Colored Stones / Industry

Sotheby’s Auctioning Ring Found In 400-Year-Old Shipwreck


A ring with a 6.25 ct. emerald, rescued from the fabled Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck of 1622, will be on the block at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale on Dec. 7 in New York City.

The octagonal step-cut emerald ring was found off the coast of Florida by a team of treasure hunters, led by Mel Fisher. It is estimated to sell for between $50,000 and $70,000.

In 1988, Frank Perdue—of Perdue Farms fame—gave it as an engagement ring to Mitzi Perdue, whom he married that same year. Frank Perdue was one of the patrons of the Atocha recovery effort.

In 1982, following a long legal battle with the state of Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court declared Fisher’s team had the right to the recovered treasure.

Among the other items going under the hammer at Sotheby’s that day is the 303 ct. Golden Canary—formerly the Incomparable—the largest flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the GIA.

Full proceeds of the auction will be donated to support the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

Mitzi Perdue, now an author and philanthropist, said in a statement that she was “overjoyed” to offer this piece for sale.

“While I have cherished my beautiful engagement ring for over 30 years, I would like to use it now to benefit the great people of Ukraine,” she said.

Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s

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By: Rob Bates

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