The Peacock, a Kashmir Royal Blue sapphire and diamond necklace, sells for 15 million US Dollars, the Burmese Pigeon’s blood ruby ring for 8.5 million, the Etcetera sapphire and diamond necklace for 1 million, the Moon of Baroda for 750,000. These could be the potential headlines following the conclusion of ‘The Magnificent Jewels’ auction by Christie’s Hong Kong on November 27. Offering over 260 lots of precious and rare jewels, the auction is expected to break world records.
“It is our great honour to once again present a diverse selection of the world’s finest and most coveted jewels to our esteemed collectors, led this season by the mesmerising Peacock Necklace. Also, on offer are some of the world’s most legendary gemstones in the history of the jewellery industry, which will no doubt greatly excite global collectors as they pursue pieces of superb origin and unparalleled beauty.” – Vickie Sek, Chairman, Jewellery Asia
The Peacock is an exceptional necklace set with 21 top-quality Kashmir sapphires, carrying a total of 109.08 carats. The largest sapphire in the suite weighs an astonishing 10.56 carats. Kashmir sapphires are renowned for their brilliance and strong saturation of velvet blue, reminiscent of the blue on a peacock’s neck. The majority of the world’s most beautiful and highest-valued sapphires were mined from the Zanskar range of the northwestern Himalayas between 1881 and 1887 including those on the Peacock. “To find one stone of such quality is very difficult,” says Sek. “The 109 carats in this one necklace took more than 100 years to assemble.” The necklace itself took more than 15 years to meticulously cut, polish and put together. It took nine months alone to engrave the peacock-feather patterns onto the platinum mounting. “I still cannot believe there are so many gorgeous sapphires in just one piece. I would say it’s one of the rarest items to have appeared at auction,” added Sek. It is estimated to fetch between US $12 and 15 million.
Only the most perfect rubies of exceptional saturation and natural red fluorescence can be deemed as ‘pigeon’s blood,” and it is particularly rare for a ruby of this quality to appear in over 5 carats. On offer at Christie’s is the superb 10.04 carats Burmese Pigeon’s blood ruby and diamond ring with its significant size, illuminating redness and flawless crystal structure.
In recent years, the price per carat for rubies has increased more than any other gemstone apart from coloured diamonds. This has been particularly true for “pigeon’s blood” rubies of significant sizes, which have been generating intense bidding in auction rooms around the world. The Burmese Pigeon’s blood ruby will undoubtedly attract intense bidding from connoisseurs from all over the world, which is expected to be between US $6.75 and 8.5 million.
The Moon of Baroda, the 24.04 carats Fancy Yellow VS2 diamond necklace was once worn by the legendary actress Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 cinema classic Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It is being offered at Christie’s Hong Kong, 28 years after it was auctioned at Christie’s New York. It is estimated to fetch between US $500,000 and 750,000.
The history of the Moon of Baroda can be traced back to the 15th Century, as part of the vast collection of the Gaekwars of Baroda. The diamond is believed to have originated from the Golconda mine, the first ever diamond mine to be discovered in the world. Golconda diamonds are exceptionally rare and sought-after. The stone was brought to America by Prince Ramachandra in 1926 and was eventually acquired by Meyer Rosenbaum, president of Meyer Jewellery Company in the 1950s. He offered the necklace to Monroe for the photoshoot.
Certified as “the largest cabochon sapphire” by the Guinness World Records, The Ultimate Mogok Blue Treasure, is the centrepiece of a 396.89 carats Burmese cabochon sapphire and diamond necklace which is offered at the auction with no reserve.
The sapphire caused a sensation when it was discovered in the late 1990’s at a record-breaking 397.095 carats unpolished. It was also the world’s largest polished unheated Burmese sapphire of gem quality. Falling somewhere between indigo and blue, this cabochon is considered to be of “cornflower blue”, one of the two most desired colours of sapphires. This distinct hue of the sapphire comes from the Mogok valley of Burma, after which it is named.
The Ultimate Mogok is a creation of Etcetera Jewellery, founded by Edmond Chin in 2000, and is renowned for technical innovation, often incorporating new methods of mounting and presentation of gems. This is reflected in the exquisite design of the Ultimate Mogok necklace. The exaggerated rose-cut sapphire and diamond prongs endure the weight of the gargantuan sapphire while appearing nearly invisible, allowing appreciation of the stone in its entirety. The necklace is estimated to fetch between half and one million US Dollars.