Exceptional Diamonds Take Centre Stage: Bonhams London
Exceptional diamonds and coloured gems lead Bonhams London Jewels sale on Thursday 12th November 2020. Headlining the sale is a Fancy Pink diamond ring, by Meister, circa 1968. The Fancy Pink step-cut diamond, graded as VS1 clarity, potentially flawless, weighs 3.62 carats and is nestled between tapered baguette-cut diamond shoulders and carries an estimate of £550,000 - 750,000.
Emily Barber, UK Director of Bonhams Jewellery says, “This diamond offered at auction for the first time possesses an exceptional combination of characteristics: a pure pink hue with no secondary modifying component colours. The beauty of the diamond’s colour and its high clarity grade is further offset by its elegant cut, with a minimum of facets.”
Pink diamonds of this quality and size are exceptionally rare – it is estimated that one in 10,000 gem quality diamonds produced in the world show noticeable colour and of these a similarly small percentage are pink. This diamond is accompanied by a handwritten description of the ring from jeweller Meister, dated 16th January 1968, describing the diamond as an "unusual fine pink colour pure stone without flaws".
Bonhams has a strong track record with coloured diamonds, holding a number of world records per carat for fancy coloured diamonds, including the world record price per carat for a fancy pink diamond when they sold a fine square-cut Fancy Pink diamond, weighing 5.03 carats, VS1 clarity, on 26th September 2018 (pre-sale estimate was £600,000 – 800,000 and the diamond achieved £2,228,750, including buyer’s premium, £443,091 per carat).
Alongside the Fancy Pink diamond, Bonhams is delighted to offer a diamond necklace/bracelet combination, by Harry Winston, with a pre-sale estimate of £400,000 – 600,000 (US$500,000 – 760,000). Some of Harry Winston’s most distinctive pieces are his collar style necklaces - this beguiling collar necklace is designed as a graduated series of step-cut diamonds alternating with pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds and converts to two bracelets. The total weight for the piece is 89.03 carats and is accompanied by six GIA reports with diamonds ranging from D to F, VS1 to VS2.
Rounding out the trio of headline lots is a ruby and diamond ring by Italian jeweller Repossi. The beauty and desirability of this Burmese ruby lies in its impressive credentials: a weight of 12.78 carats, a well saturated red hue and an appearance unaltered by heat treatment. It is remarkable and rare to find a specimen of this calibre to be offered at auction.
The oval-cut ruby sits within a pear-shaped diamond surround (approx. 5.20 carats), between graduated baguette-cut diamond shoulders. The ring will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £350,000 – 450,000 (US$440,000 – 570,000), and is accompanied by reports from SSEF, Gübelin and GRS all stating that the ruby is Burmese with no indications of heat treatment, as well as nine GIA reports for the diamonds ranging from D to F, VVS1 to Sl1.
The finest rubies on earth have been found the Mogok Stone Tract region of Burma, now Myanmar. This continues to be the case today despite rubies being mined in various other locations such as Africa, Thailand, Tanzania, Afghanistan and Madagascar. Burmese rubies are prized for their vibrant, fiery colour, caused by high levels of chromium saturating the ground from which they are mined. This combined with their strong fluorescence results in the glowing, fiery radiance.
Historically, the ruby has been an important stone for many cultures and was ascribed various values of power, protection, wealth, status, cures for illness and peace. The Sanskrit name, ratnaraj or ‘King of Precious Stones’ given to rubies embodies the value bestowed upon this gemstone.