Places like New York, Hong Kong and London certainly have impressive jewelry auctions each year, but Geneva still reigns supreme. Christie’s and Sotheby’s are hosting their spring Magnificent Jewels sales this week and while the number of lots are down from previous (pre-Covid) years, there are some high-quality gems and jewels available.
Christie’s Geneva sale on Wednesday features two exceptional diamonds, “The Rock,” and “The Red Cross Diamond.”
At 228.31 carats, The Rock (pictured above) it is the largest white diamond to ever appear at auction. The pear-shaped diamond has been graded by the Gemological Institute of America as having G color, VS1 clarity, with excellent polish and symmetry. Its estimate is $20 million to $30 million, making it the top jewelry lot of the week.
This is followed by an equally impressive gem with a long history with Christie’s. The Red Cross Diamond is a 205.07-carat, Fancy Intense Yellow diamond cushion modified brilliant-cut with
VS2 clarity. It was cut in the shape of a Maltese cross. Estimate upon request.
It was first sold at Christie’s London in 1918 with proceeds benefitting the International Red Cross. It was sold again in 1973 at Christie’s Geneva where it fetched more than $1.8 million. For its third time on the block a significant portion of the proceeds will benefit the International Committee of the Red Cross, Christie’s said in a statement.
The sale includes tiaras from the 19th and 20th centuries, among them the Fürstenberg Tiara, bearing the mark of famous Austrian jeweler Gustav Flach. It belonged to The Princess of Fürstenberg, née Countess Irma of Schönborn Buchheim (1867-1948), a member of one of the pre-eminent aristocratic families in the Habsburg Empire. Its estimate is $403,700 – $605,600.
A Belle Epoque emerald and diamond tiara, attributed to the Spanish born French jeweler, Marzo, whose Belle Epoque creations are “distinguished by their elegance and fashionable taste,” according to the auction house. Its estimate is $151,400 – $201,880.
The 61 lots in the sale also include creations by JAR, Mouawad and Bulgari.
Online bidding has already begun for Sotheby’s Geneva auction which will culminate with a live auction on Tuesday. Among the 191 lots are two important diamond jewels.
The first is an 18K gold ring by Chopard centered with an 80.08-carat D-color internally flawless step-cut diamond with excellent polish and symmetry, according to GIA, which further states that the gem could be graded flawless with minor repolishing. The diamond is flanked by Mozambique rubies weighing from 1.11 to 1.23 carats with no indications of heating, and with the much-sought-after “Pigeon Blood” color designation. It’s expected to exceed $8.5 million, which will likely to be eclipsed since as of Monday it has a high online bid of more than $7 million.
The second is an 18K white gold ring centered with a 7.17-carat Fancy Intense Purple-pink diamond. The VVS2 clarity gem is presented in a cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant shape. Its online high bid is more than $3 million as of Monday.
Other highlights in the sale include:
- A 15.23-carat heart-shaped Fancy Intense Orangy Pink diamond ring, with an estimate of $3.7 million – $5.5 million;
- a 12.39-carat cushion-shaped Faint Pink Type IIA diamond ring, with an estimate of $938,750 – $1.4 million);
- a 3.14-carat cushion-shaped Fancy Intense Blue diamond ring with an estimate of $1.6 million to $2.2 million;
- Among the Noble Jewels being offered is a natural pearl and diamond brooch, formerly in the collection of Princess Anna zu Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1865-1954) with an estimate of $121,130 – 201,890;
- A 56.52 carat Burmese sapphire ring in a Cartier mounting with an estimate of $772,200 – $1.35 million;
- An emerald and diamond necklace composed of 63 Colombian emerald beads with an estimate of 827,700 – $1.5 million;
- A colorful gem set and diamond ‘Birds in Flight’ Art Deco bracelet by Oscar Heyman & Brothers dated to 1927 with an estimate of $474,400 – $749,400;
- A modern example of Cartier’s “Tutti-Frutti” design, in the form of a gem-set and diamond bracelet with an estimate of $302,800 – $485,500; and
- A gem set, sapphire and diamond ‘Moghul’ pendant-brooch by JAR, of Indian architectural inspiration set with a fancy cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 14.77 carats, with an estimate of $403,760 – $605,600.