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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Emerald and Diamond Tiara Fetches $12.7M, Pink Diamond Sells for $10.8M


An emerald and diamond tiara, circa 1900, formerly in the collection of Princess Katharina Henckel von Donnersmarck, sold for a staggering $12.7 million, setting the stage for a glittering night at Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels Sale, held Thursday night in Geneva.

Sotheby’s said that this tiara was the most important to have appeared at auction in more than 30 years and apparently those assembled at the auction Hôtel Beau-Rivage agreed as the bejeweled headpiece sold for more than $2 million above its high estimate. It is composed of 11 rare Colombian emerald pear-shaped drops, which weigh over 500 cts. in total and may well have originally adorned the neck of a Maharajah. These emeralds are also believed to have been in the personal collection of Empress Eugénie.

The tiara was commissioned circa 1900, possibly from Chaumet, the Parisian jewelry house, by Guido Count von Henckel, First Prince von Donnersmarck, for his second wife Princess Katharina, Sotheby’s said. It was worn whenever royalty was present.

Another highlight of the evening was a 10.99-ct. rare pink diamond that hasn’t appeared on the market for more than 30 years. It sold for $10.8 million, the third highest price for a pink diamond at auction.

The diamond features a classic emerald cut, normally associated with white diamonds, Sotheby’s said. This gem, mounted as a ring, has been graded “fancy intense pink,” natural color and VS1 clarity. It’s further assessed to be type IIa, meaning it is almost or entirely devoid of impurities with extraordinary optical transparency. Fewer than 2 percent of all diamonds in the world are given this grade of purity and most of those diamonds are white.

These were the two headline pieces on a night that totaled $89.1 million sales, the third highest for a sale of jewelry at auction. More than 90 percent of the 479 lots were sold, with 97.5 percent of its total estimated value achieved.

3 comments:

  1. Wow! These are definitely more than jewels, they are masterpieces actually. I would like to point out the contrast between both pieces that anyway share an undoubted and exquisit beauty: while the tiara stands for its own as a symbol of royalty and nobility with its huge emeralds and diamonds, having trascended through more than a century, the amazingly rare, almost 11 ct pink diamond immedately infatuates because of its radiant simplicity.
    Both pieces take anyone´s breath away...

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  2. Wonderfully written post, Monica. Vivid in its description and explanation. Thank you for posting it.

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  3. Thank you Anthony! I appreciate your feedback! Kind regards,

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