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Luxury and quality form a partnership for Quinn's Dec. 7 Estate Jewelry Auction
4.3-carat European-cut diamond and platinum ring, VVS2 clarity, I-J color, 1930s, est. $35,000-$45,000. Quinn’s Auction Galleries image.

FALLS CHURCH, VA.- Sparkling diamonds, lustrous pearls and spectacular Victorian cameos join a select array of Swiss watches and other high-quality estate jewelry in a 300-lot sale to be held Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Quinn’s. The family-owned auction house that serves the Washington, D.C. and Mid-Atlantic region has built a strong following for its annual pre-Christmas Estate Jewelry Auction, which perennially includes the types of glittering stocking stuffers that never go out of style.

An impressive offering of diamond rings is led by a 1930s example featuring a 4.3-carat old European-cut diamond in platinum setting. The stone is graded VVS2 for clarity and I-J color. “The last woman who wore the ring referred to it as ‘The Headlight,” said Quinn’s Jewelry specialist Lynnae Henderson, who has cataloged the auction headliner with a $35,000-$45,000 estimate. Another beautiful ring is the Hearts on Fire succession band with six graduated diamonds of 1.85 carats total weight set in 18K white gold. Estimate: $4,000-$5,000.

In addition to rings, the diamond section includes a pair of 3-carat (total weight) diamond stud earrings, est. $2,000-$3,000; a 7- to 8-carat diamond tennis bracelet in 14K gold, $1,000-$1,500; and a platinum and diamond brooch of Art Deco design, $4,000-$4,500.

The auction also features a collection of exquisite cameos, some exhibiting rare subjects in their design. A Victorian brooch finely carved with the image of Britannia retains its original box from a jeweler in Edinburgh. Other cameos in the auction depict the goddess Diana, the dance muse Terpsichore, and a Classical Roman woman carved in high relief with her hair swept back. The subject of the latter piece, which is a lava cameo with greenish tinge, is one that Henderson said she has never seen before.

Pearls are a flawless choice as a holiday gift, whether the recipient is a wife, mother, daughter or grandmother. Options available to holiday shoppers include a double strand of baroque pearls in white-to-gold color with 14K gold clasp and matching mabe pearl earrings, est. $300-$400; and a diamond-clasped opera-length strand of graduated pearls ranging from 5½ to 9mm in diameter. Additionally, the sale includes several multi-strand freshwater pearls.

Among the timepieces to be auctioned are a ladies’ Rolex and two men’s Rolex watches – an 18K gold President model, est. $8,000-$12,000; and a stainless steel with 14K gold Datejust. An 18K gold men’s Patek Philippe watch with ellipse blue dial could bring $8,000-$9,000.

Mexican silver jewelry is known for its purity and craftsmanship. A collection of mid-century pieces is led by a circa-1953 Antonio Pineda pendant with sizable amethyst and pearl on a handmade silver-link necklace. It is estimated at $900-$1,000. A Parure 3-piece mid-century sterling set comprised of necklace, bracelet and earrings features rhomboid-shape silver elements adorned with finely worked green cabochon stone bezels, rendering what Henderson describes as “a spectacular effect.” Estimate: $350-$400. Those who appreciate fire opals will find many tempting items in the sale, including a 1940s-50s ring whose stone is green with orange fire, with small diamonds surrounding the bezel.

The sale features an extensive selection of approximately 100 14K gold rings with semiprecious stones, including garnets, aquamarines, a London blue topaz and an outstanding Tanzanite. Additional highlights include two Art Deco rings – a clear aquamarine in white gold, and a flat white gold ring with four sapphires and diamonds cut in unusual geometric shapes – and an Art Nouveau pendant with a hand-painted picture of a woman detailed with rhinestones.

A special group lot consists of two 14K yellow gold Masonic pieces – a signet ring and a pendant. The ring has Masonic designs and engraving, and a central diamond within the familiar fraternal motif of architectural instruments. The hexagonal pendant is enameled gold and opens on two sides to reveal symbols inside. A diamond and double-head eagle further adorn the pendant, which is in pristine condition. “A jeweler’s assessment was that the pendant is old but has been well preserved,” said Henderson.

Many mid-century animal pins in 14K and 18K gold will be offered, with forms including birds in nests, turtles, bees, a bull and a hummingbird. Also, Quinn’s will auction several vintage charm bracelets, several 14K and 18K gold necklaces in various weaves, a David Yurman choker, and two Tiffany designs – a mesh cuff bracelet and graduated silver-bead necklace. “There’s a huge selection that ranges from the affordable to the very high end. All of it is realistically estimated.” said Henderson.

Quinn’s Estate Jewelry, Gold & Precious Gems auction will commence at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. The gallery is located at 431 N. Maple Ave., Falls Church, VA 22046. All forms of bidding will be available. For additional information, call Lynnae Henderson at 703-532-5632 or e-mail

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