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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Golconda Diamond Ear Pendants to Lead Christie's Hong Kong Jewelry Sale

Imperial Cushions: Pair of 23.49 ct. and 23.11-ct. Golconda diamond ear pendants

A pair of ear-pendants with diamonds from the legendary Golconda mines will be offered at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale on May 31. Known as the Imperial Cushions, the 23.49 cts. and 23.11 cts. D potentially flawless Golconda type IIa diamond ear-pendants has a presale estimate of $7 million to $10 million.

Besides the exceptional size and quality of the diamonds, the ear-pendants are fashioned in a cushion shaped cutting style as a perfectly matched pair. The pair of stones is “as rare as you can possibly find,” the international auction house said. “While the diamonds do not actually come with an imperial provenance, the quality, workmanship, size, and rarity are of a caliber worthy of a royal collection.”

The Golconda mines were renowned for the diamonds they produced. Among the legendary diamonds taken from the mines in the region surrounding the ancient ruined city of Golconda in south-central India, is the Darya-e Nur, meaning sea of light, at 185 carats (37 g), the largest and finest diamond of the crown jewels of Iran. Other famous diamonds that are believed to come from the area are the Hope, Wittelsbach and Regent.

The upcoming auction at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre will offer close to 300 pieces of diamonds, colored gemstones and jadeite with a presale estimate exceeding $70 million.

Other diamonds highlights include a pair of 13.09-ct. and 12.86-ct. heart-shaped diamond ear pendants with very good polish and symmetry with a presale estimate of $3 million to $4.5 million. The Type IIa, D color with internally flawless clarity diamonds are the largest pair of this quality ever to appear at auction, according to Christie’s.

Another important diamond is an un-mounted 18.88-ct. D color, flawless clarity brilliant-cut, type IIa diamond with a presale estimate of $3.2 million to $5 million. It comes with a Gemological Institute of America certificate.

All three diamonds, as previously mentioned, are of Type IIa quality. These types of diamonds are of the most chemically pure, lacking in nitrogen which therefore yield exceptional optical transparency. These diamonds represent less than 2 percent of the world’s production.

The spring sale also offers a range of important sapphires from top sapphire producing regions, including Kashmir and Burma.

Of note is a pair of 14.84-ct. and 13.37-ct., cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphires and diamond ear pendants with a presale estimate of $2.6 million to $3.8 million. The “cornflower blue” color is a hallmark of Kashmir sapphires. This rich blue is distributed throughout the stones. They possess a high clarity with a superior degree of transparency. The combination of all these characteristics is rare in natural Kashmir sapphires of this size, Christie’s said.

Among the ruby highlights is a pair of 5.23 cts. and 5.13 cts. oval-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ear pendants with a presale estimate of $1.7 million to $2.5 million. They exhibit a well-saturated color combined with a pleasant cutting style, Christie’s said.

For pearl lovers, the sale includes a three-stranded necklace composed of 143 white natural pearls with lustrous quality. It has a presale estimate of $1.2 million to $1.8 million. The pearls measure from 2.5 to 12.8 mm, spaced by diamonds, with a suspending drop-shaped natural pearl.


A jewelry auction in Hong Kong wouldn’t be complete without Jadeite. The top piece being offered is a ring set with a 13.5mm thick double cabochon perfectly rounded on both sides. “In spite of its thickness, this precious cabochon is of exceptional translucency and purity, with even green tone and without any trace of impurities,” Christie’s said. Its pre-auction estimate is $770,000 to $1 million.

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