Monday, March 16, 2015


Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale  To Take Place On 6 April Highlighting  Superb Colourless and Coloured Diamonds,  Signed Vintage and Contemporary Designs by Renowned Jewellers And Splendid Jadeite Jewellery 

Diamond Necklace, Bulgari, circa 1950s (Est. HK$8 – 9.5 million / US$1 – 1.2 million)  Hong Kong Public Exhibition 2 – 5 April |Auction: 6 April  

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale 2015 will take place on 6 April at Hall 5, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.  

The upcoming sale will highlight an array of rare and important colourless and coloured diamonds, including a stunning 77.77-carat fancy vivid yellow diamond ring and a superb 23.15-carat DIF type IIa Golconda diamond ring dubbed “The Legend of Golconda”.  

They will be complemented by a suite of “pigeon’s blood” Burmese ruby by Faidee, an extremely rare triple-strand natural pearl necklace, as well as an outstanding jadeite bead necklace.  

Also highly anticipated are a selection of signed jewellery from the 1930s to the present by renowned jewellers including Bulgari, Boucheron, Marina B, as well as Tamsen Z by Ann Ziff, who is represented in the sale by her Ren e Fleming Iris Brooch designed specially for the celebrated opera singer.  

Altogether the sale will offer approximately 320 lots estimated in excess of HK$770 million / US$99 million*. 

QUEK Chin Yeow, Deputy Chairman of Sotheby’s Asia and Chairman of International Jewellery, Asia said, “This Spring, we are delighted to have assembled for Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction a bejewelled kaleidoscope of gems, from divine diamonds, coloured stones and pearls to jadeite, including the reddest of rubies to tempt the most discerning of collectors, in Asia and around the world.  

"Connoisseurs can also expect a dazzling feast of marvellous vintage and contemporary designs from some of the world’s most celebrated jewellers.”   

HIGHLIGHTS: DIAMONDS Europe’s earliest passion for diamonds was piqued by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the 17th- century French gem merchant who was among the firsts to visit India’s Golconda mines in 1640.   

King Louis XIV of France, upon beholding the unbelievable purity and beauty of the stones presented by Tavernier, described the diamonds as “pools of crystal water”.    

Indeed, Golconda diamonds stand out from all others with their superb transparency, as they are Type IIa diamonds and therefore nitrogen-free and chemically pure.  

The Legend of Golconda, a 23.15- carat D-colour Internally Flawless Type IIa Diamond Ring (Est. HK$34 – 40 million / US$4.3 – 50 million), possesses all the qualities that are reminiscent of treasures from Golconda.  

Its antique cut demonstrates the balance of brilliance and dispersion that gives the diamond its distinct character and beauty.  Its impeccable crystalline structure places it among history’s most prominent diamonds, such as the Koh-i-Noor and The Regent.  

Yellow diamonds owe their colour to the presence of nitrogen in the diamond crystal structure.  Pure yellow diamonds with no modifying hues are relatively rare and greatly sought after.  

The world auction record for yellow diamond was set twice at Sotheby’s Geneva in the past few years, first in 2011 with the sale of “The Sun-Drop Diamond” (renamed “The Lady Dalal”), a 110.03-carat pear-shaped fancy vivid yellow diamond, for CHF11,282,500 (US$12,361,558), one of the largest diamonds ever to appear at auction.  

It was set again more recently, when the sensational and rare Graff Vivid Yellow weighing 100.09 carat sold for CHF14,501,000 (US$16,347,799) in November 2014.    

This spring, Sotheby’s is proud to offer another extraordinary 77.77-carat VS2 Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$53 – 58 million / US$6.8 – 7.5 million).  

Seven is an auspicious number for the Chinese and the luckiest number in the West representing wealth.  This exceptional size is extremely rare for any diamond, and the fancy vivid yellow colour ranks the diamond as having the finest saturation of colour.    

One of the rarest among fancy coloured diamonds, pink diamonds are highly sought after in the auction market and the demand has driven prices to remarkable levels.  Throughout the history of auction a total of eight pink diamonds sold for over a million US dollars per carat.  

The last example was a superb 8.41-carat fancy vivid purple-pink diamond sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2014 for HK$138.6 million / US$17.77 million, setting the world auction record for fancy vivid pink diamonds which still stands today.   

This 4.57-carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring mounted by Carvin French (Est. HK$48 – 55 million / US$6 – 7 million) earns a place in the hall of fame alongside other legendary pink diamonds. 

 “Fancy Vivid” is the highest grading by GIA (Gemmological Institute of America) for fancy coloured diamonds.  For every million carats of rough only one carat of polished pink diamond is produced and only approximately one in ten million polished pink diamonds attains the “Fancy Vivid” pink grading.  

This heart-shaped stone demonstrates a subtle balance of hue and saturation akin to that of neon pink.  Combined with Internally Flawless clarity which is rarely found in pink diamonds, this stone exemplifies the best of hue, saturation and clarity in a pink diamond and qualifies as a true miracle of Nature.
This is complemented by a Rare and Exquisite Pair of 4.01 Carat Fancy Intense Purple- Pink Diamond, 3.72 Carat Fancy Intense Purplish-Pink Diamond and Diamond Pendent Earrings (Est. HK$48 – 55 million / US$6 – 7 million).  

Given their rarity it is a considerable challenge to assemble two fancy intense pink diamonds of matching colour, size and cut and hardly any has appeared in the auction market in pairs since 2006.  This pair of earrings would certainly be a prized addition to any jewellery collection.  

VINTAGE AND CONTEMPORARY SIGNED JEWELLERY This Spring Sotheby’s Hong Kong has assembled a selection of vintage and contemporary signed pieces by renowned jewellers, including such classic names as Bulgari and Boucheron as well as contemporary designers, namely Marina B and Tamsen Z.   

The economic boom after the World War II signified a return of jewellery set lavishly with precious gemstones, and above all, with diamonds.  By the 1950s, motifs and lines had evolved to become more sinuous and soft as compared to the Art Deco era, with three-dimensional design of furled ribbons as typical trait at that time.  

This magnificent Diamond Necklace from Bulgari (Est. HK$8 – 9.5 million / US$1 – 1.2 million) created circa 1950s beautifully epitomises the trend.  

Punctuated by large stones including a 7.04-carat pear-shaped DIF diamond, this necklace demonstrates purity of form and a certain compactness that was unprecedented.   

Bulgari was not afraid to play up importance of colourful gemstones, which were selected not only for their alluring colour, but also their impressive sizes and fine quality.  

The present pair of 7.80 and 7.10-carat Unheated Burmese Mogok Ruby and Diamond Pendent Earrings from Bulgari (Est. HK$35 – 40 million / US$4.5 – 5 million) stands as a perfect testament to the Italian master’s sublime artistry, as well as an epitome of Bulgari’s exclusive magnetism and eminent style.  

Marina Bulgari, the granddaughter of Sotirio Bulgari, founder of the illustrious Bulgari dynasty, created her own signature brand in 1977, seamlessly integrating striking geometric patterns carved from colourful gemstones and resplendent diamonds, while finding inspiration from Greek and Italian mythology, nature and animals, objects d’art and architecture.  

The present Pair of Unheated Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Pendent Earrings, Marina B. (Est. HK$5 – 6 million / US$650,000 – 740,000) is set with 18 sapphires of matching colour and quality from the fabled Kashmir mine, altogether weighing 38.56 carats and suspending from a geometric surmount with a precision in form and proportion that is typical of the Marina B aesthetics.  

This combination of rarity and creativity makes this a true treasure of timeless glamour.  

Arguably one of the most beloved and celebrated sopranos of our times, Renée Fleming was a recipient of both the National Medals of Arts and Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo in 2013.  

Her consummate artistry, grace and beauty are encapsulated in an arresting Gem-Set and Diamond “Renée Fleming Iris” Brooch, Tamsen Z by Ann Ziff (Est. HK$620,000 – 780,000 / US$80,000 – 10,000), who is known for her audacious mix of colours that heightens modernity and quintessential opulence.  

This unique brooch is modelled after a charming breed of iris, which was exclusively created by hybridizer Heather Pryor and named after Renée Fleming in 2004.  

Also noteworthy is a 65.33-carat Colombian Emerald and Diamond Necklace, Boucheron, Circa 1930s (Est, HK$2.5 – 3.2 million / US$320,000 – 410,000).  The dazzling diamond collar, highlighted by the Colombian emerald of stunning proportions, radiates captivating glamour reminiscent of the roaring thirties.   

NATURAL COLOURED GEMSTONES Burmese rubies have been highly coveted in recent years, fetching astonishing prices in auction rooms worldwide.  The finest above all are rubies from Burma.  

Apart from displaying extremely fiery colour intensity due to a saturated crimson body colour and a strong red fluorescence, the tiny needles inclusions typically found in Burmese rubies scatter light onto facets and give the gems a velvety and hypnotic soft glow.  

Among Burmese rubies, the specific red colour named “Pigeon’s blood”, primarily found in rubies from the famed Mogok Valley, is considered the most superior.  As natural unheated Burmese ruby become increasingly rare, the importance of this Unheated Burmese 

Pigeon’s Blood Ruby and Diamond Necklace and Pair of Marching Earrings, Faidee  (Est. HK$20 – 24 million / US$2.6 – 30 million), set with rubies totalling 124.8 carats and diamonds totalling 59.25 carats could not be overemphasised.  

Every gem was painstakingly handpicked, cut and polished to perfection specifically for this necklace even if that meant inevitable weight loss in the process.  Each ruby was cleverly set to conceal the metal mount, which affords an air of purity to its unique design.  

The collection of these well-matched Burmese unheated rubies took more than two decades to complete and the idea of creating another ruby suite of comparable quality today is practically unimaginable.    

Complementing the fiery ruby suite is a 10.02-carat Colombian No Oil Emerald and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$4.6 – 5.5 million / US$590,000 – 700,000) of striking proportions.  

Completely free from clarity enhancement, the captivating natural beauty of the Colombian emerald is accentuated by the dazzling diamonds and the simple design.   

NATURAL PEARL The beguiling elegance and sophistication of natural pearls is expressed in their sheer simplicity and pure form.  It takes approximately ten thousand oysters in nature to yield a single pearl and only a minority of these pearls will be of desirable quality to be used in jewellery.  

Strung with 137 pearls measuring 14.10 to 6.20 mm in diameter, of matching colours, shapes and mirror-like lustre, this Triple-Strand Natural Pearl and Sapphire Necklace (Est. HK$26 – 30 million / US$3.3 – 3.8 million) is the result of an exceedingly difficult collection process.  

It is of no doubt a true treasure of subtle extravagance and extreme rarity.  This is complemented by a Natural Saltwater Pearl and Diamond Pendent Earrings (Est. HK$4 – 4.6 million / US$500,000 – 600,000) of equally charming understated elegance.  

JADEITE With a scarce supply and increasing demand, top-quality natural jadeite jewels have achieved remarkable results at auction in recent years.  

A set of two jadeite bead necklaces from the Republican period sourced from an overseas Chinese collection achieved HK$42.68 million / US$5.47 million in 2013, before the famous Hutton-Mdivani necklace was purchased by the Cartier Collection for a staggering HK$214 million / US$30.6 million in 2014, setting world auction records for any jadeite jewellery and a Cartier jewel.  

This Spring Sotheby’s is delighted to present a Jadeite Bead and Diamond Necklace (Est. HK$45 – 55 million / US$5.8 – 7 million), featuring 67 jadeite beads measuring approximately 11.07 to 9.32 mm in diameter. 

 Of matching fine texture and intensely saturated green colour, the beads would have to be carved from a single boulder of significant size which is extremely rare.  

Also offered is a Jadeite and Diamond Necklace (Est. HK$15 – 18 million / US$2 – 2.25 million) set with eighteen “laokeng” (old mine) jadeite pieces in classic cabochon form, which accentuates its mesmerising colour and beautiful translucency, flanked by dazzling diamonds.  

Jadeite connoisseurs would also be delighted by a splendid bangle, which is one of the most prevalent forms of jadeite jewellery.  Of an inner diameter and thickness of approximately 56.68 and 12.15mm respectively, this Jadeite Bangle (Est. HK$22 – 26 million / US$2.8 – 3.3 million) glows with a pleasing luminous green hue.  

Another highlight is a Jadeite “Eggplant”, Yellow Diamond and Diamond Pendant (Est. HK$7.5 – 8.5 million / US$950,000 – 1.1 million) of exceptional translucency.  Of an impressive thickness of over 10 mm such translucency is no less than a combination of natural miracle and excellent craftsmanship in cutting and polishing.  

Combined with a vibrant emerald green colour, its appeal will certainly captivate the eye of a jadeite connoisseur.  

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium and prices achieved include the hammer price plus buyer’s premium. 

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