Posts by gemlite

    Another Kashmir sapphire lot that appeared at the same Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels & Jadeite Sale, held on June 2, 2015, that set the world record for price-per-carat for Kashmir sapphires of US$ 240,204, is lot 2032. The lot titled an "Important Sapphire and Diamond Ring," is a platinum ring of size 6, set with a cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire weighing 9.13 carats, flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds. Two lab reports by SSEF and GGL state that the 9.13-carat sapphire is of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heat enhancement. An appendix accompanying the report states that the sapphire has a richly saturated and homogeneous color, combined with a high degree of transparency and well-proportioned-cut. A pre-sale estimate of USD 842,460 - USD 1,231,287 was placed on this lot, which sold within the estimated range for USD 1,061,941, working out to a ppc-value of USD 116,313.

    Just two weeks after the Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale held on June 2, 2015, another significant Kashmir Sapphire appeared at the Christie's New York Important Jewels Sale held on June 16, 2015. The sapphire known as the "Kelly Sapphire" is a magnificent sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier, from the Collection of Margaret Adderley Kelly wife of William Russel Kelly, founder of Kelly Services Inc. The Kelly Sapphire Ring which was lot 232 at the auction had a pre-sale estimate of USD 1.5 - 2.0 million placed on it. However, the lot sold for a much enhanced price of USD 4,197,000 which was 2.8 times the lower estimate and 2.1 times the upper estimate. The Cartier platinum ring is claw-set with the Kelly Sapphire, a 21.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire, flanked on either side by a trapeze-shaped diamond, and square-cut diamonds on the hoop of the ring. AGL and GGL certified the Kashmir origin of the sapphire, with no evidence of heat enhancement. The price-per-carat value achieved by the sapphire was USD 193,321, which becomes the 4th-highest price-per-carat value achieved by a Kashmir sapphire, when incorporated into the list above.

    Happy indeed to take part in your forums after a long lapse.


    A Kashmir sapphire ring featured at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale on June 2, 2015, the auction that has gone down on record as the most valuable jewelry auction ever held in Asia, achieving a sale total of US$117,892,325 and three auction records. The Kashmir sapphire set the world auction record for the highest price-per-carat value achieved at a public auction of US$ 240,204. The ring assigned lot 2036 and referred to as "An Extremely Rare Sapphire And Diamond Ring," had a pre-sale estimate of US$ 1,658,998 ­ - 2,332,966 and sold slightly above the upper estimate for US$ 2,481,316. The sapphire set in the ring is circular-cut, with a richly saturated, medium-deep, violetish-blue color, weighing 10.33 carats and supported by two lab reports by SSEF and GGL, certifying the Kashmir origin of the sapphire with no evidence of heat enhancement.

    Today even with the most advanced modern techniques at the disposal of diamond cutters, the cutting and polishing of a rough diamond crystal, always results in a dramatic loss of weight, which is rarely less than 50%. The round brilliant-cut is generally preferred when the rough diamond crystal is an octahedron, as it is often possible to cut two round brilliant-cut diamonds from one such crystal, cutting the rough diamond crystal into two right across the center of the crystal and aligning the girdle and culet of the expected finished diamonds towards the pointed ends of the crystal. The girdles of the expected diamonds fits into the natural shape of the crystal, reducing weight loss. On the other hand if the rough diamond was cubical in shape, in fashioning the cone-shaped girdle, considerable loss of weight can occur, unless triangular portions are sawed out from both sides of the crystal, and if such portions are of gem-quality smaller diamonds created out of them.
    The images uploaded below may serve to give a better understanding of what I have stated :-
    1) Image of the geometrical octahedral shape.
    2) Image of a natural octahedral diamond crystal.
    3) Image of how two round brilliant-cut diamonds can be cut from a single octahedral crystal.
    4) Image of a cubical shaped rough diamond crystal

    At 12.5 kilos the GRANDMOTHER OF ALL PEARLS is indeed one of the largest Giant Clam pearls ever discovered off the Island of Palawan in the Philippines and I am sure has an enormous collector's value associated with it. Thanks antonioamore for uploading the image of this massive pearl. As you said the pearl has an uncanny resemblance to the face of an elderly woman !!!

    Three Burma sapphire lots appeared at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 31, 2011. These lots are Lot 3211, Lot 3212 and 3264.


    Lot 3211, titled "A Sapphire And Diamond Ring by Suwa" is set with a cushion-cut Burma sapphire weighing 24.01 carats as its centerpiece, flanked by two shield-shaped diamond shoulders, mounted in platinum. GGL report accompanying the lot certifies the Burmese origin of the sapphire with no indications of heating. A pre-sale estimate of US$451,666 - $671,047 was placed on the ring which was sold within the estimated range for US$544,984. This works out to a ppc-value of US$22,698.


    Lot 3212 was titled "A Pair of Sapphire And Diamond Ear Pendants." The centerpiece of the ear pendants was a pair of matching oval-cut Burma blue sapphires weighing 10.16 and 10.09 carats, within a marquise-cut diamond scalloped surround, and brilliant-cut diamond hooks, mounted in 18k white gold. A GGL report accompanying the lot certified the Burma origin of the two sapphires, with no indications of heating and stating that the hue of the blue color in these sapphires is referred to as "royal blue" in the trade. The lot sold for US$653,465 within the estimated range of US$464,571 - $709,761. This works out to a ppc-value of US$32,270


    Lot 3264, titled "A Sapphire And Diamond Ring" had a pre-sale estimate of US$83,881 - $122,595 but sold below the estimated range for US$64,572, as the lot was offered without reserve. The centerpiece of the ring was a cushion-cut, Burma sapphire weighing 16.96 carats, flanked by trapeze-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k white gold. Two lab reports by SSEF and GRS of Switzerland certified the Burma origin of the sapphires with on indications of thermal treatment. The ppc-value of the sapphire works out to US$3,807.

    At every public auction at least a few "Animal and Plant Motif Lots" are featured and make a reasonable showing. In keeping with this expectation, at Christie's Jewels at South Kensington Sale held in London, South Kensington on May 14, 2009, five Animal and Plant Motif Lots were featured. These lots are 12, 13, 18, 63, 104.


    Lot 12 - A Ruby, Diamond and Onyx Novelty Brooch - by Gazdar. Pre-sale estimate US$1,068 - $1,525. Price realized - US$1,321.
    Lot 13 - A Citrine and Synthetic Gem Brooch and Matching Earclips - Pre-sale estimate US$458 - $610. Price realized - US$661.
    Lot 18 - Two Gem Novelty Brooches - Pre-sale estimate - US$763 - $1,068. Price realized - US$944.
    Lot 63 - A Diamond and Enamel Brooch - Pre-sale estimate - US$763 - $1,068. Price realized - US$793.
    Lot 104 - Two Antique Ivory and Pearl Pendants and a Gold and Seed Pearl Galleon Brooch - Pre-sale estimate US$915 - $1,220. Price realized US$7,173


    Lot 12 - The novelty brooch designed by Gazdar, the Mumbai-based jewelers is modelled as a stylized wading bird; the body made of yellow-gold collet-set with circular-cut rubies; the long leg and feet also made of yellow-gold, and the feet set with calibre-cut rubies; the head and beak of the bird also made of yellow-gold, the eyes set with a circular-cut black onyx, with a circular-cut white diamond mounted in the center.


    Lot 13 - The unknown designer has designed the brooch as a stylized vase of flowers, with a rectangular cut-cornered citrine vase; the stem and leaves of the foliage made of yellow-gold and set with an emerald and varicolored synthetic gem accents, representing fruits.
    The matching pair of earclips are also designed as stylized vases of flowers, with oval-shaped citrine vases, the yellow-gold foliage similarly set with a circular-cut emerald and red and white circular-cut synthetic gem accents.


    Lot 18 - Out of the two novelty brooches, one is modelled as two birds perched on a branch; the stem, feathers and head of the bird made of yellow-gold; the head with ruby accents; the body made of cabochon beads; and the stem/branch mounted with two circular-cut blue sapphires and circular-cut diamond representing buds.
    The second novelty brooch is modelled as two cats sitting close to one another; an oval-cut turquoise with its long axis parallel to the vertical, represents the body of each cat; another oval-cut turquoise with its long axis parallel to the horizontal, represents the head of each cat; the whiskers, eyes, covering of the head and the tails made of yellow-gold; and the eyes set with rubies.


    Lot 63 - The unknown designer of the diamond and enamel brooch, has modelled the brooch as a stylized fox, wearing a pave-set diamond coat; a transluscent green enamel cloak; blue and green enamel trousers; and brown enamel shoes. The head, hands and tail are made of yellow gold; the eyes are represented by white enamel with a diamond in the center.


    Lot 104 - Only the images of the two antique ivory and pearl pendants are given in the Christie's lot finder. The image of the 19th-century gold and seed pearl galleon brooch is not given.
    One pendant made of a carved ivory dog, wearing a gold collar with the enamelled legend "Eidelta" and two seed pearl accents, is suspended by a pearl and belcher-link chain, from a late 19th-century pearl single stone dress pin, the two ends of the chain connected to the pin by an emerald and enamel panel spacer.
    The secondant pendant made up of a smaller carved ivory horse, is suspended by a single pearl and belcher-link from an enamel bird design suspension which in turn is suspended from another pearl single stone dress pin. The two dress pins are joined by a link chain. The antique ivory and pearl pendants are probably of early 18th-century origin.
    The 19th-century gold and seed pearl galleon brooch, is modelled as a galleon with seed pearl sails and white enamel hull, suspending a pearl drop fringe.

    Thanks AnitaP for starting this thread. As you said several such pieces are featured at every public auction, and bringing together such pieces would be interesting and informative.


    I was just able to fish out two such interesting pieces that appeared at Christie's auctions in 2009.


    An interesting animal motif lot that appeared at Christie's "Jewels : The London Sale" held on June 10, 2009 was Lot 38, titled A Pair of Gem Set Lion Brooches, by Van Cleef & Arpels. The lion brooches designed with textured yellow-gold, have their muzzles pave-set with white circular-cut diamonds, the nose made of black enamel and the eyes set with emeralds, with prominent yellow-gold whiskers and mane. While one lion brooch is 4.6 cm high, the other brooch is slightly shorter with a height of 3.2 cm. The brooches with a pre-sale estimate of US$6,464 - $9,696 sold above the upper estimate for US$12,263.


    Another important animal motif lot that appeared at Christie's Jewels : The New York Sale held on April 22, 2009 at the New York, Rockefeller Plaza, and made a significant impact, was Lot 168, titled - An Antique Ivory And Multi-Gem Elephant, which sold for US$170,500 above the pre-sale estimate of US$80,000 - $120,000. The lot designed by an unknown jewelry designer from Sri Lanka consists of a carved ivory elephant, bedecked with gem-set robes covering the sides of the animal and its trunk; the relic casket made of gold and covered with a canopy of gold, being carried on the howdah placed on the back of the elephant. The bedecked ivory elephant is actually a miniature model of the bedecked "perahera" elephant that carries the Buddha's sacred relics, in an annual pageant of the Temple of the Tooth" situated in the City of Kandy, in Central Sri Lanka, in which hundred of elephants take part.


    The eyes of the ivory elephant are set with chrysoberyl catseyes. The robes covering the sides of the elephant and its trunk are set with vari-cut, multi-colored sapphire, rubies, emeralds, star sapphires, star rubies, and cat's eye chrysoberyls. The feet and the tusk of the elephant are decorated with gold bands and the toe nails set with gold. The dimensions of the elephant are 8.5 x 9 x 4.25 ins. The bedecked ivory elephant is believed to have been designed around the year 1900. However, such bedecked ivory elephants were produced in Sri Lanka until recently, when the international ban on the trade in ivory and ivory products came into force in 1990.

    The two Ceylon blue sapphires highlighted by Sunil appeared at Sotheby's Geneva on May 14, 2013 at their Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale. At this same auctions a noble jewel believed to have been once in the possession of Joséphine de Beauharnais (b.1763-d.1814), first wife of Napoléon Bonaparte, appeared as Lot 624 and performed impressively by selling much above the estimated range of USD 198,841 - 298,262 for USD 545,243. (PPC-value USD 12,600)


    The centerpiece of this jewel, titled an "Impressive Sapphire and Diamond Pendant/Brooch of 19th-century origin" is a 43.27-carat, pear-shaped sapphire either of Burmese or Ceylon origin. The ambiguity regarding the country-of-origin of the sapphire was caused by conflicting lab reports issued by three different labs, GGL, SSEF and Gem Tech. The GGL report certified that the sapphire is of Burmese origin, with no indications of heating. On the contrary, the SSEF and Gem Tech lab reports certified that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin with no indications of heating. However, since two recognized labs have concurred on the Ceylon origin of the sapphire, it is accepted that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin.


    The central sapphire is set within a frame of pinched collet-set, Old-European cut cushion-shaped and round-shaped brilliants and suspended from a detachable surmount of bow design, embellished with similarly cut diamonds.

    Lot 458 - titled an "Exceptional Platinum, Sapphire And Diamond Ring" featured at the Sotheby's New York, April 29, 2014 Magnificent Jewels Sale, setting the world record for price-per-carat for a Kashmir sapphire and for that matter for any sapphire in the world. The centerpiece of this ring is a 28.18-carat, square emerald-cut, Kashmir sapphire, highlighted by a 32 tapered baguette diamond surround, mounted in platinum and designed by Oscar Heyman & Bros. Two lab reports by AGL and GGL certified the Kashmir origin of the sapphire, as well as the fact that the sapphire was not subjected to any form of heat treatment. A pre-sale estimate of USD 4,000,000 - 5,000,000 was placed on the Lot, which was sold slightly above the upper estimate for USD 5, 093,000 equivalent to a price-per-carat value of US$ 180,731 - a new world record for PPC for a Kashmir Sapphire or for any blue sapphire in the world.

    In October 2011, at Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels Sale, another rare Ceylon alexandrite made its appearance. This cushion-cut alexandrite weighed 10.41 carats and was mounted on a platinum ring, with half moon and tapered baguette-cut diamond shoulders. The lot was accompanied by an original invoice from J.E. Cladwell & Co. dated October 16, 1943. AGL certified the Ceylon origin of the stone and its natural untreated status. The ring sold for US$ 182,500 much above the pre-sale estimate of US$30,000 - 50,000. The PPC value of the stone is US$ 17,531.

    The most convincing and incontrovertible evidence of Sri Lanka being the most prolific source of rubies in ancient times, comes from Ibn Batuta, the Moroccan explorer and greatest traveller of all time, who published accounts of his extensive travels in his travellogue, the Rihla (Journey). An extract from the Travels of Ibn Batuta translated from the abridged Arabic manuscript, preserved in the Public Library of Cambridge, and translated by Rev. Samuel Lee, giving details of his experiences in Serendib (Ceylon/Sri Lanka) reads as follows :-


    "The King has a white elephant, upon which he rides on feast days, having first placed on its head some very large rubies. This is the only white elephant I had ever seen. The ruby and carbuncle are found only in this country. These are not allowed to be exported, on account of the great estimation in which they are held: nor are they elsewhere dug up. But the ruby is found all over Ceylon. It is considered as property, and is sold by the inhabitants. When they dig for the ruby, they find a white stone abounding with fissures. Within this the ruby is placed. They cut it out, and give it to the polishers, who polish it until the ruby is separated from the stone. Of this there is the red, the yellow, and the cerulean. They call it the Manikam (Tamil for gem). It is a custom among them, that every ruby amounting in value to six of the golden dinars current in those parts, shall go to the Emperor, who gives its value and takes it. What falls short of this goes to his attendants. All the women in the island of Ceylon have traces of coloured rubies, which they put upon their hands and legs as chains, in the place of bracelets and ankle-rings. I once saw upon the head of the white elephant seven rubies, each of which was larger than a hen's egg. I also saw in the possession of the king Ayari Shakarti (Arya Chakravarti), a saucer made of ruby, as large as the palm of the hand, in which he kept oil of aloes. I was much surprised at it, when the King said to me, We have them much larger, than this."

    A 21.41-carat, cushion-cut, Alexandrite of Russian origin, with no indications of treatment and distinct color change from green to purple, set a world auction record for an alexandrite of US$ 1,495,395 at the Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 14,2014. The price realized was almost three times the lower estimate of US$ 510,000 and double the upper estimate of US$ 730,000.

    The "Ceylon Sinflower" is another special setting from the Michael Scott Collection. It is actually a model of an almost life-size sunflower incorporating a 400.6-carat Ceylon Yellow Sapphire as its centerpiece, mounted in 18 karat red gold and accented with diamonds. The sunflower is mounted on a stem in a rock crystal vase. The Sunflower is a common flower of tropical countries like Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and since the main gemstone incorporated in the flower, the Yellow Sapphire, originated from Sri Lanka, the designers of this piece opted to create a flower commonly found in Sri Lanka, and named it the "Ceylon Sunflower"
    It is not exactly known how and why the name "Ceylon Sunflower" was eventually corrupted to "Ceylon Sinflower." Possibly it may have something to do with the legend of Adam and Eve being cast out of "The Garden of Eden"after eating the forbidden apple, the unfortunate sinners eventually landing in Ceylon, where Adam left his footprint at the summit of the 2,243 meter mountain, the Adam's Peak.
    It is important to note, that the "Ceylon Sinflower" is not a main setting in the collection, but a derivative from a dual setting piece, the original setting being a necklace, the centerpiece of which was dismantled to create the "Sin flower."
    Images of both the original setting and the derived setting are given below.
    Peter, I do hope I have answered your question.

    Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, has been observed wearing all three versions of the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara on different formal occasions, as revealed by the following photographs :-


    1) Queen Elizabeth II wearing the original version of the Vladimir Tiara
    [attachment=83]


    2) Queen Elizabeth II wearing the emerald version of the Vladimir Tiara
    [attachment=84]


    3) Queen Elizabeth II wearing the no-pendant version of the Vladimir Tiara
    [attachment=85]

    The Vladimir Tiara, belonging to the personal jewelry collection of Queen Elizabeth II, is indeed a very versatile tiara. There are three different versions or adaptations of the tiara - the original version with the pearl drops, an adaptation with the pearl drops replaced with emerald drops and usually worn with the Delhi Dunbar Parure, and the tiara with 15 interlaced, diamond set metal circles only without any drops or pendants.
    The following are the images of the three different versions of the tiara :-
    1) Original version of the Grand Duchess Vladimir Tiara, with the pearl pendants intact.
    [attachment=77]


    2) Adaptation of the Vladimir Tiara, with the pearl interchanged with emerald drops.
    [attachment=80]


    3) No pendant version of the Vladimir Tiara


    [attachment=79]