Antique & Estate Jewelry / Colored Stones / Gold

Joan Crawford’s Citrine Suite By Raymond Yard Fetches $250,000

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Joan Crawford was known for many things: an Oscar-winning actress for playing the title role in Mildred Pierce (and nominations for other roles) and a Jazz Age flapper, to name a few. But almost as iconic as the Hollywood starlet herself was the jewelry she wore—particularly, the gold jewelry suite by renowned jeweler Raymond Yard consisting of a citrine necklace and bracelet. Aside from the sheer size of the stones in the pieces (the necklace flaunts an astounding 357.6 carat citrine and the bracelet, a 116 carat one), they garnered attention from their placement in the 1941 film When Ladies Meet, an advertisement for Royal Crown Cola, and a 2007 book called Yard: The Life and Magnificent Jewelry of Raymond C. Yard (who was a celebrity in his own right, known for his custom art deco designs for elite American families such as the Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Du Ponts, and others). And earlier this week, the one-of-a-kind citrine duo sold for $250,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Spring Fine Jewelry sale. With an estimate of $15,000–$20,000, it far exceeded expectations. 

“We knew the star-studded combination of Joan Crawford and Raymond Yard would be an attention-getter, but we were beyond thrilled with the final result,” the senior director of fine jewelry at Heritage Auctions, Jill Burgum, said in a release. “That was an exciting moment for the winning bidder, as well as for everyone in the auction room.”

The auction totaled $5,357,995 in sales, with the top lot going for just slightly more than the citrine suite at $300,000. The front-runner was a 21.93 ct. round brilliant-cut diamond and gold necklace with 0.45 ct. t.w. baguette diamonds on its chain. And another notable sale, at $237,500, was the 19.02 ct. diamond and platinum ring from the estate of businesswoman and artist Phyllis Rubin.

Top: Joan Crawford’s Raymond Yard suite in 14k yellow gold, with a 357.6 ct. brilliant-cut citrine in the necklace and a 116 ct. citrine in the bracelet, sold for $250,000; Heritage Auctions (photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions).

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By: Annie Davidson

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