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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Two Flawless Diamonds May Fetch $18 Million at Hong Kong Auction

Leading Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels is a pair of unmounted round brilliant-cut D flawless diamonds, weighing 35.77 and 35.61 carats each. The auction house said it is the largest pair of its type to ever be offered at auction.

The diamond pair—each roughly the size of a cherry tomato—received a “Triple Excellent” rating for their polish, symmetry and cut grade. Adding to their allure is that they have also been determined to be Type IIa, the most chemically pure form of diamond showing exceptional appeal transparency. The Steinmetz Diamond Group, a leading diamond manufacturer and trader, cut this pair of diamonds, both of which were uncovered in South Africa.

“To find large pieces of colorless rough within the same timeframe represents an extremely rare occurrence,” Christie’s said. “To combine that with the vision to obtain a closely matched pair raises the project to new heights.” This pair was exhibited by Steinmetz at the Guggenheim in New York in December 2010.

Offered separately, the pre-auction estimate is $7 million to $9 million each.

The November 29 auction at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre will feature diamonds, colored gems, rare jadeite and signed jewels and is expected to bring in $75 million, said Vickie Sek, director of the Jewellery and Jadeite Department, Christie’s Asia.

Jewels by Harry Winston will be prominent in the sale. Leading the selection is an emerald and diamond brooch, originally purchased by a Texas oil-man and personal client to Mr. Winston who called upon the jeweler for a significant gemstone. Mr. Winston offered the man and his wife a choice: The 68.90 carat emerald or a 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond. The wife chose the emerald, and the diamond went on to be acquired by Elizabeth Taylor and subsequently known as Taylor-Burton Diamond. For the emerald, Mr. Winston had his legendary designer, Ambaji Shinde, create the jewel. Auction estimate: $2 million – $3 million.

Among the selection of natural pearl jewels offered is a necklace of saltwater natural pearls boasting 16 matching button-shaped pearls of impressive size. Assembling such a finely-matched selection of natural pearls of this size and quality is rare and likely took decades, the auction house said. Estimate: $1.6 million to $2.25 million.

It wouldn’t be a Hong Kong auction without a strong selection of important jadeite. This sale is led by, “Three Friends of Winter,” a jadeite pendant necklace featuring a carved jadeite plaque that provides a rare balance of color, texture and translucency, the auction house said. Estimate: $2 million – $3 million.

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