Geneva – Christie’s Magnificent Jewels auction on 15th of November in Geneva will be led by exceptional lots, with pieces designed by Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, David Webb, Harry Winston, as well as Boehmer et Bassenge, the newly launched boutique Maison de Haute Joaillerie. Christie’s is supporting this launch by offering at auction the first jewels ever designed by this house – a pair of stunning diamond earrings Miroir de l’amour, featuring the world’s largest pair of pear-shaped, D Flawless diamonds with symmetrical cut. Weighing 52.55 and 50.47 carats, such perfection is rarely seen in private hands (estimate: US$/CHF 20-30 million). The second jewel is a beautiful diamond necklace, Le Jardin d’Isabelle weighing a total of 140 carats of which the three central diamonds account for 51.56 carats - one round-cut diamond of 31.38 carats and two pear-shaped diamonds of 12.11 and 8.07 carats. All diamonds are D Flawless, perfectly complementing the intense pink diamond-accents with a total of 3.92 carats (estimate: US$/CHF 8-12 million). Both of these lots will be offered without a reserve price, something unseen in the auction world for such important pieces of jewellery (see separate press release).



Further exceptional diamonds will be part of the auction, including a Fancy Vivid Pink pear-shaped diamond of 9.14 carats, continuing the firm’s long tradition of presenting extraordinary jewels to the global market. The 9.14 carat stone is estimated at US$/CHF 16-18 million.

In the realm of natural colored diamonds, those of a distinct pink hue are the most sought-after among gem connoisseurs. While most pink diamonds exhibit a color modifier like purple, orange, or brown, the 9.14 carat diamond to be offered at Christie’s shows absolutely no trace of a secondary color, making it exceedingly rare and attractive. The stone’s even color distribution, combined with a balanced saturation tone, and straight pink hue, qualify the 9.14 carat pink for the coveted ‘Fancy Vivid’ color grading from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). That only one in one hundred thousand diamonds possesses a color deep enough to qualify as ‘Fancy’ underscores its absolute rarity. In the Fancy Vivid pink range, diamonds of even five or six carats are rarely encountered in the sale room, making this nearly 10 carats stone even more special.

The Star of Sierra Leone was discovered on Valentine’s Day 1972, 320 km east of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. At 968.9 carats, it is the fourth largest gem quality diamond ever found and ranks behind the Cullinan, the Excelsior and the Lesedi La Rona. At the time De Beers handled the sale of the Sierra Leone rough and it became the property of Harry Winston on 3 October 1972 – reported to have been sold for just under US $2.5 million. In total, the rough Star of Sierra Leone produced 17 gems, with a total of 238.48 carats and of which thirteen gems are flawless.

On 26 December 1973 the family of the current owner acquired the 22.27 carat Star of Sierra Leone VI from Harry Winston, set as a ring. Between 1973 and 1981, the stone was re-cut by Harry Winston, in order to remove a feather inclusion and the new recorded weight became 21.69 carats. Today, the Star of Sierra Leone VI is an exceptional D-colour, VVS2 clarity, pear-shaped diamond weighing 21.69 carats and is estimated to realise between US$/CHF 1,400,000-1,800,000.



With the provenance of Countess Mona von Bismarck comes a very beautiful diamond bracelet centering a marquise-cut diamond, weighing approximately 7.13 carats, within an old-cut collet-set diamond frame, made by Cartier (estimated: US$/CHF 500,000-700,000). 

Mona von Bismarck was born in 1899 in Louisville and was considered one of the most fashionable woman of the early 1930s. After several marriages, she married Count Edward von Bismarck, the grandson of Germany’s Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1953. Throughout her life, Mona von Bismarck was passionate about jewels and constantly added to her important collection, which includes many pieces made by Cartier. She also had a talent for re-designing her jewels and would often work closely on new designs with the most renowned houses. As a close friend of Cecil Beaton, she posed many times for him, a way of showcasing her unparalleled taste for fashion as well as her evolving jewels collection.



Five lots featuring Kashmir sapphires will be included in the auction. “Kashmir” in reference to sapphires speaks for magnificent blue colour and the most sought after and valuable of all the shades and tones in which the stone is found.

The source of these exceptional stones was a remote corner of the northwestern Himalayas where a rock slide in 1881 revealed sapphire beaming rocks. In 1882, the area was crowded with miners, all looking for the most beautiful stones ever to be found. Upon hearing of the superb gems, the Maharajah of Kashmir sent his own regiment to take possession of the mine. Extensive and productive mining went on for the next five years under his control and within a decade the sapphire rush slowed down. By the 1930s most of the mines were exhausted.

The sapphire and diamond bracelet (illustrated above middle) by Van Cleef & Arpels is of crossover design and includes three cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphires, weighing approximately 6.56, 5.73 and 5.71 carats surrounded by baguette-cut diamonds forming an articulated bracelet (estimate: US$/CHF1,700,000-2,700,000). One of the sapphire rings offered for sale is set with an octagonal step-cut Kashmir sapphire of 14.65 cts (estimate: US$/CHF1,700,000-2,700,000 – illustrated above left) and another with a 18.30 carat sugarloaf sapphire (estimate: US$/CHF1,800,000-2,000,000 –illustrated above right). The pair of sapphire and diamond earrings are set with octagonal step-cut Kashmir sapphires weighing approximately 8.52 and 7.33 carats within a square-cut diamond surround (estimate: US$/CHF 800,000-1,200,000 – illustrated previous page).



19-21 October

8, King Street, SW1Y 6QT London



01-07 November

Rockefeller Centre, 20 Rockefeller Plaza



11-15 November

Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, Quai des Bergues 33

Auction: Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at 5.00pm GMT





Alexandra Kindermann| +41 44 268 1019 |




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).

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