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See Magnificent Jewels—and a Balanchine Ballet—From Your Desk


Cancel whatever plans you had for tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT—especially if you miss going to the ballet as much as you do live jewelry gatherings. To celebrate its Magnificent Jewels sale taking place in New York (Apr. 13), Christie’s is hosting a special event in collaboration with the San Francisco Ballet.

The occasion of the upcoming live jewelry auction coincides with the ballet company’s virtual showcase of the George Balanchine classic Jewels. As such, Angelina Chen, senior jewelry specialist at Christie’s, will lead a virtual handling session this Friday preceded by a special guest speaker: San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Misa Kuranaga. And we’re all invited.


Christies Cartier emerald ring
Come for jewels, stay for Jewels! Dancers from the Emeralds portion of the Balanchine ballet are pictured up top, and there are of course plenty of actual emeralds in the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale. Lot 215 is this Colombian emerald and diamond ring in platinum; Cartier.
Christies Van Cleef Arpels earrings
Lot 216: Circa 1960 emerald and diamond earrings in platinum and 18k yellow gold; Van Cleef & Arpels

This is not the first time I have highlighted George Balanchine’s Jewels here on All That Glitters, and sadly, I still haven’t seen the ballet, so taking in the recorded SF Ballet performance (accessible through Apr. 21, watchable through Apr. 24) is definitely in order. A ticket buys you 72-hour access to watch at your leisure.

Jewels is a trio of mini ballets, each devoted to one of three gemstones: emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. The inspiration came to Balanchine after seeing the window displays at Van Cleef & Arpels; the inaugural performance took place in New York in 1967.

According to the George Balanchine Trust website, the famous choreographer once said of the ballet: “Of course, I have always liked jewels; after all, I am an Oriental, from Georgia in the Caucasus. I like the color of gems, the beauty of stones, and it was wonderful to see how our costume workshop…came so close to the quality of real stones (which were of course too heavy for the dancers to wear!).”

Real or otherwise, any combination of ballet and baubles is my kind of pas de deux.

Top: San Francisco Ballet in Balanchine’s Emeralds (Choreography by George Balanchine © The Balanchine Trust; photo: ©Erik Tomasson. Jewelry photos courtesy of Christie’s.)

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Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

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