• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1418

    Geneva Magnificent Jewels

    15 November 2016, Geneva

  • Lot 218

    A SPECTACULAR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SPECTACULAR SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING
    Set with an octagonal step-cut sapphire, weighing approximately 14.65 carats, between rectangular-cut diamond shoulders, ring size 4 ¾, with French assay mark for platinum
    Accompanied by report no. 87877 dated 20 September 2016 from the SSEF Swiss Gemological Institute stating that the origin of the sapphire is Kashmir, with no indications of heating, and an Appendix letter stating that this sapphire combines '... a highly attractive blue colour and an excellent purity'.

    Report no. 16090005 dated 12 September 2016 from the Gübelin GemLab stating that the origin of the sapphire is Kashmir, with no indications of heating, an Appendix stating that this sapphire 'possesses a richly saturated and homogeneous colour, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut', and an Information Sheet on 'Unheated sapphires'.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Pre-Lot Text

    Should you wish to bid on this lot, you will be required to obtain a High Value Paddle.
    THE PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTOR


    Post Lot Text

    Sapphires have always held great signifiance to the connoisseur of fine gems. To the gemstone collector and the jeweller, the name Kashmir in reference to sapphires has only one meaning: the most magnificent blue colour and the most sought after and valuable of all the shades and tones in which the stone is found. Among true connoisseurs, the Kashmir sapphire has no rival.
    The source of these exceptional stones was a remote corner of the northwestern Himalayas where a rock slide in 1881 revealed sapphire-bearing rock. By 1882, the area was crowded with labourers and miners, all looking for the most beautiful sapphires ever to be found. Upon hearing of the superb gems, the Maharajah of Kashmir sent his own regiment to take possession of the mine and all private enterprise was forbidden. Extensive and productive mining went on for the next five years under his control and within a decade the sapphire rush slowed down as the mines offered less gems. By the 1930s, most of the mines were exhausted.
    Kashmir sapphires command a much higher price premium than all other sapphires, not only for their rarity, especially those above 10 carats, but also for their rich, cornflower blue or velvety blue colour that have a mesmerizing sleepy quality. A result of numerous inclusions, sometimes known as “silk”, that can refract and diffuse the light entering the sapphire, giving the stone an overall soft appearance.
    This extraordinary collection boasts six Kashmir sapphires in total, of various shapes. They all display the distinctive qualities most sought after in a Kashmir sapphire, as well as being of impressive size, weighing between 14.65 and 5.72 carats each.