RELEASE: 'Jewels for Hope : The Collection of Mrs. Lily Safra' at Christie's Geneva on May 14

Christie's has been entrusted with the sale of the magnificent jewellery collection of Mrs Lily Safra. All proceeds will be generously donated to 20 different charitable institutions.


Christie's has been entrusted with the sale of the magnificent jewellery collection of Mrs Lily Safra. All proceeds will be generously donated to 20 different charitable institutions. Regarded as a major philanthropist of our time, Mrs Safra is also a discerning connoisseur. This jewellery collection reflects her refined taste and its evolution throughout five decades, from the 1970s to the present day.

Featuring 70 lots, the collection of Mrs Lily Safra is estimated to realise in excess of $20 million and includes important diamonds, rubies and sapphires, as well as an outstanding array of fine antique and period jewellery.

A special section of the sale will be dedicated to a group of extraordinary jewels by JAR, the majority of which were created specifically for Mrs Safra by the renowned jeweller between the 1980s and 2000s. Showcasing 18 pieces, this is the largest private collection of creations by JAR ever to be offered at auction.

François Curiel, International Head of the Jewellery Department:

A sublime collection of 70 rare jewels, comprising the very best in all styles, periods and makers, from the late 18th Century all the way to modern times, is enough to attract the attention of jewellery amateurs and professionals worldwide. When it includes also the largest group of creations by JAR ever to be offered at auction, it is bound to create a sensation. And when the entire proceeds of the sale are to be shared between 20 hand-picked charitable institutions in the four corners of the world, this landmark sale rises to a whole new level. Only a connoisseur with an eye as refined as that of Mrs Lily Safra could have collected such an ensemble of jewels, and only someone with her philanthropic conviction could have expressed such powerful support to worthwhile causes in all charitable fields. We are proud to be associated with such a commendable endeavour”.

Mrs Lily Safra

Mrs. Lily Safra has carried on the philanthropic tradition of her husband, Mr. Edmond J. Safra, one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished bankers and founder of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. Since 2000, Mrs. Safra has chaired this Foundation, which supports hundreds of projects related to education, science and medicine, religion, culture, and humanitarian relief in over 40 countries.

She is a passionate art and jewellery collector, and has provided significant assistance to institutions including the National Gallery of Art (Washington), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), the Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Château de Versailles, and the Musée du Louvre, where the “Salle Edmond et Lily Safra” honors the works she and her husband donated.


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All the profits from the sale of the collection of Mrs Lily Safra
will benefit 20 charitable institutions*


  • Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda
  • Children Action, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Fight AIDS Monaco
    • Université Joseph Fourier, Institut des Neurosciences, Bâtiment Edmond J. Safra and Institut Clinatec, Centre de Recherche Edmond J. Safra, Grenoble, France
    • Hopes and Homes for Children, Romania
    • Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève
    • Imperial College, London
    • Elton John AIDS Foundation
    • Keren Shemesh, Israel
    • King’s College, London
    • New York University, Parkinson and Movement Disorder Center
    • Le ballet de l’Opéra national de Paris
    • Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris
    • Claude Pompidou Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease, Nice, France
    • Royal Opera House, London
    • Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital, Tel Hashomer, IsraelEdmond J. Safra Family Lodge at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland
    • Henry Street Settlement, New York
    • University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital : Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease
    • Water Treatment Program, Brazil


Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues
33 quai des Bergues, Geneva

Monday 14 May 2012, at 8pm

Friday 11 May           10.00 am - 6.00 pm
Saturday 12 May       10.00 am - 7.00 pm
Sunday 13 May         10.00 am - 6.00 pm
Monday 14 May        10.00 am - 6.00 pm

International Tour:
London                     29-30 March
New York                  14-17 April
Paris                  19-20 April
Hong Kong       27-28 April


About Christie’s

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in 2011 that totaled £3.6 billion/$5.7 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.  Private sales totaled £502 million / $808.6m in 2011, an increase of 44% on the previous year.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

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Images available on request
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About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a single collection sale (the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, 2018), and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019).

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.