Posts by Mikegem

    Thanks Lareef for your detailed answer. According to you, it is the discrepancy of two contradictory reports that led Christie's to assign a lower pre-sale estimate to the cabochon blue sapphire ring. Does it not mean that by assigning a lower pre-sale estimate Christie's had implicitly accepted the SSEF report and rejected the AGL report ?

    Hi Lareef, thanks for keeping this important thread on Kashmir sapphires going.
    I stumbled upon an interesting Kashmir sapphire lot at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite Sale, held on June 2, 2015. I don't know whether to call it a Kashmir sapphire lot or a Ceylon sapphire lot. The lot was a David Webb creation, an 18k yellow gold ring, mounted with a cabochon blue sapphire weighing 23.35 carats and highlighted by a navette-shaped, old-European cut diamond surround. The lot had a pre-sale estimate of US$ 45,363 - 71,285, but sold slightly above the upper estimate for US$ 97,129.
    What was puzzling about this lot was that it was accompanied by two contradictory lab reports by SSEF (Swiss Gemological Institute and AGL (American Gem Laboratories). While SSEF stated that the sapphire was of Ceylon origin, AGL on the other hand opined that it was of Kashmir origin. What is the explanation for these contradictory reports by two renowned gem testing laboratories in the world ?

    Happy to be back again !

    I discovered that a second significant Kashmir sapphire set in a platinum ring appeared at the same Christie's New York sale as the Kelly Sapphire. This sapphire set in a "Fine Sapphire And Diamond Ring" was lot no. 118 at the auction. The lot sold within the pre-sale estimate of USD 950,000 - USD 1,250,000 for a hammer price of USD 1,145,000. The sapphire is a 9.97-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire, with a richly saturated, very deep "Royal Blue" color. AGL and GGL certify the Kashmir origin of the sapphire, with no indication of heat enhancement. The price-per-carat value of the sapphire works out to USD 114,844, which when placed in the above list becomes the 15th-highest ppc-value for a Kashmir sapphire.

    Several Animal and Plant Motif Jewel lots appeared at Christie's New York Rockefeller Plaza, Jewels : The New York Sale held on April 22, 2009. These lots are 4, 6, 7, 8, 161, 188.


    Lot 4 - An Enamel, Diamond And Multi-Gem Lion Brooch - by David Webb - Sold for US$6,250
    Lot 6 - A Rock Crystal And Gold Elepant Pendant Necklace - by David Webb - Sold for US$10,000
    Lot 7 - Catseye Chrysoberyl And Gold Cat's Face Brooch - by Tiffany & C0. - Sold for US$32,500
    Lot 8 - Set of Onyx, Diamond And Haematite "Pisce" Jewelry - by Bulgari - Sold for US$6,000
    Lot 161 - Pair of Diamond and Black Diamond Hedgehog Ear Clips - by Jar - Sold for US$86,500
    Lot 188 - Ruby Diamond and Gold Pineapple Brooch - by Jean Schlumberger - Sold for US$16,250

    Thanks John for your update. It seems that the 13.14-carat, round cabochon-cut catsye alexandrite has fared better, fetching a ppc-value of US$5,475 than the 10.02-carat oval cabochon-cut Ceylon alexandrite, which sold for a ppc-value of only US$3,874, despite the fact the former stone was not supported by a country-of-origin report. What are possible causes for this discrepancy?

    At the Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite Sale held in April 2013, at least four Sri Lanka blue sapphire lots featured. These are Lots 1560, 1622, 1779 and 1796.


    Lot 1560 - A Sapphire And Diamond Ring - was set with a 12.00-carat, cushion-shaped, Ceylon blue sapphire as centerpiece, surrounded by an inner row of brilliant-cut diamonds and an outer row of tapered baguette-cut diamonds, together weighing 1.40 carats and mounted in platinum. A GRS report accompanying the lot certified the natural Sri Lanka origin of the stone, but showed evidence of heat treatment. A pre-sale estimate of USD 10,306 - 15,458 was placed on the lot, which sold for almost double the upper estimate for USD 30,595. PPC value of the stone works out to USD 2,550.


    Lot 1622 - also A Sapphire and Diamond RIng - was set with a 29.30-carat, circular-cut Ceylon blue sapphire, on a platinum mount decorated with small circular-cut diamonds, extending to the shoulders and hoop of the ring. AGL report accompanying the lot certified the natural Ceylon origin of the stone, with no evidence of heat treatment. A pre-sale estimate of USD 83,733 - 96,615 was placed on the lot, which sold above the upper estimate for USD 104,667, working out to a ppc-value of USD 3,572.


    Lot 1779 - was a Pair of Sapphire and Diamond Pendant Earrings - The centerpiece of each pendant earring, was a cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire, weighing 8.90 carats and 7.86 carats, surrounded by a row of 8 pear-shaped diamonds and another pear-shaped diamond, the largest in the earring, suspended from below, surmounted by a circular-cut diamond; the whole arrangement being suspended from an elongated inverted cone-shaped structure, also set with circular-cut diamonds, that is fixed to the lobe of the ear by a post earring arrangement. . A pre-sale estimate of USD 70,851 - 83,733 was placed on the lot which sold slightly above the upper estimate for USD 88,564 working out to a ppc-value of USD 5,284.


    Lot 1796 - was a Sapphire and Diamond Ring designed by Cartier - The platinum ring was set with a 13.28-carat, cushion-shaped Ceylon sapphire as its centerpiece, flanked on each side by a shield-shaped diamond. An SSEF report certified the Sri Lanka origin of the stone, with no indications of heating. The lot sold within the pre-sale estimate of USD 154,584 - 206,112 for USD 190,654 working out to a ppc-value of USD 14,356.

    Two cabochon-cut, catseye alexandrites of Brazilian origin set as the centerpiece of platinum rings appeared at Christies Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale held in December 2008 and November 2012. The one that appeared in December 2008, had a weight of 5.40 carats, with a distinct color change from green in daylight to purple in incandescent light and well-centered and pronounced Chatoyancy. The perfectly round cabochon-cut catseye alexandrite was set within an alexandrite trim, in turn surrounded by a pave-set layer of diamonds. A GGL report accompanying the lot certified the natural Brazilian origin of the catseye alexandrite and its distinct color-change and pronounced chatoyancy. The ring sold within the pre-sale estimate of USD 46,000-71,000 for USD 59,963 working out to a ppc value of USD 11,104.


    The other catseye alexandrite that appeared in November 2012, had a weight of 9.01 carats with a dramatic color change from dark green in daylight to dark purple in incandescent light, and a very distinct and sharp chatoyancy, highlighted by the dark background colors. The oval-shaped, cabochon-cut, catseye alexandrite was set as the centerpiece of an 18k oxidized gold ring, within an alexandrite surround consisting of 14 oval-shaped alexandrites. An AGL report certified the natural Brazilian origin of the stone, with no gemological evidence of enhancement or treatment. The lot sold within the pre-sale estimate of USD 129,663 - 194,449 for USD 158,196, working out to a ppc value of USD 17,558.

    A set of Alexandrite and Diamond Jewelry, consisting of a ring and pair of earrings, featured at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale, held on November 27, 2012. The centerpiece of the ring was a 7.68-carat oval-shaped Brazilian alexandrite, with a pear-shaped radiating diamond surround mounted in platinum. The centerpiece of the pair of earrings was a matching pair of oval-shaped Brazilian alexandrites, weighing 4.67-carats and 4.38 carats, with vari-cut diamond surrounds also mounted in platinum. Three lab reports from GGL certified the natural Brazilian origins of the three alexandrites and their very strong color change effect from bluish-green in daylight to reddish-purple in incandescent light.
    A pre-sale estimate of US$ 311,118 - 453,714 was placed on this lot, which sold for US$ 376,039. This works out to a PPC value of US$ 22,477.

    One of the most famous alexandrites is the 65.70-carat, cushion mixed-cut, alexandrite of Sri Lakan origin in the National Gem Collection of the Smithsonian's National Museum of National History. This alexandrite has a yellowish-green color under fluorescent light/day light and brownish-red in incandescent tungsten lighting. The clarity of this stone is also exceptional.


    Another Sri Lankan alexandrite in the same collection has a modified cushion-cut and weighs 16.68 carats. Like the other Sri Lanka stone,this alexandrite too, has a yellowish-green color in fluorescent light and brownish-red color in incandescent tungsten light. The clarity of the stone is exceptional.

    A 9.90-carat natural pink star sapphire of Sri Lanka origin, with a well-defined star, set as the centerpiece of a white-gold ring, surrounded by rows of circular-cut diamonds and seed pearls, appeared at the Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Sale, held on April 8, 2013. The ring sold for USD 52,000, which was exactly the upper pre-sale estimate for the lot. The price-per-carat value of this stone works out to USD 5,252.

    Several blue sapphires from the three main sources - Kashmir, Burma and Ceylon - appeared at the Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels Sale held in Geneva, on November 13, 2013. Some of the Burma sapphires which I was able to extract from the catalogue are lots 23, 25, and 39.
    Lot 23 - A Pair of Sapphire and Diamond Earclips- was a stunning piece that sold for US$ 129,427, much above the pre-sale estimate of US$ 50,136 - 79,564. The centerpiece of one ear-clip was an oval-cut Burma sapphire weighing 7.57 carats and the centerpiece of the other ear-clip a cushion-shaped Burma blue sapphire, weighing 6.85 carats. The sapphires are surrounded by round brilliant-cut and marquise-cut diamonds.
    Lot 25 - A Sapphire and Diamond Ring - sold for a modest 27,248 USD still above the pre-sale estimate of 13,079 - 19,619 USD. The centerpiece of this ring was a 95.67-carat, oval cabochon-cut Burma sapphire. The sapphire is collet-set within a frame of brilliant-cut diamonds.
    Lot 39 - A Sapphire and Diamond Ring - sold for USD 61,308 above the pre-sale estimate of 30,518 - 50,136. The centerpiece of this ring is a 13.21-carat, oval-cut Burma blue sapphire, with trillion-cut diamond shoulders.

    A cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire with a blue color of medium-strong saturation, weighing 9.685 carats and dimensions of 11.50 x 10.32 x 7.94 mm, set as the centerpiece of a platinum ring with tapered baguette-cut diamonds shoulders, appeared at the Woolley & Wallis auctions held on May 1, 2014. A pre-sale estimate of £80,000-120,000 was placed on this Kashmir sapphire ring, but the ring sold much above the upper-estimate for £210,000 equivalent to US$ 354,249.

    A significant pair of blue Sapphires, both pear-cut and a blue color of medium-strong saturation, one a Burma sapphire weighing 10.206 carats with dimensions of 17.00 x 10.28 x 7.18 mm and the other a Ceylon sapphire weighing 8.628 carats with dimensions of 17.15 x 10.37 x 5.97 mm, set as the centerpiece of a pair of French sapphire and diamond cluster rings, surrounded by graduated circular brilliant-cut and marquise-shaped diamonds, set in yellow-gold, appeared at the recent Woolley & Wallis auctions held in Salisbury on May 1, 2014. A pre-sale estimate of £60,000 - £80,000 was placed on the lot, which was sold for exactly £60,000 equivalent to US$101,214.

    Another famous Star Rose Quartz resides at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This star rose quartz of impressive size, weighing 1438 carats has a pleasant rose color and a perfect six-rayed star, and is perhaps the second largest star rose quartz in the world after the 5,500-carat star rose quartz in the Michael Scott Collection

    Mr. Donald Dewey's contribution has indeed served to further enrich the wealth of information already put together on the life and deeds of a great American lady Mrs. Rebecca "Polly" Guggenheim Logan, in this thread on the "Logan Blue Sapphire."

    When were the Iranian Crown Jewels transferred from the Royal Treasury to the Treasury of the Central Bank and what were the reasons that prompted such a transfer ?

    As a contribution to the on-going discussion on Kashmir blue sapphires, I am uploading the following image of a natural, untreated Kashmir blue sapphire weighing 11.15 carats, with a cushion shape and a modified brilliant-cut crown and modified step-cut pavilion, measuring 13.70 x 9.54 x 8.49 mm, with geographic origin certified as Kashmir that appeared at a saffronart online auction of fine jewels and watches held on October 30 & 31, 2012. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 137,255 - 156,865 was placed on the sapphire which eventually sold for US$ 133,623, just below the lower estimate. The sapphire was certified natural, untreated and originating from Kashmir by two renowned laboratories the GIA (Gemological institute of America) and GRS (Gem Research Swisslab).