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Lot 1796. Important Natural Pearl and Diamond Necklace. Estimate 3,000,000 — 3,900,000 HKD (362,743 - 471,566 EUR). Lot sold 8,620,000 HKD (1,042,281 EUR). Photo Sotheby's

Composed of sixty-three graduated natural pearls measuring approximately 15.10 to 5.30mm, the front spaced by faceted diamond beads and rondelles, completed by a clasp set with a button-shaped pearl and old European-cut diamonds, the diamonds weighing approximately 6.00 carats in total, mounted in silver and yellow gold, length approximately 600mm.

Accompanied by Gübelin and SSEF reports numbered 17011090 and 90961, dated 3 February 2017 and 9 March 2017, stating that the sixty-three pearls tested are natural saltwater pearls; also accompanied by SSEF Appendix stating that '...assembling a matching selection of natural pearls of this quality and size can be considered rare and exceptional'

Beauty at Birth

Natural pearls are true treasures of Earth. Unlike crystalline gemstones, pearls emerge as finished products that do not require cutting to produce their renowned iridescence and lustre. Each created unique, natural pearls are reflections of the conditions under which they were born.

Quintessential to any famed jewellery collection, the mesmerising qualities of pearls have inspired mankind since antiquity, possessing a 'divine' quality with universal appeal. Famously associated with women exuding special aura, natural pearls have the ability to reflect the complexion and personality of the wearer in a way no other gem can rival.

One of the most famous and notable single strands of natural pearls sold at auction is that from the collection of the Duchess of Windsor/Kelly Klein. Gifted by Queen Mary to King Edward, later given the title the Duke of Windsor, this necklace was sold in the historic "Duchess of Windsor" sale by Sotheby's Geneva in 1987, and again in 2007 by Sotheby's New York from the "Collection of Kelly and Calvin Klein", achieving US$3.6million in the 2007 sale.

Lot 1796's centre pearl boasts a remarkable size, measuring an impressive 15.1mm. A wonderment of nature, this pearl would have taken approximately a decade for its uninterrupted natural formation, maintaining the desired spherical shape. Fastidiously selected pearls of graduated size, matching colour and celebrated lustre fashion this classic and timeless necklace which Sotheby's is proud to offer at auction.

Sotheby'sMagnificent Jewels and Jadeite, Hong Kong, 04 Apr 2017