GENEVA – Christie’s announces highlights of its May 13 auction of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva. The sale is led by the historically important Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch, which was presented as a wedding gift from King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife, the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria in November 1879 (illustrated above). The auction will showcase over 351 spectacular jewels and among the highlights of the important colourless and coloured diamonds is a pear-shaped D-color Flawless diamond of 55.52 carats (estimate: US$8,500,000 – 10,500,000), a rectangular-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond of 5.18 carats (estimate: US$9,500,000 – 12,500,000) and an Ashoka-cut D-color Flawless diamond ring of 21.75 carats (estimate: US$2,800,000 – 3,500,000).

Furthermore, the rich array of exceptional gemstones is highlighted by The Pride of Burma, a cushion-shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring of 6.25 carats (estimate: US$1,800,000 – 2,500,000), Royal Emeralds of India: a pair of antique emerald Indian bangles  (estimate: US$1,500,000 – 2,000,000), and a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 35.09 carats (estimate: US$ 3,000,000 – 4,200,000).

The sale is expected to achieve in excess of US$80 million.


Christie’s is proud to offer a particularly refined section of historically significant and antique jewels spanning from the 18thto the 20th centuries. Among the numerous properties featured in the sale is the highly important diamond devant-de-corsage brooch, given as a wedding present in November 1879 by King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria (illustrated left), soon to be Queen Consort and then Queen Regent of Spain. Presently in collection of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemizsa, Christie’s looks forward to offering collectors this exciting opportunity to own an incomparable jewel. Additionally, a pair of antique emerald Indian bangles (illustrated right) are believed to have descended from one of the more prominent Indian Royal families that were known to have some of the most superb collections of emeralds in their treasury. Set with large emeralds of exceptional richness of color, they would have been worn spaced with other gem-set bracelets in the style that would have been particularly in accordance with the fashion of the Art Deco period in the 1920s and 1930s and are accompanied with fitted red leather cases embossed with a gold B on each of them. They are one of the few old Indian jewels that have not been taken apart for their gem content and offer the rare opportunity to own a piece of history in its original condition.


The selection of important coloured and colourless diamonds and rare gemstones for sale at Christie's Geneva in May will present numerous gems of true magnificence and rarity. The offering is led by a pear-shaped D-color Flawless diamond of 55.52 carats (illustrated left) along with an exceptional cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 35.09 carats. In November 2014, Christie’s Geneva established a new world auction record for any sapphire with the sale of The Blue Belle of Asia, which realized SFr.19,965,000 / US$17,305,997. 


Formerly from the property of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis comes a pair of ruby and diamond ear pendants and matching ring, by Van Cleef & Arpels (estimate: US$250,000 – 350,000). Presented as a wedding gift by Aristotle Onassis in 1968, Mrs. Kennedy can be seen wearing the ear pendants in the image above (© Corbis Images).


In November 2014, Christie’s Geneva achieved the second highest price ever at auction for a jewel by JAR for a gold, diamond, and green garnet “Parrot Tulip” bangle, which sold for a SFr. 3,525,000/ US$3,595,853 against a pre-sale estimate of SFr. 190,000 – 290,000. On May 13, Christie’s is delighted to offer an early example of the artists work – a pair of tourmaline and agate camellia brooches, circa 1985 (illustrated left; estimate: US$140,000 – 170,000). Moreover, offerings of important jewels from the most coveted jewelry houses such as Cartier, Graff, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels, and Harry Winston along with a large single-strand natural saltwater pearl necklace (estimate: US$2,500,000 – 3,500,000) highlight the remainder of the sale.

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.

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