NEW YORK – Over the last few weeks I have enjoyed showing a very special Kashmir sapphire to many of the most knowledgeable gem connoisseurs in the world. And every one of them had the same reaction to the sapphire that I had when I first saw it – which is that it’s one of the truly great ones. So what does that actually mean? The first thing that struck me about this stone when I picked it up is that I instinctively knew it was a Kashmir sapphire.
Property to be Sold for the Benefit of a Charitable Foundation. Exceptional Platinum, Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring, 28.18 carats. Estimate $4,000,000-5,000,000.
Unique to the wonderful blue color of stones from the long-depleted Kashmir mines, is a softness that can only be described as “velvety,” an almost tangible texture that tempts the eye. Then there is the fact that the emerald-cut sapphire is so internally clean that it appears virtually flawless, a quality amplified by its completely even saturation of rich, velvety blue hue as seen from the top view down. Finally there is its significant size, 28.18 carats. In my entire career I can only recall a handful of times when I’ve seen a Kashmir sapphire of more than 20 carats. Of course, one of those occasions was just last year when Sotheby’s sold the magnificent Richelieu Sapphires for a world record price per carat. Like the Richelieus, the collective attributes of this sapphire’s color, clarity and size can only be described as exceptional, making it one of the rarest gem Kashmir sapphires to ever appear at auction, and in my opinion, very possibly the next world record stone.
Magnificent Fancy Intense Orangy Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring, 15.23 carats, VS2 clarity. Estimate $6,000,000-7,000,000.
While the Kashmir sapphire graces the cover of the 29 April Magnificent Jewels sale catalogue, within its pages is the top lot of the sale, a fancy intense orangy pink diamond ring of 15.23 carats. Its most compelling feature is a lovely cushion-shaped outline that gives the stone a certain charm and softness that you don’t often see in a big diamond. Its cushion shape, one of the most popular shapes today, actually harkens back to stones cut in the 19th century and its generous spread – or how it faces up – makes the diamond appear bigger than 15 carats. Complementing the shape is the intense color, a warm peachy pink that seems to glow in every light. With such a beautiful, feminine stone, the ring mounting was specially designed as a platform to showcase only the center diamond on the hand. After all, who doesn’t want to wear a 15 carat pink diamond?
Highly Important Platinum, 18 Karat Gold, Colombian Emerald and Diamond Ring, 36.53 carats. Estimate $1,800,000-2,200,000.
Another highlight of the auction is the El Dorado emerald. Described as “a gem worthy of special merit,” by Chris Smith, President of the American Gemological Laboratories, the El Dorado Emerald is a 36.53 carat Colombian emerald that combines commanding size, superb clarity and ideal color. The intensity and purity of its color give the stone a vibrancy that evokes all of the classic traits of emeralds found in the old mines of Colombia. Also notable about this stone is that Colombian emeralds with no indication of oil or resin, a treatment commonly used to enhance clarity, are rarely found in today’s market. Set in a gold and diamond ring mounting, the El Dorado has a very nice spread that fully displays its 36.53 carats on the hand.