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Pair of Natural Pearls Achieve Record Price at Doyle New York

Apr 29, 2014 4:32 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... Doyle New York auctioned a pair of rare natural pearls for $3,301,000, setting a record for a pair of natural pearls, according to the firm. In May 2013, Sotheby's Geneva sold a pair of natural pearls from the collection of Gina Lollobrigida for $2.4 million, which broke the previous record of $1.99 million set by Christie's New York at the sale of the collection of Elizabeth Taylor in December 2011pearls.

The drop-shaped pearls sold to an anonymous bidder and measured approximately 9/10 inch in height and 1/2 inch in width, and were of a warm grayish color,  mounted with antique silver and diamond caps, which were set onto a circa 1920 platinum and diamond pendant.

The pearls were accompanied by a hand-written note referring to the pearls as having belonged to Empress Eugenie of France. In 1887, following the fall of Napoleon III and his wife, Empress Eugenie, an historic auction of the French Crown Jewels took place in the Louvre, lasting 12 days. The pearls were first purchased by George Crocker (1856 to 1909), the son of Charles Crocker, who founded the Central Pacific Railroad in California and were later owned by the descendants of Henry Huttleston Rogers (1840 to 1909) of Massachusetts, an industrialist who made a fortune as a partner with John D. Rockefeller in Standard Oil and a founder of the Virginia Railroad.

The pearls were accompanied by a report from the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) stating that they were natural saltwater pearls with no indications of artificial color modification. The Institute added a special statement,  "Assembling a matching pair of natural pearls of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional, and thus this pair of pearls can be considered a very exceptional treasure of nature."

Tags: auction, doyle, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, pearls
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