“Big rocks” are stealing the show this season, with an impressive selection of large diamonds and coloured gemstones highlighting Sotheby’s global flagship jewellery auctions. Combining extreme rarity and beauty, these gems of exceptional size (up to over 100 carats) have traditionally been highly sought after, but today they spark new interest from a wider range of collectors.
The highlight of the upcoming sales (in New York, 15 April and 9 June; Hong Kong, 20 April and Geneva, 11 May), is a 1930s sapphire and diamond brooch, featuring the largest Kashmir sapphire ever to appear at auction – a 55.19-carat oval gem, alongside a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire weighing 25.97 carats, Est. $2-3m (CHF 1.9 – 2.8m).
For Benoit Repellin, Head of Sotheby’s Geneva ‘Magnificent Jewels’ auction, “With their mining history dating to just a few short years at the end of the 19th century, Kashmir sapphires are among the rarest coloured gemstones known to man. Coveted for their unique set of characteristics, including their unrivalled, rich cornflower blue hue, their soft, velvety texture and the fact that they retain their lustre in any light, these gems have over the years acquired an almost legendary status. Kashmir sapphires of over 30 carats are a very rare occurrence, so the appearance of a gem of 55.19 carats – the largest ever to come at auction – is an important event. Hailing a distinguished provenance and set as a stunning brooch alongside another Kashmir sapphire, it will undoubtedly evoke much interest among collectors.”
Other highlights of the sales include an emerald and diamond brooch/pendant combination by Harry Winston, circa 1974, set with a 104.40-carat pear-shaped emerald of Colombian origin (Est. US$ 1-1.5m) as well as an emerald and diamond brooch/pendant set with an 80.45-carat step-cut emerald of Colombian origin (Est. US$ 2.5-3.5m).