Costume Jewelry Ring Turns Out to be a 26.27 Carat Diamond

"Even if it was just a small 1-carat diamond it would be amazing, but the fact that it's 26 carats, that's larger than most would see in their lifetime let alone own dream of owning. To have one this big and truly pure is astounding,"  -Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby's London jewelry department; photo courtesy of Sotheby's Auction House

"Even if it was just a small 1-carat diamond it would be amazing, but the fact that it's 26 carats, that's larger than most would see in their lifetime let alone own dream of owning. To have one this big and truly pure is astounding,"  -Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby's London jewelry department; photo courtesy of Sotheby's Auction House

One lucky lady bought more than a fun cocktail ring for about 10 pounds (about $15) 30 years ago. This piece of "costume jewelry" turned out to be a 26.27 carat white diamond. The owner has been wearing the ring since the '80s and only recently found out from a local jeweler it could be of significant value. On Monday she met with with Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby's London jewelry department. 

"She first bought it in the 1980s as a costume jewel, cocktail ring and she has been wearing it around ever since," Wyndham said. "It's impossible to really date it, but the style of the diamond has notable characteristics similar to what you would expect from the 19th century," she explained. 

"She randomly took it to a local jeweler who said, 'This could be a diamond,' and told her to 'seriously get it looked at,'" Wyndham added. The ring's owner was searching impressive diamonds on Google when she found Sotheby's and reached out to Wyndham to get the process started. Once Wyndham was able to see the stone in person she decided to contact the Gemological Institute of America to have the gem identified officially. "They check the diamond and give a certificate confirming the color, clarity, size and weight," Wyndham said of the New York City-based company. The stone came back as a cushion-shaped diamond weighing 26.27 carats with an attractive color grade of I and impressive clarity grade of VVS2.

Sotheby's will start the low auction price at about $325,000 but Wyndham said the diamond could reach $454,000. The unique 26.27-carat white diamond will be part of a sale on June 7, 2017, that includes a diamond broach worn by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and other priceless historic jewelry items.

See all of the items included in the Sotheby's Sale Here.

Spring Into May Auctions

A peek into the treasures to be found in the May auctions.

CHRITIE'S AUCTION HOUSE

Magnificent Jewels May 17, 207 Geneva

Magnificent Jewels May 17, 207 Geneva


In the culmination of Geneva Luxury Week, the Magnificent Jewels auction features a fantastic 92 carat D Flawless heart-shaped diamond pendant, named ‘La Légende’, and a pair of chandelier earrings, named ‘La Vie Bohème’,  both by Boehmer et Bassenge. With a thematic section dedicated to the Dolce Vita era along with pieces formerly owned by Doris Duke and Elizabeth Taylor, the sale embraces distinguished provenance and jewellery with a storied past. Signed pieces from Bulgari and Cartier, Kashmir sapphires, Burmese rubies and Columbian emeralds round out an exceptional sale this season.

Magnificent Jewels May 30, 2017 Hong Kong

Magnificent Jewels May 30, 2017 Hong Kong

The Magnificent Jewels Hong Kong auction features an assortment of natural gemstones including pearls, jadeite, and diamonds of various colors. 


SOTHEBY'S AUCTION HOUSE

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, Sessions 1, 2, and 3MAY 16, 2017 GENEVA

Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, Sessions 1, 2, and 3MAY 16, 2017 GENEVA

Sotheby’s spring sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva will be led by the ‘Apollo and Artemis Diamonds’. Individually, these captivating diamonds – one Fancy Vivid Blue, one Fancy Intense Pink – are truly exceptional stones and when considered as a pair, they enter a class of their own: the most important earrings ever to appear at auction. Offered separately as individual lots, ‘The Apollo Blue’ will be presented with an estimate of CHF 38,125,000–50,160,000 ($38,000,000–50,000,000) and ‘The Artemis Pink’ is estimated between CHF 12,545,000–18,060,000 ($12,500,000–18,000,000). The sale features jewellery from different collections comprising signed jewels and superb gemstones. Gems from Kashmir, Burma, Colombia rub shoulders with signed jewels from the most iconic and well-known jewellery houses, such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Lacloche, Bulgari, Schlumberger and Tiffany.


BONHAM'S AUCTION HOUSE

Bonham's Jewelry May 24, 2017 Edinburgh 

Bonham's Jewelry May 24, 2017 Edinburgh 

Bonham's Rare Jewels and Jadeite May 31, 2017 Hong Kong

Bonham's Rare Jewels and Jadeite May 31, 2017 Hong Kong


DOYLE'S FINE JEWELRY AUCTION

Doyle's Auction House May 22, 2017 Beverly Hills

Doyle's Auction House May 22, 2017 Beverly Hills

Doyle will hold the Spring 2017 sale of Fine Jewelry at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 10am (Pacific). Our West Coast sales of Fine Jewelry attract hundreds of bidders vying for exquisite designs consigned from prominent private collections and estates. The range of offerings includes stylish jewelry for garden lunches to glittering statement pieces perfect for the red carpet!


The Pink Star Diamond Breaks Auction Records

The Pink Star: 59.6 carat pink diamond. Photo from Sotheby's auction house. 

The Pink Star: 59.6 carat pink diamond. Photo from Sotheby's auction house. 

The previous world record for a pink diamond was set in 2010 by the 24.79 carat Graff Pink which was sold for $46.2 million. The Pink Star diamond also broke the record for all diamonds, a title previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, sold at a Christie’s auction in May for $58 million.

The previous world record for a pink diamond was set in 2010 by the 24.79 carat Graff Pink which was sold for $46.2 million. The Pink Star diamond also broke the record for all diamonds, a title previously held by the Oppenheimer Blue diamond, sold at a Christie’s auction in May for $58 million.

Sotheby's broke records on Tuesday at their Hong Kong auction house with the sale of "The Pink Star" for an astounding $71.2 million. The 59.6 carat pink diamond, was won by Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook after a five-minute bidding war.  

The Pink Star diamond was the largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, according to Sotheby’s

The Pink Star diamond was originally mined in Botswana, Africa, by De Beers in 1999. The stone came from a 132.5 carat rough diamond. The cutting and polishing took two years of work.

The gem was previously auctioned off in 2014. Isaac Wolf, a diamond cutter, purchased the stone for $93 million at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva. The diamond was then reclaimed by the auction house after Wolf failed to pay for it. Tuesday's winning bidder Chow Tai Fook has renamed it the CTF Pink Star after it purchased the diamond in honor of the late father of the jeweler retailer’s current chairman.

Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Gold Cuff Bracelets Wedding Gift coming up at Heritage Auctions

BEVERLY HILLS — A pair of dazzling Gold Cuff Bracelets by Van Cleef & Arpels, gifted by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to Nina Straight, her step-sister and maid of honor when she married John F. Kennedy in 1953, are expected to sell for $40,000 in Heritage Auctions' Contemporary Designer Jewels Auction Sept. 26 in Beverly Hills. Kennedy Onassis surprised Straight with the bracelets when she served as Straight's maid of honor 21 years later. 

"They were a gift from Jackie for my wedding to Michael Straight in 1974," Straight said for an exclusive interview with Heritage Auctions' Intelligent Collector Magazine. "We were married at St. John's Cathedral in New York. Jackie gave them to me at the luncheon after the ceremony."

The cuffs matched a pair Kennedy Onassis often wore. "Jackie loved hers so much that she bought me a pair knowing I would enjoy them equally," Straight said. "I always viewed myself as Jackie's 'Sancho Panza' or sidekick. We had so much fun. Ours was a very close relationship."

Jill Burgum, Senior Director of Jewelry at Heritage said there is no telling how the collecting public will respond to a pair of cuffs gifted by the First Lady to someone so special to her life. The pair Kennedy Onassis gifted to Straight are marked 47 and 48. A bracelet from Kennedy Onassis' own pair sold previously is marked No. 50, so it is very likely that she purchased both limited edition sets at the same time and gave Straight the earlier pair, Burgum said.

"Nina was Jackie's step-sister so this was a very important and thoughtful gift by a former First Lady, who was known as an icon of American fashion," Burgum said. "Nina said she hopes they are purchased by someone equally as 'fun loving'."

The cuffs and the rest of the lots from Heritage Auction's upcoming September 26th sale can be viewed on their website.

Shirley Temple's Blue Diamond

ShirleyTemple1

The blue diamond ring that belonged to child-star-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple is going up for auction at Sotheby’s next month.
The 9.54 carat stone was bought by the former Hollywood actress’s father around her 12th birthday for $7,210 in 1940 and it became a favored piece of jewelry. 
Shirley Temple Temple began her film career in 1932 at the age of three and in 1934 she found international fame in Bright Eyes. She was well known for her bouncy curls and outgoing personality (she was cute as a button!). From 1935 through 1938 she was Hollywood’s biggest box office star. 
As Shirley Temple Black, she had a long career in public service and was the US ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. She was also appointed as Chief of Protocol by President Gerald Ford in 1976 and was involved in preparations for President Jimmy Carter’s inauguration. 
She died in February 2014 at the age of 85 at home in Woodside, California.

Blue Diamond Ring being Auctioned by Sotheby's in April

Blue Diamond Ring being Auctioned by Sotheby's in April

BLUE DIAMOND RING On a Model's hand

BLUE DIAMOND RING On a Model's hand

Shirley Temple Black as US Ambassador 

Shirley Temple Black as US Ambassador 

The stone has a pre-sale estimate of between $25 million and $35 million and is scheduled to go under the hammer on April 19. 
According to Frank Everett, sales director for Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York the ring had been sold by her estate to a private buyer and that buyer was now putting it up for auction. The stone is in its original platinum and diamond setting. A gold setting that Temple had made for it will also be included.

Meteorite Skull hits Bonhams' Auction

A spectacular piece of art is hitting the auction block at Bonhams on November 24th 2015, and it is certainly turning heads! The stunning life size skull is hand carved from a single block of Gibeon meteorite by artist Lee Downey. Read More...

 

 

 

 

 

“Yorick” by Lee Downey will be auctioned November 24 by Bonhams Los Angeles (7601 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles) in its Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones, and Minerals sale.

Photo courtesy of Bonhams

'Sunrise Ruby' Steals the Show at Sotheby's Auction

sunrise

The “Sunrise Ruby,” a 25.59-carat untreated pigeon’s blood red-colored stone set a new world auction record for price paid for a ruby on Tuesday at the Sotheby's Geneva sale. The ruby was initially estimated to sell at between $12-$18 million but bidding soared to $30.3 million, demolishing the existing ruby auction record that was held by the $8.6 million sale of the “Graff Ruby.” The ring also set a record for the price paid for a jewel by Cartier. It was sold to an million to an anonymous buyer.
The high price of the ruby heavily contributed to the Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction which the highest-ever total for any jewelry auction at $160.9 million, deposing the Christie’s November 2014 sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva, which totaled $150.2 million.

Also performing well but not meeting pre-sale expectations was the “Historic Pink." The 8.72-carat fancy vivid pink diamond sold for $15.9 million, below its pre-sale high estimate of $18 million.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division had this to say about the sale: 
“(The) record result is the reflection of outstanding quality of the pieces in the sale across the board,...The galleries have been brimming with collectors during our worldwide exhibitions, and this translated into lively bidding throughout the sale … with truly global demand for the finest diamonds, gemstones and signed pieces of the very highest order.”

The entirety of the auction results can be viewed at Sotheby's 

Sotheby's to Auction a Historic Pink Diamond

Historic pink

A fancy vivid pink diamond that is believed to have been part of the collection of Napoleon Bonaparte’s niece, Princess Mathilde, could fetch up to $18 million when it hits Sotheby’s auction block next month.
Dubbed the “Historic Pink Diamond,” the diamond is an 8.72-carat stone, VS2 clarity and is a non-modified cushion cut; unusual for a pink diamond.

Scheduled for May 12 Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, in Geneva.

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

The “Ultimate Emerald-cut Eiamond" Fetches More than $22 million

Ultimate Emerald Cut

An anonymous buyer who called in their bid became the owner of one impressive diamonds, a 100.2-carat, internally flawless, D color Type IIa diamond. The diamond sold for $22.1 million at Sotheby’s New York jewelry sale on April 21, falling slightly short of its highest pre-sale estimate, $25 million.
The hundred-carat stunner led Tuesday’s Magnificent Jewels sale and was one-third of the auction’s $65.1 million total, a new record for Sotheby’s in New York.
According to Sotheby’s, the stone is the largest “perfect” diamond with a classic emerald cut ever sold at auction and the first 100-carat-plus perfect diamond sold at an auction held in New York. The $22 million paid for it is a record for a colorless diamond auctioned in New York.

ultimate

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA