Pearls Sold at Auction for $7.1 million

A suite of natural pearls once owned by Indian royalty, the Maharajas of Baroda, sold at the Christie’s Magnificent Jewelry auction Wednesday for $7,096,000.

The centerpiece was a double strand graduated pearl necklace strung by Cartier using sixty-eight natural pearls from the Maharaja’s natural pearl collection, measuring from approximately 9.47 mm in the back to 16.04 mm at the center. Cartier added an old mine cut round brilliant platinum clasp, the diamond weighing approximately 8.57 cts. Along with the necklace were a pair of ear pendants, each one highlighting drop-shaped natural pearls, measuring approximately 13 – 15 mm x 22 mm long, enhanced by old European and old Mine-cut diamonds, with a button pearl top, each measuring approximately 12.5 mm x 10 mm. A brooch set with an oval-shaped natural pearl, measuring approximately 17 x 19 mm x 15 mm, and a natural button pearl ring rounded out the suite.

Also sold at auction for just over $3 million was a 22.66 ct. blue cushion oval brilliant sapphire with a Gübelin Gem Lab report stating “characteristics consistent with those of sapphires originating from Kashmir,” and an AGTA report stating “probable geographic origin is Kashmir.” As one prominent dealer told us this morning, at over $100,000/ct. for a “probable Kashmir” report, imagine how much it could have sold for if the report were to have said definitively “Kashmir!”

For more auction results, log onto www.Christies.com and go to Magnificent Jewelry, April 25, 2007, Rockefeller Plaza.