THE DE BEERS CULLINAN BLUE DIAMOND
A Mesmerizing and Rare Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Weighing 15.10 Carats
The Largest Fancy Vivid Blue Diamond Ever to Appear at Auction
The Season of Blue from Diamonds, Sapphires to Paraiba
Magnificent Jewels Part I | 29 April 3pm
Hong Kong, 8 April 2022 – Hot off of its worldwide tour, The De Beers Cullinan Blue, an extraordinary 15.10-carat step-cut Fancy Vivid Blue diamond, is set to take center stage at Sotheby’s Spring Sale Series in Hong Kong on 27 April, where it estimated to achieve in excess of HK$380 million/US$48 million (estimate upon request). The exceptional stone anchors a superlative lineup of important diamonds and gemstones, alongside vintage and contemporary pieces by renowned houses including Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, and Harry Winston, on offer in the Magnificent Jewels Part I auction on 29 April.
THE DE BEERS CULLINAN BLUE ANCHORS SOTHEBY’S HONG KONG LUXURY WEEK
This extraordinary 15.10-carat step-cut blue has been recently cut from an exceptional rough stone discovered in April 2021. In its masterfully crafted, newly formed state, it now re-emerges as the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction and the largest internally flawless step cut vivid blue diamond that the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has ever graded. Blue diamonds of this importance are exceptionally rare, with only five 10-carat+ examples ever having come to auction, none of which have exceeded 15 carats, making the appearance of this flawless gem a landmark event in itself.
EXCEPTIONAL COLOURED DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES
From gemstones to jewels, this season’s Luxury Week sees a variety of shades of blue to be admired. In Magnificent Jewels Part I, the curation features an array of rare Kashmir sapphires as well as a beautiful pair of Paraiba tourmaline earrings (Est. HK$750,000 – 900,000 / US$96,000 – 115,000) that capture the signature neon blue that traces of copper give to these tourmalines. Another highlight includes a 9.66 carat Sapphire and Diamond Ring (HK$9M-15M / US$1.15M – 1.92M) by contemporary jewellery designer Nicholas Lieou which is a fine example of a cornflower blue.
Out of the 20 million carats of diamonds mined each year, only 1 in every 10,000 diamonds possess natural color. Of that, one-tenth percent are pink, and only one in a million diamonds possess a color strong enough to qualify as fancy vivid. Fancy vivid pink diamonds are incredibly desirable, having achieved over US$2M per carat in auctions of recent. In the last decade, only around 20% of GIA graded pink diamonds are over one carat. A rare piece on the market, this 5.11-carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring (HK$80-100M / US$10.22M – 12.78M) by Nicholas Lieou and is a beautiful example of a coloured diamond which features an even distribution of colour and the highest fancy vivid grade colour graded by the GIA.
Alongside blue and pink diamonds, the sale also includes a spectrum of rare coloured diamonds ranging from red, green and yellow. Bulgari | 17.03-carat Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring (Est. HK$5.8- 7M / US$745,000 – 895,000, pictured right)
IMPERIAL GREEN JADEITE
Season upon season of auctions have shown that the appetite for collecting jadeite has only continued to grow. In recent years, appreciation has transcended cultural boundaries with increasing interest from international collectors. Following strong results for jadeite achieved last year, Sotheby’s will offer yet another fine selection of ‘Imperial Green’ jadeite in classic shapes with excellent colour, texture, and translucency.
Unlike the usual sparkle of a cut gemstone, jade has a distinct glowing effect from the translucency of the stone, with deep, emerald green being the most sought-after colour.
This Extraordinary ‘Imperial Green’ Jadeite Bead and Diamond Necklace (Estimate Upon Request) is composed of forty-three beads in total, graduating from 14 to 12mm in size. Each bead is uniform in colour and texture, a feat that can only be achieved by carving from the same source of rough material. To have more than forty beads of such impressive size displays distinctive skill from the artisan.
CARTIER TIARA FROM THE LATE LADY SMITH
In Asia, there is a growing appreciation for precious heirlooms with exquisite designs, materials and provenance. This beautiful Cartier diamond tiara from the 1930s (Est. HK$2- 3M / US$256,000 – 384,000) was originally owned by the late Lady Smith, wife of Sir John Smith. With a shared passion for art and heritage, the couple founded the Landmark Trust. Sir John became the Member of Parliament for Westminster in the 1970s. Inherited from her mother, Lady Smith wore this tiara as a form of a necklace on grand occasions held for the Queen at the Buckingham Palace, as well as several State Openings of Parliament and State Banquets.
The sale also includes iconic panther designs by Cartier, which continue to be one of the Maison’s most desirable motif amongst international collectors. Well loved by renowned patrons such as the Duchess of Windsor and Daisy Fellows, the panther collection has been wildly popular ever since its debut in the early 20th century by Jeanne Toussaint. The first double panther-head hinged bangle was originally commissioned by Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan in the 1950s, adorned with diamonds, emeralds, a possibly unique piece featuring a sapphire cabochon and buff-top calibre-cut sapphires. A similar example of a bracelet designed in 2012 was featured in the Cartier Panthère book by Bérénice Geoffroy-Schneiter.
Cartier | ‘Panthère’ Sapphire, Diamond and Emerald Bangle (Est. HK$5.5-7M / US$705,000 – 895,000)
MAGNIFICENT JEWELS II
Whether it’s to “bring back the brooch” or to treasure hunt for signed pieces and gemstones, this online sale provides an array of treasures for all jewellery connoisseurs, at every stage. A delectable collection of iconic brooches by haute joallerie maisons such as the Cartier Panthère, Tiffany & Co. Bird on a Rock (Est. HK$80,000 – 150,000 / US$10,300 – 19,200), Kröller-Müller Museum | ‘Dazzling Autumn’ Pair of Coloured Diamond Pendent Earrings ( Est. HK$150,000 – 240,000 / US$19,200-30,700) and Michele Della Valle’s Lucky Peas are offered alongside an unparalleled selection of brooches for all styles. Complemented by jadeite, diamonds and gemstones of all shapes and sizes, sold with no reserve, the sale is certainly an exciting occasion for all.
Regine Ngan, Head of Department, Jewellery at Sotheby’s Asia said: “This spring, we start off with a fresh pair of earrings titled ‘Dazzling Autumn’, inspired by the Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun, painted by Van Gogh in 1889 and is accompanied by an NFT including certificate of authenticity from the Kröller-Müller Museum. We have also introduced over sixty precious designs in diamonds, sapphires and rubies at no reserve prices – offering an excellent opportunity for all our existing and first-time collectors to bid and own these uniquely rare, beautifully crafted jewels at a value that can only be found at Sotheby’s online auctions.”
Strong Demand for Rare Colored Diamonds
The sale of The De Beers Cullinan Blue diamond comes at a moment when demand for colored diamonds, is incredibly strong – as recently exemplified in our October auction of Magnificent Jewels in Hong Kong, where a Fancy Vivid Blue and Pink Diamond Ring sold for HK$35M / US$4.5M and a Fancy Intense Green and White Diamond Ring sold for HK$23.7M / US$3.1M.
Sotheby’s holds the current record for any diamond or jewel ever sold at auction with the sale of the Pink Star, renamed the CTF Pink, for HK$5.5 billion / US$71.2M in 2017. This 59.60-carat stone is the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond Ever Graded by the GIA.
Young Collectors Redefine Luxury for Online Auctions
Today, Sotheby’s online jewellery sales in Asia continue to be the market leader for the second consecutive year amongst the auction industry. From NFTs to welcoming bids with ‘no reserve’, these innovative concepts have driven increasing participation from a younger generation of affluent collectors. The number of millennial bidders in our online jewellery and watches auctions in Hong Kong have grown significantly in the past two years, with the number of buyers under the age of 40 increasing by more than 260%.
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