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A pair of 35.77 and 35.61-carat D colour, Flawless clarity, Excellent polish, Excellent symmetry, Excellent cut grade, Type IIa round brilliant-cut diamonds. Estimate: HK$56,000,000-75,000,000/US$7,000,000-9,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Hong Kong - Christie’s, the world’s leading auction house for the sale of extraordinary jewels for over 18 years, will present its Hong Kong Autumn sale of Magnificent Jewels on 29 November 2011 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The first half of 2011 saw strong sales and record prices achieved at Christie’s sales of jewellery around the world, with global sales up over 30% compared to 2010.  The strength of the jewellery market was clearly demonstrated in Hong Kong where, at HK$695.7 million (US$89.4 million), the Spring sale became not only the most valuable jewellery auction in Asia, but also the largest ever at Christie’s worldwide.

Set against a background of industry momentum and an ever-expanding community of jewellery collectors, the upcoming Autumn sale of extraordinary jewels has been curated to fit connoisseurs’ desires and current market trends.  We have selected exceptional diamonds, important coloured stones, rare jadeite, and signed jewels valued in excess of HK$600 million / US$75 million in one of our best sales ever in Hong Kong,’ says Vickie Sek, Director of the Jewellery and Jadeite Department, Christie’s Asia.

Colourless Diamond Highilghts. The Picture-Perfect Pair: A Pair of 35ct D Flawless, Type IIa Diamonds

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A pair of 35.77 and 35.61-carat D colour, Flawless clarity, Excellent polish, Excellent symmetry, Excellent cut grade, Type IIa round brilliant-cut diamonds. Estimate: HK$56,000,000-75,000,000/US$7,000,000-9,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Per-carat prices for top quality white diamonds remains strong in today’s market and collectors the world over are competing for the very best like never before.   Leading the season is an extraordinary pair of unmounted round brilliant-cut D Flawless diamonds, weighing 35.77 and 35.61 carats each. The largest pair of its type to ever be offered at auctioneach is roughly the size of a cherry tomato - these diamonds have been awarded “Triple Excellent” for their polish, symmetry and cut grade.  Adding to their allure is that they have also been determined to be Type IIa, the most chemically pure form of diamond showing exceptional appeal transparency.

The Steinmetz Diamond Group, one of the leading diamond manufacturing and trading groups in the world, was entrusted with the honour of cutting this pair of 35ct round diamonds, both of which were uncovered in South Africa.  To find large pieces of colourless rough within the same timeframe represents an extremely rare occurrence.  To combine that with the vision to obtain a closely matched pair raises the project to new heights.  This extraordinary pair was exhibited by Steinmetz at the Guggenheim in New York in December 2010, and was showcased at the launch of Forevermark in India in April 2011 as the largest pair of diamonds to bear Forevermark’s inscription, a unique identification number and symbol invisible to the naked eye that signifies not only that the diamond is genuine, natural and untreated, but also that it has been sourced responsibly.

Offered separately, these tremendous diamonds are estimated at HK$56,000,000-75,000,000 / US$7,000,000-9,000,000 each.

Other colourless diamonds presented this season include a pair of D Flawless, Type IIa brilliant-cut diamonds of 5.27 and 5.24 carats (estimate: HK$12,000,000-18,000,000 / US$1,500,000-2,250,000) that have each been rated “Triple Excellent” for their cut, polish and symmetry, and a diamond ring set with a pear-shaped F colour, Internally Flawless, Type IIa diamond of 12.08 carats (estimate: HK$7,000,000-9,000,000 / US$900,000-1,150,000).

The King of Diamonds:  Harry Winston

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A magnificent emerald and diamond brooch, by Harry Winston. Estimate: HK$15,600,000-25,000,000/US$2,000,000-3,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

This season a number of important jewels bearing the coveted name of Harry Winston will be offered.  Leading the selection from the ‘King of Diamonds’ is a magnificent emerald and diamond brooch which boasts a story steeped in the history of its famed maker (estimate: HK$15,600,000-25,000,000/US$2,000,000-3,000,000 ).  The emerald was originally purchased by a prominent Texas oil-man and close personal client to Mr. Winston who called upon the jeweler for a significant gemstone.  Mr. Winston offered the man and his wife a choice:  the present 68.90 carat emerald or a 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond. The wife had the final decision and chose the emerald, and the diamond went on to be acquired by Elizabeth Taylor and subsequently known as Taylor-Burton Diamond.  For the emerald, Mr. Winston had his legendary designer, Ambaji Shinde, create this consummate Winston jewel, one that can be seen illustrated in the celebrated Winston tome, Harry Winston: The Ultimate Jeweler written by Laurence S. Krashes and Ronald Winston.

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A pair of 14.38ct F/VVS2 and 12.75ct E/SI1 pear-shaped diamond ear pendants, by Harry Winston. Estimate: HK$8,000,000-12,000,000/ US$1,000,000-1,500,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Also from Harry Winston is a stunning pair of marquise and pear-shaped diamond cluster earrings suspending a pear-shaped diamond of 14.38 and 12.75 carats (estimate: HK$8,000,000-12,000,000 / US$1,000,000-1,500,000);  a ruby and diamond ring set with a 8.37 carats cushion-shaped Burmese no-heat ruby (estimate: HK$5,500,000-8,000,000 / US$700,000-1,000,000 ); and an impressive ruby and diamond fringe necklace set with thirty-two untreated Burmese weighing over 80 carats (estimate: HK$10,000,000-15,000,000 / US$1,250,000-1,870,000). 

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An important ruby and diamond necklace, by Harry Winston. Estimate: HK$10,000,000-15,000,000 /US$1,250,000-1,870,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Important Natural Pearls

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A rare and important necklace of saltwater natural pearls boasting 16 matching button-shaped pearls of impressive size. Estimate: HK$12,800,000-18,000,000/US$1,600,000-2,250,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Perfectly formed by nature and needing no further enhancement to its purity and beauty, the pearl is the earliest and most enduring gemstone known to man.  Standing apart in the selection of natural pearl jewels offered this season is a rare and important necklace of saltwater natural pearls boasting 16 matching button-shaped pearls of impressive size (estimate: HK$12,800,000-18,000,000 / US$1,600,000-2,250,000 ). Assembling such a finely-matched selection of natural pearls of this size and quality is rare and exceptional – an endeavour that likely took several decades.  The result of the collector’s astonishing eye for taste and quality is a jewel that is certain to be amongst the most sought-after this season.

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A pair of stunning ear pendants featuring a detachable pearl drop of astonishing size and quality and diamond tops signed Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate: HK$4,800,000-6,500,000/US$600,000-800,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Also of note is a pair of stunning ear pendants featuring a detachable pearl drop of astonishing size and quality and diamond tops signed Van Cleef & Arpels (estimate: HK$4,800,000-6,500,000 /US$600,000-800,000). It is not only the impressive size and similarity in weight that sets these two pearls apart, but also their even drop-shape, which combined with an attractive white colour and lustre qualifies this as a rare matching pair.

An important pair of natural coloured pearl and diamond ear pendants (estimate: HK$5,200,000-8,000,000 / US$650,000-1,000,000) and a natural pearl, diamond and onyx pendant necklace set with a large natural white drop pearl (estimate: HK$1,600,000-2,500,000 / US$200,000-315,000) round out the season’s top pearl offerings.

Spectacular Coloured Gems

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The Stars of Colombia  A pair of 25.38 and 23.12carat emerald and diamond ear pendants. Estimate: HK$15,500,000-25,000,000/US$2,000,000-3,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

The finest emeralds in the world are those that originate in Colombia which are especially prized for their intensity and depth of colour - a particularly rich grass-green with a medium-dark tone.  The Stars of Colombia (estimate: HK$15,500,000-25,000,000 / US$2,000,000-3,000,000), with their remarkably large size - 25.38 and 23.12 carats - high clarity,  refined cutting and superior colour, are a pair of unparalleled rarity.  These cushion-shaped gems, each boasting a verdant green, are untreated, making them highly unusual, and the purity their exhibit is not often encountered in the market today.  Indeed, a single Colombian emerald of this quality is rare. To have its equal in quality and colour to match so well in size and shape is virtually unheard of.

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A ruby and diamond necklace by JW Currens containing 25 exemplary Burmese rubies. Estimate: HK$16,000,000-25,000,000/US$2,000,000-3,000,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Of the season’s rubies highlights, a ruby and diamond necklace by JW Currens containing 25 exemplary Burmese rubies is of particular note (estimate HK$16,000,000-25,000,000 / US$2,000,000-3,000,000). Each of the oval-shaped stones is untreated and showcases a high degree of transparency, and the majority display the coveted ‘Pigeon’s Blood’ vivid red typical of old Burmese rubies.  Natural Burmese rubies of these sizes, colour and high clarity are extremely scarce on the market today.

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An exceptional sapphire and diamond brooch set with a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 26.41 carats. Estimate: HK$25,000,000-38,000,000/US$3,200,000-4,800,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011

Sapphires are led by an exceptional sapphire and diamond brooch set with a cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire of 26.41 carats (estimate: HK$25,000,000-38,000,000 / US$3,200,000-4,800,000).  The market for top quality, untreated sapphires such as this is particularly buoyant, and this remarkable gem with its sumptuous colour and glassy, almost crystal quality is poised to be among the most desirable gemstones this season.

Superb jadeite

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The Three Friends of Winter A superb jadeite pendant necklace featuring a carved jadeite plaque. Estimate: HK$15,000,000-25,000,000/US$2,000,000-3,200,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2011