. long designed as a series of cultured pearls, within circular-cut diamond surrounds alternating with baroque cultured pearls, with circular-cut diamond caps, mounted in 18k gold. The neckchain suspends a detachable circular-cut diamond and cultured pearl openwork foliate pendant.