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Spectacular alexandrite joins diamonds, rubies, gold coins in Government Auction's April 29 sale
Selections from Government Auction's April 29 auction of fine jewelry, gemstones and gold coins. Government Auction image.

TEHACHAPI, CALIF.- A 15.35-carat alexandrite with chameleon-like qualities is the glittering headliner in a 1,200-lot selection of fine jewelry, cars and art to be offered at Government Auction’s April 29 sale.

The alexandrite’s size, alone, makes it a rare specimen, but it rises to superstar levels when it reveals its ability to change colors under different types of light. In natural daylight, the brilliant-cut gemstone appears green, but when viewed under normal indoor lighting, its hue changes to a golden yellow. This unusual quality fascinated 19th century Russian jewelers, who favored alexandrites (named after Tsar Alexander II) and reserved them for their most revered clients. According to the International Colored Gemstone Association, Tiffany’s master gemologist George Frederick Kunz (American, 1856-1932) also loved alexandrites and included them in a series of exquisite rings and platinum suites designed during the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras.

“An alexandrite stone of this quality and size is highly sought after by gemstone experts, connoisseurs and investors alike,” said Government Auction’s chief auctioneer Paul Sabesky, referring to the top lot of his upcoming sale. With certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), it has an estimated value of $83,580-$167,160.

Another exceptional fine jewelry item to be auctioned is a 14K white gold necklace mounted with a genuine 4-carat tanzanite. The central stone is surrounded by 82 round faceted diamonds and is enhanced by an additional 300 diamonds encrusted on the chain. Although valued at $23,000-$46,000, the necklace is one of many lots in Government Auction’s sale that will have an opening bid of only $2.

Emeralds have never lost their allure. They’re especially coveted when presented in a bracelet as stylish as the 14K white gold example entered in the April 29 auction. The bracelet weighs in with 19 carats of emeralds and 284 genuine round full diamonds totaling 1 carat. The presale estimate is $16,300-$32,600.

Long preferred by Asian royalty, rubies adorn the exquisite 14K gold necklace entered in the sale as Lot 907. Richly set with 74.44 carats of rubies and 5.89 carats of diamonds, the necklace is expected to make $21,000-$41,000 at auction.

Additional fine jewelry highlights include a 14K gold necklace with 74.44 carats of rubies and 5.89 carats of diamonds, valued at $21,000-$41,000; and a pair of white and yellow gold earrings with 1.24 carats of diamonds, valued at $5,300-$10,500.

A major draw in this auction is the cache of gold coins to be offered. Already creating a stir, an 1872-CC $20 Liberty Head gold coin – also known as the 1872-CC Double Eagle – was minted in Carson City, Nevada. Numismatists agree, the Carson City mint showed greater skill in striking this particular coin than in its two earlier Double Eagle issues. The mintage for the 1872 coin was only 26,900 strikes, and each had a metal content of 90% gold, 10% copper. Few surviving examples are “high grade” and in uncompromised condition, like the one in Government Auction’s April 29 sale. It has a broad estimate range of $15,750-$31,500.

Government Auction’s Sunday, April 29, 2012 auction event will commence at 7:30 a.m. Pacific Time/10:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Absentee, phone and Internet live bidding through will be available. For additional information on any lot in the sale, call Debbie on 661-823-1543 or e-mail

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at

Today's News

April 26, 2012

Klok & Peel Museum Asten reopens with completely renovated and expanded galleries

Irish Expressionist painter Louis le Brocquy, best known for Abstract portraits, dies in Dublin at 95

Phillips de Pury & Co. announces highlights from its May Contemporary art auctions

Exhibition of works on paper by Alighiero Boetti opens at Sprovieri in London

Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College announces appointment of new Director

Sotheby's sale of photographs offers work by leading 19th, 20th and 21st century masters

Rare works by Italian cult figure Domenico Gnoli go on view at Luxembourg & Dayan in New York

VIENNAFAIR: The New Contemporary 2012 announces new curatorial cluster for art fair

Cy Twombly's last paintings and 100 of his photographs on view at Gagosian in Beverly Hills

Maurie D. McInnis awarded the 24th Annual Eldredge Prize for her book about abolitionist art

Ted Williams memorabilia to be auctioned at Hunt Auctions Inc. in Boston

Spectacular alexandrite joins diamonds, rubies, gold coins in Government Auction's April 29 sale

Blue Star Contemporary Art Center to host an international conference featuring eight renowned sculptors

Sotheby's April 2012 sales of Islamic and Ottoman art total £9.2 million

Jade Townsend presents new body of work at Leslie Heller Workspace

Kaminski Auctions announces its Spring Fine Art Sale to be held in May

Galleries along 26th Street to host a free, all-access street party during inaugural edition of the Frieze Art

Western, Texas and American Indian art auctions presented on single day, May 5, at Heritage

Reynolda visitors can "See Yesterday...Today" new project uses QR codes to connect to outdoor visitors

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