The early signs of spring are barely in the air with incrementally warming temperatures and puddles of melting snow all around. In tandem with Mother Nature, the jewelry auction season is also heating up with a preview of the first magnificent jewels sale of the year. Christie’s has unveiled the major highlights of its April 14th Magnificent Jewels sale, and there is certainly something to wow everyone. Comprising more than 300 jewels, the auction is expected to achieve in excess of $40 million.
Almost rarer than rare, a four-strand natural colored saltwater pearl necklace leads the pack of highlights with its more than 289 exceedingly rare natural black pearls. The black pearls, considered amongst the most rare of natural gems, glow with rosé, green or purple overtones. Only a handful of black and gray pearl necklaces have ever appeared at auction, the most famous being The Nina Dyer Black Pearl Necklace (sold at Christie’s in 1969) and The Cowdray Pearls (sold at Christie’s in 2012). This rare necklace is estimated at $3.8 to $4.5 million.
For diamond lovers and alternative investors, the sale will offer some exquisite examples of colorless and colored diamonds:
- An 80.73-carat cushion-shaped diamond
- A 5.29-carat Fancy Intense purplish-pink diamond
- A 5.04-carat Fancy gray-blue diamond
One jewel sure to pull on collector’s heart strings is Millicent Rogers Heart Brooch by Paul Flato (est. $350,000 to 500,000). Set with rubies, sapphires, and colored diamonds, this iconic jewel was designed and worn often by the Standard Oil heiress. The heart is pierced by an arrow from which is draped a blue ribbon with the words, “Verbum Carro” (“A word to my dear”).
Exceptional signed jewels, however, seem to be the running theme in the sale as magnificent treasures from the finest jewelry houses and designers stack the highlight reel. Stunning pieces by Buglari, Cartier, Graff, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harry Winston, and JAR will surely incite bidding wars throughout the sale.