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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kashmir Sapphire Sets Record, Jackie O’s Van Cleef Rubies Fetch $302,000, Spanish Royal Brooch Failed To Sell

Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ear pendants owned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

It was a busy evening at at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale held Wednesday. The auction of 341 lots were led by statement diamonds, gems with exceptional origins and natural pearls. However, there were downsides as an historically significant and highly touted Spanish royal brooch was among the 23 percent of lots that did not sell.  

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis ruby ring

One of the most anticipated lots in the sale was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ ruby ear clips by Van Cleef & Arpels and a ruby ring. The items sold as a set for $301,959. The jewels were a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis in 1968. Each ear pendant top is designed as an openwork pavé-set diamond leaf, suspending a detachable cabochon ruby and brilliant-cut diamond cluster pendant. The ring is centered by a heart-shaped cabochon ruby within a brilliant-cut diamond surround to the pavé-set diamond shoulder.


The top lot of the sale was a 5.18-carat rectangular-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond on a ring (pictured above) that sold for just over $10.7 million (more than $2 million per carat). The gem was set in gold within an oval-shaped diamond surround. This was followed by a 55.52-carat pear shaped D-color, Flawless diamond that sold for just over $9 million. 


Colored gems of exceptional origins continue to show its strength. A cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire ring of 35.09 carats (pictured above) sold for a world auction record price of $7.35 million ($209,689 per carat). A cushion-shaped Burmese ruby ring of 30.20 carats sold for $3.4 million ($112,850 per carat). 


A late 19th century single-strand natural pearl necklace, measuring approximately 11.1 to 7.8 mm, sold for more than $3.8 million. 

Historic Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch that failed to sell

At the other end of the spectrum, the historically significant Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch was pulled from the auction. It had an estimate of $1.5 to $2 million. The brooch was presented as a wedding gift in November 1879 from King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife, the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, soon to be Queen Consort and then Queen Regent of Spain. The brooch, which was highly touted by Christie’s before the sale, is part of the collection belonging to Baroness Thyssen-Bornemizsa.

The auction of 341 lots realized more than $97.5 million, with 77 percent of items sold by lot and 81 percent sold by value. 

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