Lot 1795
  • 1795

Exquisite and Very Fine Sapphire and Diamond Ring, Van Cleef & Arpels

17,500,000 - 25,000,000 HKD
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  • Van Cleef & Arpels
  • Sapphire, Diamond, 18K White Gold
Set with a cabochon sapphire weighing 21.72 carats, decorated with old-mine-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum, signed Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1917. Ring size: 7, case stamped VCA.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by Gübelin, SSEF and AGL reports numbered 15097109, 81892 and CS 1073435, dated 16 September 2015, 25 September 2015 and 5 April 2016 respectively, stating that the 21.72 carat sapphire is natural, of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating; further accompanied by an appendix from Gübelin, stating that '..this remarkable gemstone has been spared thermal treatment. Such a combination of characteristics is rare in natural Kashmir sapphires of this size.' Also accompanied by a letter from AGL, stating that 'This sapphire has received the highest origin determination issued by AGL: ClassicTM Kashmir...Traditionally, stones of this color have been described as having a "cornflower blue" hue.' Further accompanied by a copy of Van Cleef & Arpels original receipt from 1917.



The celebrated sapphires of Kashmir hail from a remote region high in the Great Himalayan Mountains of northwestern India. The original mines were discovered as a result of a landslide in the early 1880s in the remote Kudi valley, which exposed a deposit of gem-quality sapphires. This sparked a period of intense mining. The mines operated for a mere seven years, for the durations of approximately three months a year, due to the harsh weather conditions and high altitude. By 1887, the original mine’s resources had been depleted and a second mine, located one hundred meters to the south, was opened but with comparatively disappointing yields.

Kashmir sapphires represent utmost rarity, making up a small fraction of the world’s sapphire supply. Scarcity is only part of the allure of Kashmir sapphires. Unique to these stones is a softness of colour that can only be described as “velvety”. The beauty of this rich and intense blue colour, that is both captivating and electric, surpasses that of sapphires from any other part of the world.

For the past few years, Sotheby’s has been at the forefront of overseeing record-breaking sales of Kashmir sapphires worldwide, steered by the Richlieu Sapphires sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2013, shortly followed by the 28.18 carat Oscar & Heyman sapphire ring in early 2014 at Sotheby’s New York.

The cabochon offered here is of a rich, luxurious blue, velvety colour, epitomizing the peak of the Kashmir mine’s output.

Since its founding in 1896, the Maison has been inspired by the unique creative energy of love, for it was love which brought Van Cleef & Arpels into being. Estelle Arpels – the daughter of a dealer in precious stones, married Alfred Van Cleef, the son of a stone-cutter in 1895. The young couple, having much in common, founded the Maison of Van Cleef & Arpels and opened their new boutique in Paris’ Place Vendôme in 1906.

Over the years that followed, they succeeded in making Van Cleef & Arpels synonymous with the most exquisite jewellery in the world. Through important pieces such as this ring, the love which first brought Estelle and Alfred together lives on to this day.