Two days after the unprecedented single-lot sale of 102.39 carat D Colour Flawless Oval Diamond, offered without reserve, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels auction on 7 October will be spearheaded by another rarity in the mythical world of 100-carat stones: a 118.88-carat unheated Burmese ‘Royal Blue’ sapphire – the largest Burmese ‘Royal Blue’ sapphire offered at Sotheby’s in the last two decades (estimate upon request). The sale will celebrate colours, with an impressive selection of rare coloured gemstones and diamonds, including stones set in avant-garde designs by Hong Kong artist-jewellers FORMS and Nicholas Lieou.
We are excited to present another exceptional season of Magnificent Jewels, and offer some of the world’s finest gemstones – a 118.88 carat Burmese sapphire, one of the largest Burmese sapphire ever offered at Sotheby’s, and a 6.41 carat Unheated Burmese ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ ruby ring designed and mounted by FORMS, sourced from important private collections. The jewellery market has proven to be highly resilient, with our clients in Asia eyeing the best quality jewels on offer. This auction is distinguished by invaluable treasures that will surely dazzle collectors across the region and beyond.
Featuring 118 lots, this season’s Magnificent Jewels auction will present rare and exquisite treasures of nature ranging from impressive gemstones sourced from illustrious mines to imperial green jadeite of the utmost importance, in addition to regal collectibles and superior designs from distinguished jewellery brands, including a ‘Holly Wreath’ Diamond necklace by Harry Winston (est. HK$8,000,000-12,000,000 / US$1,040,000-1,560,000), an Art Deco Emerald and Diamond Brooch by Cartier (est. HK$1,000,000-1,300,000 / US$130,000-169,000), to name a few.
THE LARGEST BURMESE ‘ROYAL BLUE’ SAPPHIRE OFFERED AT SOTHEBY’S IN THE LAST TWO DECADES
Presented in a blue leather fitted case, this cushion-shaped sapphire is impressive in size and weighs 118.88 carats. Exuding qualities intrinsic to the most exceptional Burmese sapphires, it is accompanied by a report from the Gübelin Gemological Laboratory stating that the sapphire possesses a combination of outstanding characteristics: “It displays a homogenous and richly saturated royal blue colour, which typifies the finest of these gems. The depth of colour, combined with a high clarity and brilliance, all contribute to the beauty of the gem.”
Prized by royalty and discerning collectors, Burmese sapphires are renowned for their royal blue colour and enticing lustre. Examples of Burmese sapphires of notable size rarely come to the market. One of the most famous is the Rockefeller Sapphire, a 62.02 carat rectangular step cut stone that was unearthed in Burma, and acquired by financier and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr from an Indian Maharaja in 1934.
‘PIGEON’S BLOOD’ RUBY
Rich in colour, regal in stature, and steeped in history, the ruby is legendary. For centuries, European royalty have sought some of the world’s most prized rubies to adorn their jewels. From The Sunrise Ruby (sold at Sotheby’s, for a world auction record price for a ruby), to jewels from the Royal Parma Family, rubies are highly esteemed for their mystique and beauty.
Less than 10% of all gem-quality rubies are unheated, making them both rare and impressive. Darker rubies are often heated to enhance their shade, but unheated rubies are naturally intense and vibrant.
This exquisite 6.41 carat natural Burmese ruby is surrounded by French-cut diamonds in a seemingly unassuming setting that amplifies the beauty of the gemstone, in a timeless design by FORMS.
EXCEPTIONAL BLUE DIAMONDS
Enchanting in hue, blue diamonds are amongst the most coveted and valuable gemstones in the world. From an important private collection, and a highlight of the top quality colour diamonds on offer in the sale, this captivating pear-shaped 4.84 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond is set in the form of a ring, flanked by two brilliant-cut diamonds each weighing 1.1 carats.
An exquisite and unique pair of Fancy Intense Blue Diamond and Diamond Pendent Earrings (pictured right, est. HK$28,000,000-35,000,000 / US$3,640,000-4,550,000) showcase impeccable craftsmanship through the diamond cutter’s extraordinary skill in retaining such a high level of saturation in the blue diamonds within a brilliant-cut.
IMPERIAL GREEN JADEITE
Following the strong results for jadeite achieved in the rescheduled spring sale of Magnificent Jewels in Hong Kong, this season’s sale will offer a selection of ‘imperial green’ jadeite – the finest specimen of “Type A” jadeite with a vibrant emerald green colour that is almost transparent – led by An Extremely Rare and Exceptional ‘Imperial Green’ Jadeite Bead and Diamond Necklace (pictured below).
With collectors currently showing a strong interest in contemporary designs, the sale includes A Unique and Rare Jadeite, Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring designed by Nicholas Lieou (pictured below, est. HK$11,000,000-15,000,000 / US$1,430,000-1,950,000), who has paired an ‘imperial green’ grade jadeite cabochon with pink diamond in the design, bridging Eastern and Western aesthetics in an unexpected marriage of materials.