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The largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world leads Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale
An impressive natural Pearl and diamond necklace. Estimate : 500,000 - 700,000 Swiss francs. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.

GENEVA.- Christie’s announces the sale of THE BLUE, the largest flawless vivid blue diamond in the world. Weighing 13.22 carats this sensational stone will lead Christie’s auction of Magnificent Jewels to be held in Geneva on 14 May 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. Just six months earlier, Christie’s Geneva sold THE ORANGE, the largest fancy vivid orange diamond in the world for US$35.5 million, a world record for an orange diamond and a world auction record price per carat for any diamond at US$2.4 million. THE BLUE is estimated to fetch US$21,000,000 – 25,000,000 / SFr.19,000,000 – 23,000,000 and is the leading gem of the 250 lot strong sale which is estimated to fetch a total in the region of US$80 million / SFr.73 million.

The sale will also feature many important coloured and colourless diamonds such as THE OCEAN DREAM, at 5.50 carats the largest fancy vivid blue-green diamond in the world to come to auction, with an estimate of US$7,500,00 – 9,500,000 / SFr.6,300,000 – 9,000,000. The combination of its size, natural origin, hue, and saturated color makes it an extremely unusual occurrence. The Light Pink cut-corned square-cut diamond of 76.51 carats set as necklace center piece by Leviev (estimate: US$7,000,000-10,000,000 / SFr.6,300,000 – 9,000,000), is another rare coloured diamond in the sale. A pear-shaped D-colour Flawless diamond of 75.97 carats, estimated at US$13,500,000 – 15,500,000 / SFr. 12,300,000 – 14,000,000, will lead the large offering of perfect diamonds on 14 May.

‘A PASSION FOR JEWELS: The Collection of a European Gentleman’ comprises a total of 14 jewels including The Rajah diamond, an old-mine brilliant-cut diamond of 26.14 carats (estimate: US$3,000,00 – 5,000,000 / SFr.2,600,000 –4,400,000). It belonged to Mrs. Mary J. Morgan (d. 1885), second wife of Charles Morgan (1798-1878). Little was known about Mrs. Morgan’s collection of works of art and jewellery until it was auctioned in March 1886.

Tiffany & Co. bought two important diamonds from the collection, including The Rajah and sold them within a month to another Bostonian socialite, Mrs. Isabella Stewart Gardner, the collector and philanthropist who founded a museum of the same name. In 1924, the diamonds changed hands again and went into a private collection until 1997, when Christie’s Geneva sold The Rajah for the first time above its pre-sale estimate of SFr.1.8-2.2 million.

The highlight of ‘A PASSION FOR JEWELS’ and the iconic piece of the sale is a sensational Belle Époque Devant-de-Corsage brooch, crafted in 1912 by Cartier (estimate: US$7,000,000-12,000,000 / SFr.6,500,000-11,000,000). Salomon Barnato Joel (1865-1931), a director of De Beers Consolidated Diamond Mines from 1901 to 1931 in South Africa, took four of his most beautiful diamonds to Cartier in 1912, asking for a brooch to be designed around them. This great example of a Belle Époque jewel, centered upon a pear-shaped diamond of 34.08 carats, alongside a heart-shaped diamond of 3.54 carats and two navette-shaped diamonds of 23.55 and 6.51 carats, set in the delicate, so called Lily-of-the-Valley setting, used by Cartier at the time and mastered by their famous workshop “Atelier Henri Picq”, is very rare to appear at auction. This unique jewel which combines magnificent diamonds, a delicate design, a remarkable make and a famous provenance will be offered for the second time at Christie’s in 23 years.

Twenty pieces from the Estate of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kaszon will be another highpoint of the auction. This section is led by a natural pearl and diamond necklace estimated at US$550,000-700,000 / SFR.500,000-700,000 with Royal provenance. The impressive pearl was in the personal jewellery casket of Queen Elizabeth of Prussia (1801-1873). Upon her death her jewels were given to the Crown Treasury. When Empress Augusta Victoria and her husband William II had to leave Germany to take exile in the Netherlands in 1919, the pearl and other jewels accompanied them. After the Empress’ death in 1923, William II sold the jewels, including the pearl, via the Swiss gem dealer Alphonse de Sondheimer, who listed the impressive pearl in his inventory made in Doorn. How the pearl entered the Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection is not recorded but her husband, Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza was also living in exile in the Netherlands, escaping Hungary, at the time of the private sale of the Royal Prussian jewels and presumably purchased it during the time.

The cushion-shaped Alexandrite of approximately 21.41 carats (illustrated right) is accompanied by a report of the Swiss Gemological Institute stating that the Alexandrite is of Russian origin, with no indications of treatment and a distinct colour-change from green to purple, and an appendix letter indicating that “a natural Alexandrite from Russia of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional and thus can be considered a very exceptional treasure of nature.” (Estimate: US$500,000 – 700,000 / SFr.450,000 – 650,000).

A rare and important spinel bead necklace is another unique jewel Christie’s Geneva will offer this season (estimate: US$1,500,00 – 2,000,000 / SFr.1,350,000 –1,800,000). The seven Mughal engraved spinel beads date back to the 17th century. Mughal emperors have had, for centuries, a particular love for precious stones. The Timurids, ancestors of the Mughals, had begun the tradition of engraving titles and names on stones of outstanding quality and, along with diamonds and emeralds, large spinel beads were certainly their favourite. As much as these gems were a symbol of the opulence and dignity of the empire, they were also treasured as protective talismans. Important engraved spinel beads are scarce. A very fine collection can be seen in Qatar where the Museum of Islamic Art exhibits an important necklace with eleven Mughal spinel beads, for a total weight of 877.23 carats, three of them engraved with the names of Emperor Jahangir and one with that of Emperor Shah Jahan. The present necklace, engraved mainly with the names of Emperor Akbar Shah and his successor Emperor Jahangir Shah, is an exceptionally rare opportunity for any collector to own a museum quality Mughal jewel.

Natural pearls are very much in demand and Christie’s Geneva is pleased to offer a five-strand necklace composed of eighty-seven, eighty-one, seventy-six, seventy-one and sixty-five natural pearls, coming to a total of 380 natural pearls of exceptional quality stated by the appendix report from the SSEF, Swiss Gemological Institute, issued on 17 November 2013 (estimate: US$2,000,000 – 3,000,000 / SFr.1,800,000 – 2,700,000).

Considered as the greatest contemporary jeweller, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, JAR is synonymous of exceptional craftsmanship. Passion for perfectionism are terms freely used in a world that revolves around exaggerated sensation, but these two words seem to perfectly sum up the extraordinary creativity and drive of this unique creator. JAR jewels are extremely rare and whenever they come up for auction they attract the interest of the world’s most demanding collectors. The spring sale in Geneva will offer an elegant three rectangular-cut diamond ring estimated at US$330,000 – 460,000 / SFr.300,000 – 420,000 with proceeds to benefit ‘Ospendale Pediatrico Bambino Gesu’ in Roma and the Pediatric department of the ‘Ospedale San Paolo’ in Milan.

In 2006, to celebrate their centenary, Van Cleef & Arpels has launched 'Une journée à Paris', an homage collection to the Maison's birthplace: Paris. Each of the unique creations was inspired by one of the six selected iconic sights of the City of Light: Jardin des Tuileries, Ile de la Cité, Avenue Montaigne, Eiffel Tower, Opera Garnier and Place Vendôme. Evoking the rich burgundy velvet grand drapes of the Opéra Garnier, lot 170 a pair of mystery-set ruby and diamond ear pendants, entitled Entrée en scène form part of this exceptional collection estimate: US$ 200,000 – 310,000 / SFr.180,000 – 280,000).

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