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Smuggled Romanov Jewels Bring In Big Bucks

Nov 11, 2021 6:03 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... A collection of Romanov jewels smuggled out of Russia for safekeeping during the 1917 revolution has smashed its high estimate at a recent Sotheby’s Geneva sale.

The set, which includes a 26.80-carat Ceylon sapphire and diamond brooch and a pair of earrings with step-cut sapphires weighing 6.69 and 9.36 carats, went for $884,972 at Wednesday’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, Sotheby’s said. That figure came in well above the $500,000 upper estimate following a heated bidding war from collectors around the world, the auction house explained. In total, the November 10 sale raked in $43.7 million.

White diamonds accounted for four of the top five lots, Sotheby’s noted. The highest price for any item at the sale was for a pair of perfectly matched earrings, each set with a square-cut, 25.88-carat, D-flawless diamond. Those fetched $5.6 million, just beating their upper valuation.

A diamond bracelet by Mouawad, featuring a pear-shaped, 59-carat, D-color, VVS1-clarity diamond, took the second spot. The piece, which is from a royal collection, garnered $4.5 million, near the top of its estimate. A pair of ear clips, also from a royal collection, sold for CHF 2.3 million ($2.5 million), within its valuation. Each is set with a pear-shaped, D-color, VVS1-clarity diamonds weighing 19.99 and 21.11 carats, topped by similarly cut diamonds weighing 2.23 and 2.25 carats.

Rounding out the top four, a step-cut, 33.62-carat, E-color, internally flawless diamond ring brought in CHF 2.1 million ($2.3 million), above its high estimate.

Other notable items include a pair of natural-pearl and diamond earrings. Designed as a cluster of marquise-shaped, brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds supporting a detachable drop-shaped natural pearl, the set achieved $1 million, more than three times its upper valuation.

Meanwhile, tiaras made a splash at the sale, Sotheby’s said. Buyers snapped up all four of the available headpieces for prices above their high estimates. The company has sold 96% of all tiaras that have gone under the hammer this year, with 80% of those soaring past their top estimates, it said.

In total, 86% of items on offer found buyers, with 55% of those surpassing their high estimates, Sotheby’s added.

Image: The Romanov jewels. (Sotheby’s)
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Tags: diamonds, Jewelry, Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale, mouawad, Rapaport News, Romanov Jewels, Sotheby’s, Sotheby’s Geneva
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