Lot 1860
  • 1860

THE JEWEL OF KASHMIR Exceptional Sapphire and Diamond Ring

48,000,000 - 55,000,000 HKD
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  • sapphire, diamond, platinum
Centring on an emerald-cut sapphire weighing 27.68 carats, to a double surround set with pear-shaped diamonds together weighing approximately 5.70 carats, mounted in 18 karat white gold. Ring size: 5½


THE JEW\EL OF KASHMIR Colour and Clarity: According to Gübelin, AGL and SSEF reports, the sapphire is natural, of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating and clarity enhancement. AGL letter further states that this sapphire scores the highest and most prestigious rating of Exceptional. It also "possesses the quintessential, velvety blue color that distinguishes a fine Kashmir sapphire.......stones of this color have been described as having a "cornflower blue" hue." Please refer to all the reports, AGL Jewelfolio and letters for more details. In our opinion, this sapphire is of saturated, strong velvety blue colour, very clean and lively, the finest sample of a gem Kashmir sapphire with substantial weight. Diamonds in the surround are about E to F colours, VS clarity. Condition: Karat white gold ring mount, in mint condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Illustrations in the catalogue may not be actual size. Prospective purchasers are reminded that, unless the catalogue description specifically states that a stone is natural, we have assumed that some form of treatment may have been used and that such treatment may not be permanent. Our presale estimates reflect this assumption.

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by AGL, Gübelin and SSEF reports numbered CS 62143, 14070301 and 77842, dated 2 July 2014, 13 August 2014 and 9 January 2015 respectively, stating that the 27.68 carat sapphire is natural, of Kashmir origin, with no indications of heating. The SSEF reports further states that the colour of this sapphire may also be called 'royal blue' in the trade.
Accompanied by Letter from AGL stating that this sapphire is 'described as having a "cornflower blue" hue. The beautiful colour of this sapphire is further enhanced by a square emerald cut fashioning which resulting in deep, internal colour reflections and brilliance that complement the overall visual appearance of the stone, as well as a high clarity that results in a heightened degree of transparency. The soft texturing evident in this lovely gem is just enough to instill a pleasant velvetiness to the colour, without being too strong as to compromise the gem's transparency...The sapphire received the highest and most prestigious Total Quality Integration RatingTM of Exceptional.' Also accompanied by an AGL jewelfolio.
The Gübelin Appendix Letter states that this sapphire 'possesses a rich saturated and homogenous colour, combined with a high degree of transparency, and a finely proportioned cut...Such a combination of characteristics are rare in natural Kashmir sapphires of this size.'
SSEF Appendix Letter also states that 'a natural sapphire from Kashmir of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional and thus can be considered a true treasure of nature.' Further accompanied by an SSEF Premium Appendix folio.

For the past few years, Sotheby’s had been in the forefront overseeing record-breaking sales of Kashmir sapphires worldwide, steered by The Richelieu Sapphires in 2013 and then the 28.18 carat Oscar & Heyman sapphire ring in early 2014.  In October 2014, Sotheby’s Hong Kong achieved consecutive per-carat price records for Kashmir sapphires - first with the 12.00 carat Cartier sapphire ring at US$193,975 per carat, and then with a 17.16 carat sapphire at US$236,404. This happened only months before the current per-carat auction record was set at US$240,205 in June 2015, a testimony to the insatiable desire for sapphires of this prestigious pedigree.

The fascination for Kashmir sapphires is not difficult to explain. Their unsurpassed colour is one of their most captivating attributes that is immediate visible to the eye. Its unique blue so soft and velvety, yet rich and lustrous, which charms under any kind of light, unlike non-Kashmir stones which may appear purplish or grayish in comparison. Scarcity is another factor that adds to their value and charm. The original Kashmir mines were discovered due to a landslide in the early 1880s and were operated only for seven years and approximately three months per year due to high altitude and extreme weather conditions. By 1887, the original mines were depleted and though a new mine in its proximity were sporadically mined over the next few decades, most of the sizeable Kashmir sapphires found on the market today were unearthed in the ephemeral ‘old mines’.

With a source that is essentially non-existent, Kashmir sapphires represent utmost rarity, making up just a very tiny part of the world’s sapphire supply. This 27.68 carat sapphire, free from any treatment, shows an attractive velvety blue colour characteristic of extremely fine specimens from these mythical mines. Paired with a cutting style that was made possible only by an impeccable rough of substantial size and superb quality, it is truly a remarkable find. Such a rare treasure stands for the highest standard in any gem connoisseur’s delectable collection, and it is no doubt one of the most desirable sapphires offered at international auctions.