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Exceptional Pear-Shaped Diamond, 74.79 carats, D color, VVS1 clarity, potentially Internally Flawless, type IIa. Estimate $9/12 million. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- Sotheby’s annual spring auction of Magnificent Jewels on 17 April 2013 will offer 400 lots, together estimated in excess of $35 million. The centerpiece of the sale is an exceptional pear-shaped diamond of nearly 75 carats, estimated at $9/12 million*, which marks the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas. The stone is one of very few pear-shaped diamonds of D color over 50 carats to be offered in recent decades – its remarkable size and pure color position it in the company of named diamonds such as the Star of the Season, 100.10 carats, sold by Sotheby’s in 1995 for a then-record-breaking $16.5 million. 

Lisa Hubbard, Chairman, North & South America, Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, commented: “This truly exceptional stone exemplifies the strength of the white diamond market over the last decade. It was acquired by the present owner in 2001 for $4.3 million, and today we have estimated it conservatively at $120,000 per carat. The stone has universal appeal, and we anticipate that it will draw attention from both the diamond industry and discerning private collectors alike.” 

Lisa Hubbard continued: “Recognizing that the strength of the jewelry market at this moment lies in pieces that have emerged from private collections – most recently evidenced by the success of jewels owned by Mrs. Charles Wrightsman and Estée and Evelyn H. Lauder – we have curated the April auction to include a wealth of wonderful, fresh-to-the-market pieces, such as rare colored stones from the Gould family and iconic styles including Cartier’s ‘Tutti Frutti’ bracelet and panther brooch.” 

Highlights from the sale will be on view in the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center from 3–7 April before returning to New York for exhibition on 13 April, alongside a selection of pieces from the upcoming Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels. 

IMPORTANT DIAMONDS 

Magnificent Pair of Fancy Pink Diamond and Diamond Pendant-Earclips. The pear-shaped pendants weighing 5.79 and 5.68 carats. Estimate $3.5/4.5 million.

Originally sold by Sotheby’s in 1987, these earclips are distinguished by their classic pear-shaped diamond pendants – an exquisite pair of pink diamonds that are particularly rare today as they were cut prior to the modified cuts being introduced to the market. 

From the Estate of Lynn Wolfson. Magnificent Square Emerald-Cut Diamond Ring 21.46 carats, D color, Internally Flawless, type IIa. Estimate $2.5-3.5 million.

This ring highlights jewels from the estate of Lynn Wolfson – a leading benefactor of the performing arts in Miami, Florida for more than 30 years. Her most important legacy to her community is the Wolfson Moving Image Archives which preserve the visual history of America for future generations. 

FROM THE GOULD FAMILY COLLECTION 

Six jewels from the family of financier and railroad magnate Jay Gould offer a glimpse into the past – a time when diamonds and fine colored stones were integral to fashion, society and one’s family legacy. Acquired in the first half of the 20th century, today it is a rare occasion to find a selection of important jewels at auction that have remained in the same distinguished family for decades. 

Formerly from the Estate of Sarah Cantine Shrady Gould and Thence by Descent. Emerald and Diamond Brooch 22.48 carats, Classic Colombian. Estimate $400/600,000

Dated circa 1920 and designed as a stylized jardinière, this brooch represents a stylistic transition from the delicacy of the Belle Époque to the geometricism of Art Deco. Its showcased emerald is of superb saturation and transparency, made all the more remarkable for its complete lack of clarity enhancement. 

Formerly from the Estate of Florence Bacon Gould Sturgeon and Thence by Descent. Emerald and Diamond Ring 15.23 carats, Classic Colombian, circa 1930. Estimate $750,000/1 million 

Formerly from the Estate of Marianne Gould McDonough and Thence by Descent. Sapphire and Diamond Ring, John Rubel 31.34 carats, Ceylon, circa 1947. Estimate $200/300,000 

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM PROMINENT PRIVATE COLLECTIONS 

From a Distinguished European Collection Carved Colored Stone, Diamond and Pearl “Tutti Frutti” Bracelet, Cartier. Estimate $300/500,000

This bracelet, circa 1930, is a unique illustration of the marriage between Eastern and Western influences in jewelry making. So rare is the incorporation of both pearl accents and a carved emerald drop in the “Tutti Frutti” oeuvre that this example may have been specially commissioned from Cartier upon the client’s request. 

Formerly from the Collection of Katharine Dexter McCormick. Ruby and Diamond Ring 4.36 carats, Classic Burmese, circa 1900. Estimate $400/600,000

Katharine Dexter McCormick (1875-1967) was a philanthropist and social advocate who devoted her life to advancing women’s rights. This ring was her engagement ring from Stanley McCormick, heir to the International Harvester fortune. 

From the Estate of Micheline Muselli Lerner. Diamond Rivière Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels. Estimate $125/175,000

Corsican-born attorney Micheline Muselli Lerner was married to Alan Jay Lerner, the celebrated lyricist known for such hit shows as Brigadoon, An American in Paris and My Fair Lady. She wore this diamond rivière, a highlight of the estate’s collection, to the Academy Awards on the evening her husband was honored with three statues. 

Property of a Lady Diamond, Onyx and Emerald Panther Brooch, Cartier, Paris. Estimate $150/250,000

The panther motif utilized by Cartier is one of the most iconic jewelry designs of the 20th century. This skillfully crafted articulated jewel allows for the paws, tail and head of the big cat to move with the same agility as its real-life inspiration.

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Exceptional Pear-Shaped Diamond, 74.79 carats, D color, VVS1 clarity, potentially Internally Flawless, type IIa. Estimate $9/12 million. Photo: Sotheby's