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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Giant Natural Pearl Sells for $254,500 at Christie’s Dubai


A baroque drop-shaped natural pearl weighing 239.7 grains (59.92 carats) sold for $254,500 at Christie’s Dubai sale of Important Jewels on Wednesday. The pearl, set on a diamond foliate surmount with a spectacle-set diamond chain 42 cm. long, is the largest saltwater pearl ever recorded, according to the international auction house.

It was once part of the collection of Valda Virginia Vaughn Scott, the daughter of an English diplomat and a member of the Alessi family. Her grandfather and great-grandfather served in the Royal Malta Regiment and the Malta Crown Advocate, and they were in turn descended from the Maltese nobleman, the Marquis di Taflia.

The pearl’s provenance along with its size speaks to its value, said David Warren, International Director of Christie’s Jewellery department and Head of Jewellery Middle East.

“Natural pearls of this size are rarely seen on the jewelry market and when offered they attract international interest,” he said. “The buyer is from the region, a traditional hot spot of the finest natural pearl enthusiasts. To date this is the largest natural pearl we have offered in Dubai.”

The auction of diamonds, gemstones, natural pearls, contemporary and signed jewelry, held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, took in more than $3.9 million.

A diamond and colored diamond jewelry suite fetched $542,500, the highest sales of the event. In addition to the quality of the materials and design, this jewelry suite is distinguished by the way it coverts from a dual necklace to a tiara with ear clips.


The front of the necklace, designed as a detachable swag, has five graduated diamond flowerheads, three flowerheads mounted with a brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond of 3.57, 3.11 and 3 cts. each, surrounded by a diamond cluster center to the similarly-set diamond petals. These are alternated by two similarly-set diamond flowerheads, each mounted with a brilliant-cut diamond weighing 2.02 and 2.01 cts. to the marquise-cut diamond petals, interspersed by connecting links of pear-shaped fancy vivid and fancy intense diamonds of yellow and orange hues and diamonds of foliate motif. The back of the necklace accented by brilliant-cut yellow diamond spacers, converts to form a tiara; with ear clips en suite composed of two brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds weighing 3.52 and 3.49 cts. each, with diamond-set leather fitted cases.

The suite is accompanied by 27 Gemological Institute of America reports stating that quality and characteristics of the various diamonds.

A ring centered by a 25.01-ct. fancy brownish greenish yellow diamond flanked by two shield-shaped diamonds weighing a total of 2.40 cts. was sold for $410,500, well-above its pre-auction high estimate of 350,000.

A diamond jewelry suite consisting of necklace, ring and earrings all with a heart-shape theme sold for $266,500—above its high estimate of $260,000. 

The suite is composed of a detachable pendant mounted with two graduated heart-shaped diamond collets weighing 5.77 and 4.01 cts. each to the similarly-set graduated heart-shaped diamond neck chain; Matching ear pendants, each suspending a heart-shaped diamond drop weighing 3.49 and 3.42 carats to the diamond surmount weighing 2.19 and 2.11 cts. each; Ring mounted with a heart-shaped diamond weighing 2 carats to the tapered baguette-cut diamond shoulders with plain hoop.

It is accompanied by seven reports from the Gemological Institute of America the Antwerp Diamond High Council.

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