Radiant brilliance – The story behind Rosamund Kwan’s magnificent jewel collection

Christie’s Hong Kong is offering Rosamund Kwan’s jewellery collection in November in the Magnificent Jewels live auction, with a total estimate of HK$100 million. Part of the sale proceeds will be donated to charity

A legendary actress and singer, Rosamund Kwan is also well known for her sharp eye for investments and her elegant jewellery. Christie’s is thrilled to offer Rosamund’s jewellery collection in this year’s Hong Kong Autumn Auctions, with part of the proceeds benefitting charitable causes. We talk to Rosamund about her exquisite collection and hear more about her unique collecting story.

Christie’s: When did you start collecting jewellery?

Rosamund Kwan: I already had an interest in jewellery back when I was in my 20s. However, I was not in a financial position to purchase the finest pieces, so I mostly just admired them. At first, I did not possess a lot of knowledge on the subject, therefore I chose pieces that I believed would hold their value well.

On Rosamund Kwan A 12.64 carats Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Boghossian, no heat treatment. Estimate HK$22,000,000-35,000,000. A ruby and diamond bracelet. Estimate HK$500,000-800,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
On Rosamund Kwan: A 12.64 carats Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Boghossian, no heat treatment. Estimate: HK$22,000,000-35,000,000. A ruby and diamond bracelet. Estimate: HK$500,000-800,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: During your many years of collecting, you must have accumulated rich experience in choosing jewellery that hold its value, could you please share some of this experience with us?

RK: I did not have any mentors, but I would advise you to consider whatever you buy from an investment point of view. Most women enjoy collecting jewellery, but I am also a very active investor, so I make sure there is potential for appreciation whenever I choose a piece. Before I make a purchase, I consult industry insiders and listen to a broad spectrum of opinions. Meanwhile, I also pay attention to market information shared by renowned auction houses. From auction catalogues and sale result, you can tell the types of jewellery that are the best to collect and invest in.

Collecting is also a way of expressing one’s taste, and everyone’s preferred jewellery differs. I only collect the pieces that I fall in love with at first sight. Sometimes I am a bit impulsive, but every piece in my collection is something I genuinely love. Even if you are collecting mainly for investment purposes, make sure you love the piece from the bottom of your heart.

On Rosamund Kwan A conch pearl and diamond necklace. Estimate HK$1,800,000-2,800,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
On Rosamund Kwan: A conch pearl and diamond necklace. Estimate: HK$1,800,000-2,800,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: Among all the beautiful pieces in your jewellery collection, what is your favourite style?

RK: Diamonds, gemstones or jadeites - my collection encompasses all of them. However, my favourite style is vintage, simple and elegant. These pieces are effortless to wear, no matter whether you are running errands in a T-shirt and jeans, or going out for dinner with friends. I seldom choose jewellery with complicated designs since pieces like this do not match my personal style. Simple, elegant and timeless jewellery is always my go-to. Although jewellery investments should be diverse, I do think that it is better to purchase pieces that compliment your personal, everyday style, otherwise you risk keeping them locked in the safe and never wearing them.

Another style that always has a place in my heart is Art Deco jewellery – it possesses a delicate craftsmanship, which really attracts me. This kind of workmanship is quite difficult to find nowadays. I would travel abroad to search for Art Deco pieces or buy at auction. They are quite easy to wear and match my style.

I prefer to wear bracelets, rings and watches on a daily basis, which account for a large part of my collection. For work occasions, if I need to wear an evening gown, I will choose some fresh and simple diamond studs. My style is all about timelessness and simplicity.

Rosamund Kwan with her two beloved pets Shiba Inu Whiskey and Coffee. On Rosamund A diamond bangle by Buccellati. Estimate HK$300,000-500,000. A pair of diamond and cultured pearl by Buccellati. Estimate HK$120,000-180,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
Rosamund Kwan with her two beloved pets: Shiba Inu Whiskey and Coffee. On Rosamund: A diamond bangle by Buccellati. Estimate: HK$300,000-500,000. A pair of diamond and cultured pearl by Buccellati. Estimate: HK$120,000-180,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: Could you please share some stories behind your collection?

RK: As a matter of fact, every piece in my collection is the apple of my eye. Many were bought during my trips around the world, often on the spur of the moment, and they conjure very fond memories. Whenever I lay my eyes on them, the wonderful stories of my trips come to mind. I prefer jewellery designed in France, or more generally, pieces from Europe. There is an array of different types of jewellery in Europe – the European style is more vintage and understated, which really speaks to me.

On Rosamund A diamond bracelet by Cartier. Estimate HK$1,500,000-2,500,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
On Rosamund: A diamond bracelet by Cartier. Estimate: HK$1,500,000-2,500,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: You are consigning your beloved jewellery collection to Christie’s for auction this season, could you explain the reasons behind this decision?

RK: I would like to share my passion and love for jewellery with like-minded collectors and jewellery lovers. At the same time, I am an enthusiastic investor, and jewellery is one of my favorite investments besides real estate. The pieces in my collection can be worn and adored, and they could increase in value in the future. I hope you like my taste and collection.

The reason I chose Christie’s is because I trust you. I used to read a lot of your auction catalogues and have witnessed many of Christie’s auctions. One can see that the jewellery offered at Christie’s is the best-in-class. Another factor is that Christie’s has sold quite a few celebrity collections from all over the world, the elegance and beauty of which resonates with me so much. I have a lot of faith in Christie’s jewellery team.

On Rosamund A diamond necklace. Estimate HK$3,000,000-5,000,000. A pair of diamond ear hoop. Estimate HK$380,000-580,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
On Rosamund: A diamond necklace. Estimate: HK$3,000,000-5,000,000. A pair of diamond ear hoop. Estimate: HK$380,000-580,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: Thank you for your support and confidence in us. What is the most important thing that you have learned from your collecting journey? What suggestions would you give to fellow collectors?

RK: I think it is very important to purchase only the best in quality – within your own budget, of course. This way, you will have the best return on investment. I have followed this rule since I started collecting at a young age. For instance, I would rather choose a diamond with the best colour and clarity, even if the weight is not as significant as others, as it will always keep its value.

Collecting is a personal thing and I wouldn’t dare say that anyone needs to follow my suggestions. It is my preference to only choose the pieces that strike a chord with me. I will then consider the quality and price, which are both fields that are worth learning about.

When it comes to jewellery brands or designers, I do not limit my collection to certain houses. Personally I think the design is the most important element, therefore if a piece attracts me with its design, I would splurge even if it is unsigned. In my daily life, I enjoy mixing-and-matching pieces from different designers – this is one of the fun things about dressing up!

On Rosamund A 5.75 carats Colombian emerald and diamond ring by Cartier.  Estimate HK$400,000-600,000. An Art Deco multi-gem bracelet. Estimate HK$280,000-380,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong
On Rosamund: A 5.75 carats Colombian emerald and diamond ring by Cartier. Estimate: HK$400,000-600,000. An Art Deco multi-gem bracelet. Estimate: HK$280,000-380,000. Offered in Magnificent Jewels on 28 November 2022 at Christie’s in Hong Kong

Christie’s: You have a profound knowledge of the auction market and have always been a dear friend of Christie’s. Why did you choose to purchase jewellery from auction houses?

RK: Buying from auction houses is safe and guaranteed. You may worry the possibility of purchasing a fake, but top auction houses like Christie’s make sure to do their due diligence and provide clear provenance records, especially for vintage jewels. This is why they have such great reputations. In addition, some of the most sought-after jewellery can only be found at auction. Arguably all the best jewellery is sold by auction houses, so they have become an important platform that collectors cannot afford to miss.

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Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Autumn Auction 2022 is going to take place at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on 28 November, featuring a wide array of exceptional diamonds, natural gemstones and jewellery from some of the most famous houses in the world, including Rosamund Kwan’s Jewellery collection.