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THE LUXURY MARKETS

The highlight of the Christie’s sale, a 115.83-carat pear-shaped, F-color, VVS1 diamond suspended as a pendant on a platinum necklace featuring 31 pear and modified pear-shaped brilliant diamonds and 20 smaller pear-shaped diamonds. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)

DIAMONDS HIGHLIGHT THE RETURN
OF LIVE JEWELRY AUCTIONS IN NEW YORK

With many of the action houses relying more on online bidding at any other time in their history, all as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, live auctions hope to make a triumphant return to Christie’s in New York on July 29, with Christie’s  Magnificent Jewels sale becoming the first live jewelry auction by a major auction house in New York since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in North America.

But this does not still mean a complete return to normal, at least as far normal was defined in the pre-COVID period. The number of participants in the salesroom will be limited, and previews of the jewelry on sale are taking place by appointment only at Christie’s New York headquarters at Rockefeller Center until July 28.

The Magnificent Jewels sale includes more than 260 lots, among them white and fancy colored diamonds, colored gemstones and, and vintage and contemporary signed jewelry from names such as Belperron, Bulgari, Cartier, Graff, Harry Winston, JAR, Lacloche, Tiffany & Co., and Van Cleef & Arpels.

CHRISTIE’S TOP LOT EXPECTED TO GO AS HIGH AT $7 MILLION

The top lot in Christie’s New York sale a 115.83-carat pear-shaped, F-color, VVS1 diamond. It’s suspended as a pendant on a platinum necklace featuring 31 pear and modified pear-shaped brilliant diamonds ranging in weight from 0.97 carats to 5.50 carats, as well as 20 smaller pear-shaped diamonds. Its pre-sale estimate is $5 million to $7 million.

As always, fancy colored diamonds are on offer, with the most keenly anticipated item most probably a 7.16-carat, internally flawless, fancy intense blue pear modified brilliant-cut diamond, set in a platinum ring. 

Its pre-sale estimate is $3.5 million to $5 million.

But it is not the only fancy colored diamond about to go on the block at Christie’s. Another is a 7.65-carat VS2, fancy light purplish pink pear modified brilliant-cut diamond on a platinum and 18K rose gold ring, with a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 to $600,000.

It is joined  a 33.65-carat, VS2, fancy intense yellow cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond on an 18K gold ring, with a pre-sale estimate of $525,000 to $625,000, and a belle époque platinum and diamond ring featuring a 5.65-carat fancy vivid yellow oval brilliant-cut diamond, with a pre-sale estimate of $250,000 to $350,000.

The 7.16-carat, internally flawless, fancy intense blue pear modified brilliant-cut diamond (left), set in a platinum ring, which has a pre-sale estimate is $3.5 million to $5 million, and the 7.65-carat VS2, fancy light purplish pink pear modified brilliant-cut diamond on a platinum and 18K rose gold ring, with a pre-sale estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. (Photo courtesy of Christie’s)

EAST AND WEST COME TOGETHER IN SKY TOWER NECKLACE

One of the highlights of the Christie’s sale in New York involves a contemporary item of jewelry designed by the Taiwanese-born but American educated and based designer Anna Hu, whose work borrows heavily from both West and East.

Called the Sky Tower necklace, it was is inspired by the newly constructed MoMA Expansion Tower at 53 West 53rd Street, the in New York, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.

In creating the necklace, Hu said she was she was inspired by the “elegance and sophistication” of the 320-meter high, 82-story skyscrape, which has a faceted facade that tapers to a set of crystalline peaks at its top.

Hu described its form as “adventurous geometric lines over the glass façade,” and she has worked elegantly to reproduce them in the piece of jewelry.

The centerpiece of the necklace reveals the artist’s Chinese roots. Lying against a backdrop of diamonds, it is a 126.80-carat carved jadeite pendant that can be detached from the necklace and worn as a brooch.

Anna Hu’s Sky Tower necklace, which is expected to sell between $1 million and $1.5 million. (Photo courtesy of Anna Hu)

Some 417 round brilliant cut diamonds, with a total weight of 10.73 carats, are mounted in the pendant and the body of the necklace is lined with 1,201 fancy intense yellow diamonds, with a total weight of 4.15 carats.

The expected sales price for the Sky Tower necklace is between $1 million and $1.5 million.