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Princess Diana’s Glitzy ‘Swan Lake’ Necklace and Earrings Could Fetch Up to $15 Million at Auction

The matching set will be offered by Guernsey’s Auction in New York City on June 27.

Swan Lake English National Ballet, Princess Diana Dave Benett/Getty Images

Some of Princess Diana’s most recognizable jewelry is heading to auction

A necklace and earrings set she commissioned in the late 1990s will cross the block at Guernsey’s in New York City on June 27. In 1997, the late princess met with the Crown Jeweller (who was the director of the centuries-old jewelry firm Gerrard) to fine-tune plans for the diamond and South Sea pearl duo Months later, the style icon wore the necklace to a performance of Swan Lake at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and images of Diana from that evening have appeared in magazine covers and style mood boards for over a decade.

The suite, which is estimated to sell for between $5 million and $15 million, is comprised of some extraordinarily detailed pieces. The necklace, for starters, features 164 brilliant-cut diamonds and 14 marquise diamonds, altogether weighing nearly 50 carats. The stones are mounted in a platinum necklace with a claw set, accented by five cultured pearls in a fringe-drop design. The earrings are similarly fashioned: 30 diamonds are split between the pair, alongside six marquise diamonds and two matching cultured pearls.

382192 04: Princess Diana's "Swan Lake Diamonds" necklace and earrings appear at the Wall Street Rarities retail gallery November 20, 2000 in New York City. The pearl and diamond-encrusted jewelry, custom made for the late Princess by the Royal Family's Crown Jeweler, was worn by Princess Diana at her final public appearance. The necklace and earrings will be auctioned off at an event called "The Ultimate Auction" December 1, 2000 which will later be broadcasted by the Fox television network. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers)
An up-close view of Princess Diana’s “Swan Lake Suite” by London’s Crown Jeweller (aka Gerrard). Photo by Chris Hondros/Newsmakers/Getty Images

Days after the ballet, the Crown Jeweller requested the necklace back from Lady Di. He reportedly hadn’t finished the earrings by the event date and needed the necklace back to ensure the pair’s stones and pearls matched flawlessly. By the end of that summer, the earrings were finished, and together with the necklace, the duo became known as the Swan Lake Suite. Just as the jeweler was preparing to present the complete set to Diana, she died in a Paris car accident in 1997. The accessories were meant to be a gift from Dodi Fayed, who passed away during the same incident. Two years after their deaths, Diana’s family authorized the jeweler to sell the Swan Lake Suite. 

The Crown Jeweller contacted Guernsey’s auction house in 1999, and the set was later cosigned to the N.Y.C firm. Mainstream press from NBC’s Today Show to The Oprah Winfrey Show covered the suite listing, which was eventually sold to its current owner, a prominent family in Ukraine. The family has held the jewels in its possession for over a decade, but the devastation of the war in the European country impacted the owner’s business, leading them to return the suite to Guernsey’s for new potential buyers. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be used to help re-build Ukraine, according the auctioneer’s website. 

You can request a private viewing of the Swan Lake Suite from now until June 27 by contacting Guernsey’s directly. The live auction will take place at N.Y.C.’s prestigious Pierre Hotel, where the duo will also be exhibited prior to auction on June 24 through 26 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on June 27 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can also place your bids for the set online via LiveAuctioneers.com on June 27. 

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