Rare gems top the menu in Phillip’s June 25 New York Jewels auction. A royal blue Burmese sapphire, a Colombian emerald, an ancient numismatic necklace by Bulgari and a one-of-a-kind necklace being sold for charity are among the treasures up for grabs. Signed pieces are also part of the show, including jewels made by Harry Winston, Cartier and Graff.
What’s the big deal about Colombian emeralds? For centuries, Colombia has produced the highest quality emeralds in the world, with few other regions yielding the green with the same purity and unique vivid color. The 5.50 carat Colombian emerald in this sale was given “Classic Colombia” designation by the American Gem Laboratory. This means it is of premier quality, with natural high clarity and a saturated vivid color that put it in the top percentile of emeralds mined in Colombia. It is set in a platinum ring surrounded by trapezoid-cut diamonds and comes with an estimate of $220,000-$260,000.
Also in the realm of elite provenance, the sale includes an 18.77-carat Burmese sapphire ring by Harry Winston. Sapphires from Myanmar (formerly Burma) are known for their intense color saturation, which makes the stones appear to glow from within. Set in platinum, the pear/mixed-cut gem is surrounded by pear and marquise-shaped diamonds. It is estimated at $220,000-$320,000.
Now that it’s possible to actually show some face, exquisite baubles for the ears should be hot ticket items. Statement earrings are set to make a big comeback thanks to the easing of lockdowns and the ability to finally go out and have somewhere to wear them. There are two noteworthy pairs in this sale: a pair of sapphire, diamond and platinum chandelier earrings by Cartier ($80,000 – $100,000) and diamond and platinum earrings with off-centered pear and marquise-shaped diamonds totaling more than 13 carats by Harry Winston ($300,000-$400,000).
For those on the hunt for a more casual piece that can be worn daily, Bulgari’s coin necklace is an excellent piece that can accent a day or evening look. Bulgari began incorporating ancient Roman coins into rare pieces in the 1960s, a style that has become a cult favorite for Bulgari fans. The 18-karat rose-, yellow- and white-gold necklace in this sale was created by Nicola Bulgari in 1966. It is part of the Monete collection using numismatic artifacts, recognizable for its signature tri-color gold. This example is set with Roman coins dating to 300 A.D. It is estimated at $30,000-$40,000. Another icon of the Roman jeweler is also on offer—a steel and gold Serpenti Tubogas watch estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
Another piece with a more casual vibe is this unusual, one-of-a-kind necklace created by former Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa and jeweler Fred Leighton. And it will make you feel as good as you will look. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Conservation International’s efforts in the Brazilian Amazon. Specifically, it will benefit a local network of cooperatives and communities in the Amazon working on the frontlines to combat the global pandemic. The necklace includ-s briolette-cut colored diamonds, fancy shaped quartz, wood, druzy geode slices and 18-karat gold. It is estimated at $20,000—$40,000. Costa enlisted his good friend, actor Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for the project to lend her influence to the effort by creating awareness around the grave situation in the Amazon.
Also on the laid-back luxe front is an onyx and gold brooch designed for Cartier by Bill Smith, the first Black recipient of the Coty Award. In addition to designing under his own name, Bill Smith Design Studio, he created a limited number of pieces for Cartier New York, of which the present brooch is an example. The Coty awards recognized excellence in fashion and design, with notable recipients including such jewelry icons as Elsa Peretti, David Webb, Jean Schlumberger and Aldo Cipullo. Smith received his in 1970. And with signed pieces created by outside designers for major houses gaining prominence in the secondary market, you would be wise to snap this piece up. Estimated at just $2,000 – $3,000 this brooch could easily go up in value over time.
The auction will be held on June 25. It will be streamed live from Phillips’s London Gallery. Public previews will be held in Southampton, NY June 17-20, followed by Phillips NYC June 21-24.