This week the Phillips Jewels & Jadeite Auction was a marvel for all jewellery lovers. The Hong Kong-based sale showcased an impressive selection of contemporary and antique jewels, as well as rare diamonds and gemstones. While all of the 131 lots were magnificent, these were the stand out jewels.
An exceptional and very rare emerald and diamond ring
With its impressive weight and clarity, jewellery collectors were tantalised by this rare emerald and diamond ring. Weighing 21.52-carats, the emerald is remarkably rich in colour and transparency for a stone of its size and is exemplary of the quality of Colombia’s emeralds. Remarkably, the emerald is completely natural with no clarity or enhancement treatments which, in addition to the stone’s size, is incredibly rare. To not detract from the spectacle of the emerald, a one-step cut has been used which ensures a timeless simplicity. The emerald is flanked by two half-moon diamonds which help to enhance its vivid green-blue hue. The colour is reminiscent of the ideal ‘Muzo Green’ which derives from the legendary Colombian Muzo mines. Unsurprisingly, the highly anticipated ring was sold at a staggering £934,215 (HK$9,150,000).
Internally flawless fancy vivid yellow diamond ring
Also catching the attention of collectors was a showstopping Internally Flawless yellow diamond ring. Weighing 20.25-carats, the diamond was the second largest stone of the sale but with its unique clarity and colour, it certainly wasn’t second best. When establishing the value of coloured diamonds, it is the colour saturation which is the most scrutinised factor; the stronger the hue, the higher the value. With a rich glow that rivals the infamous Tiffany Yellow diamond, it is no surprise that this stone has been rewarded the ‘Fancy Vivid’ grade, the highest colour ranking. GIA estimates that only 1 in 10,000 coloured diamonds receive the status of ‘Fancy’ so a ‘Fancy Vivid’ stone of this size and weight is incredibly rare. In combination with this, an Internally Flawless status makes this ring an incredibly exciting piece of jewellery.
Harry Winston diamond ring
Amongst the pieces available were a selection of some of Harry Winston’s finest jewels, with the most impressive being this classic diamond ring. Dating back to 1953, the striking ring was created in the era when Harry Winston was crowned ‘King of Diamonds’. Flanked by two tapered baguette diamonds, the centre stone has been crafted into a timeless rectangular step-cut. Whilst it is beautifully simplistic, the cut is evocative of 1950’s Hollywood glamour and “the optimism of post-war design”. The features of the diamond in combination with the ring’s context result in a piece of jewellery that is symbolic of the “age of female empowerment and adornment.” Weighing 12.55-carats, the D-colour diamond is Internally Flawless and has been ranked as a highly desirable Type 11a. The notable size and clarity of the stone radiates luxury and impressed collectors, resulting in a sale of £897,459 (HK$8,790,000).
Jadeite cabochon earrings
Prized for its ‘water content’ and translucency, the popularity of jadeite in the Asian market dates back to the 19th century, particularly in China, with Empress Dowager Cixi a ‘diehard fan’ of the stone. Despite its popularity, production of the stone in Burma has decreased making the highly sought-after jewels increasingly hard to source. With this in mind, the array of jadeite pieces available in the auction elated collectors. In the spotlight were a pair of oval jadeite cabochon earrings set in 18 karat white gold. Despite their demure size, they showed exactly why the gemstone has such a large following. With a rich imperial green hue and excellent transparency, the earrings appear to glow. Rated Type A, the earrings are remarkably free from any resins. Such natural beauty stands by itself and does not require any elaborate cuts, instead a simple and smooth design, such as cabochons, is the most effective. The jewel’s rarity is reflected in the price as these earrings were estimated to make between £592,180 – 898,480 (HK$5,800,000 – 8,800,000).
Karen Suen collection
From dancer turned award-winning designer Karen Suen, were a collection of contemporary jewels that are the epitome of feminine elegance. The statement gems used in each of the pieces are powdery pink Conch Pearls, the designer’s favourite gemstone. The largest piece of the collection is a necklace comprising of thirty-one ovoid-shaped conch pearls, weighing 67.35 carats. Each pearl is spaced by diamond beads, a feature often used by Suen who believes the lightness and subtle shimmer of the diamonds compliments and intensifies the pearls’ pink hues. The necklace also includes a detachable drop-shaped conch pearl pendant, weighing 18.40-carats, and surrounded by pink and white diamonds. With such soft colours and smooth shapes, the necklace exudes sophistication without compromising on romance. Fans of Suen’s creations agreed with the necklace alone selling for over £172,000 (HK$1,687,500).
By Holly Johnson