The $1.4 Million Hope Spinel Dazzles Bonhams Buyers

The 50+ ct. stone hailed from the storied Henry Philip Hope collection

In a top-of-mind word game, hope so often leads to diamond and red to ruby—until now, perhaps. The Hope Spinel—which sold at Bonhams in London on Sept. 24 for an incredible £962,500 ($1.5 million)—captured the hearts, minds, and wallets of bidders with its beauty and provenance: Hailing from the storied Henry Philip Hope collection, the stone is from the ancient Kuh-i-Lal mines in Tajikistan. “It’s from one of the most famous and most important private jewelry collections ever assembled,” says Emily Barber, jewelry department director at Bonhams, “and it had not been seen on the open market for 98 years.” Hope kept the spinel next to the Hope Diamond in the bespoke cabinet that housed his pieces—“a testament,” says Barber, “to how important it is.” 

50.13 ct. octagonal step-cut spinel, with 6.5 cts. t.w. brilliant and rose-cut diamonds in a silver and gold detachable brooch (Courtesy of Bonhams)