One of the foremost historic diamonds – The Farnese Blue – will appear on the market for the first time in history this spring, after having remained in the same family for over three centuries. The 6.16-carat pear shaped blue diamond will be offered in Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels (15 May, Geneva) with an estimate of CHF 3.5 - 5 million (US$ 3,690,000 - 5,270,000). Given to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (1692-1766), worn on a diadem that formerly belonged to the last Queen of France, Marie-Antoinette (1755-1791), the legendary diamond has subsequently passed down through four of the most important royal families in Europe: Spain, France, Italy and Austria. Witness to 300 years of European history, from the aftermath of the Spanish Succession War to the fall of the Habsburg Empire, the diamond has travelled across the continent for centuries. And all this time, it was kept secretly in a royal casket. Excepting close relatives, and of course the family jewellers, no one knew of its existence.
Diamonds occur in an array of colors – from pure whites and soft pinks and blues to vibrant hues of purple and red. No matter its color, every diamond possesses a unique composition of chemical elements that have the power to dictate rarity, value and desirability. Click ahead to discover 15 of the finest stones on offer this spring. Jewels Online 29 March–10 April | Online Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite 3 April | Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels 18 April | New York Fine Jewels 19 April | New York
Jeweller Eliane Fattal is a bit of an anomaly. She has no stand-alone store, doesn’t advertise or market her gems, encourages little publicity, is refreshingly uninterested in building a business and produces only a handful – around 30 – pieces a year. She doesn’t even describe herself as a jeweller, ‘I see myself much more as an artist working with metal, stones and history’, she says from Mayfair’s S.J. Phillips, where a cabinet of her pieces reside. ‘I’m very happy in my corner doing my thing, and people who get it can come and find me’, she smiles on the eve of a selling exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong from 25–27 March, where 40 pieces will be offered. Happily ‘in her corner’ since 2011, Fattal is the ultimate luxury up-cycler. A largely accidental collaboration between her and the family owned antique jewellery store S.J. Phillips sees Fattal re-imagine 19th and 20th century jewels into modern, covetable, playful gems that have ensured a fiercely loyal client base.
To celebrate the world’s largest D Colour, Flawless, Type IIa round-brilliant cut diamond, Sotheby’s Diamonds takes a look at the art of diamond cutting - the process of sculpting a rough diamond and transforming it into a polished diamond. This remarkable diamond weighing 102.34 carats was cut and polished from a rough diamond weighing 425 carats. To find a rough diamond that allows the cutter to end up with a stone over 100 carats is a very rare discovery and to cut a perfect diamond over 100 carats is truly a masterpiece of both nature and man.
At times eclipsed by April’s beloved diamond, aquamarine is not to be overlooked. A superb gem in its own right, aquamarine is virtually flawless by nature and few stones can compete with its transparency. Given its calming, bluish-green colour, it has long been associated with the sea, and sailors would even use it as a talisman for a prosperous journey. In honour of March’s birthstone, we searched our archives and upcoming sales for aquamarine jewels guaranteed to flow balance and clarity into your life. –Stephanie Sporn Fine Jewels 20 March | London Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite 3 April | Hong Kong Fine Jewels 19 April | New York
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