Hong Kong - Christie’s are proud to announce ‘The Sensational Six’, a selection of six superlative gems which will draw the eyes of the jewellery world to Hong Kong on June 1, 2010. Each the best of its type, these jewels present serious gem collectors with a remarkable opportunity at a time when high quality jewels become increasingly rare on the market. Led by a magnificent single-strand jadeite bead necklace (Fig. 1, estimate: HK$50-80 million/US$6.4-10 million) and a superb 5.01carat Fancy Vivid Blue VS2 heart-shaped diamond ring (Fig. 2, estimate: HK$35-55million/US$4.5-7million), the other sensational lots include a stunning pair of 2.48 carat and 2.03 carat Fancy Deep Blue heart-shaped and 10.12 carat D VS2 and 9.61 carat E VS1 pear-shaped diamond ear pendants (Fig. 3, estimate: HK$28.8-38.8million/US$3.7-5 million); an exquisite Kashmir sapphire and diamond bracelet, circa 1960, by Cartier (Fig. 4, estimate: HK$24-40 million/US$3-5 million); an impressive 10.05carat D IF old cushion-shaped Golconda diamond ring (Fig. 5, estimate: HK$9.8-15 million/US$1.25-2 million) and an exceptional four-strand natural coloured pearl and diamond necklace (Fig. 6, estimate: HK$9.4 -15 million/US$1.2-2 million). ‘The Sensational Six’ is estimated to realise a combined total in the region of HK$195M/US$25 million.

It is with great pride that Christie’s offer ‘The Sensational Six’ to the discerning collectors of today’s market. To feature one world class jewel, be it jadeite, a sapphire, pearl, white or coloured diamond, is a joy but to offer such a spectacular group together is an honour. These exceedingly rare, beautiful, jewels will light up the global jewellery stage this spring,” said Vickie Sek, Head of Jewellery, Christie’s Asia.

2_Cat_Head

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

A magnificent single-strand jadeite bead necklace (estimate: HK$50-80 million/US$6.4-10 million). Jadeite bead necklaces have always represented the ultimate in jadeite collecting, as it is extremely difficult to find a necklace with high quality, matching beads. This jewel exemplifies a harmonious balance of colour, texture and translucency found only in the rarest jadeite. All 51 vivid emerald green beads are evenly and strongly saturated, representing a marvelous collection of natural, homogeneous colour. Complemented by a very fine texture, the beads are highly translucent and glass-like. Superb craftsmanship is apparent in the perfect shape of each bead as well as in the polish and luster, which infuses every stone with a soft brilliance and greenness that radiates from within. Carved from old mine Burmese rough, this necklace is an exceptional gem-quality jadeite jewel, and provides a once in a lifetime opportunity for a serious collector to acquire one of the most important jadeite necklaces to ever appear on the market.

4_Egyptian_bronze_statuette_of_an_Apis_Bull

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

A superb 5.01 carat Fancy Vivid Blue VS2 heart-shaped diamond ring (estimate: HK$35-55million/US$4.5-7million). Blue diamonds are among the world’s rarest and most beautiful coloured diamonds. The Smithsonian Institute, where the world famous Hope, Blue Heart and Wittelsbach-Graff diamonds reside, estimate that only one in 200,000 diamonds discovered has any hint of blue. This is due to the scarcity of known remaining deposits and the particularly unusual formation and structural composition of blue diamonds. Almost all blue diamonds fall into the rarest Type II category: structurally the purest of all diamonds. Free from the more common nitrogen impurities within the crystal lattice found in Type I diamonds, Type IIa diamonds contain almost no impurities at all, while in Type IIb diamonds, trace quantities of the element boron exist. It is the boron atoms within the carbon crystal structure that gives these diamonds their rare blue colour, as well as unusual semi-conductive properties.

The pure, straight blue hue of this superb 5.01 carat gem is world class. While most natural blue diamonds exhibit a grey colour modifier, the present specimen shows no trace of a secondary colour, making it exceedingly rare, both commercially and naturally. Such rich depth of colour, combined with perfectly balanced tone and saturation, has secured the Gemological Institute of America’s coveted ‘Fancy Vivid’ colour grading. Today, there is an insatiable demand for the exceptional natural beauty of the finest blue diamonds, which captivate collectors around the globe.

02_giovanni_da_ponte

photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

A stunning pair of 2.48 carat and 2.03 carat Fancy Deep Blue heart-shaped and 10.12 carat D VS2 and 9.61 carat E VS1 pear-shaped diamond ear pendants (estimate: HK$28.8-38.8million/US$3.7-5 million). Blue diamonds are geologically so rare that their minute production has long been almost entirely relegated to one deposit in the world: that of the Premier, or Cullinan, mine in South Africa. Many of the world’s most spectacular diamonds have been recovered at the Cullinan, the most famous being the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond. The mine is renowned not only as a source of important diamonds, but also as the world’s only significant source of blue diamonds. While pink and yellow diamonds are steadily being recovered from well known deposits, the discovery of blues is decreasing.

This pair of heart-shaped 2.48 and 2.03 carat diamonds, of the bluest blue, is exceedingly rare. To source one single piece of blue diamond of such quality is a feat in itself, to find a pair of such matching material in saturated colour, brilliancy and pleasing proportions is virtually impossible. Each blue heart suspends a dazzling white pear-shaped diamond of the highest quality making this pair of ear pendants a stunning jewel.

02

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

An exquisite Kashmir sapphire and diamond bracelet, circa 1960, by Cartier (estimate: HK$24-40million/US$3-5million). This bracelet is set with a superb collection of nine finely-proportioned cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphires. The centre stone weighs 10.52 carats and is flanked on either side by a series of four other stones that weigh between 6.10 to 4.16 carats. All nine sapphires are equal in their beauty, each as saturated and brilliant as the other. Exemplary specimens of the fabled Kashmir sapphire, they show the characteristic cornflower and velvety blue, an unrivalled depth of pure colour that resembles the hue of a peacock's neck plumage.

Located high in the Himalayas, the mines of Kashmir have sourced the world’s finest and most sought-after sapphires. Renowned for their aristocratic blue, this stone ranks among the most beautiful of all gemstones. Its unrivalled cornflower blue ensures its position as the most desirable sapphire on the market, and represents the quality against which all others are judged. Today, the availability of these gems is extremely limited testifying to the degree to which they are coveted, and making this collection of nine Kashmirs truly the rarest of its kind. Its beauty is further heightened by alternating marquise-cut diamonds that sets off the full-bodied hue of the Kashmir blue. Mounted in the 1960s by Cartier, this bracelet is a glamorous period-jewel of the very finest quality.

03

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

An impressive 10.05 carat D IF old cushion-shaped Golconda diamond ring (estimate: HK$9.8-15 million/US$1.25-2 million). The celebrated French gem-merchant, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who frequented India on numerous visits in the 17th century, described Golconda diamonds as “pools of crystal water”, a reference to their clear transparency and soft luminescent quality. This 10.05 carat Golconda diamond possesses exceptional limpidity; whiter-than-white, these diamonds have been likened to fresh clear water and frozen transparent ice.

The diamond is cut into an old cushion-shape, a style of cutting synonymous with its Indian provenance and very similar to the 70.21-carat Idol’s Eye, a clear Golconda stone that straddles a cushion and a pear, sold at Christie's in London on 14 July 1865. For connoisseurs, Golconda diamonds which retain their original cut are most prized. The Golconda diamond mines were depleted by the mid 18th century and diamonds of this famed provenance and distinction are seldom encountered in the market today.

3_Egyptian_bronze_cat

Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2010

An exceptional four-strand natural coloured pearl and diamond necklace (estimate: HK$9.4 -15 million/US$1.2-2 million). Since antiquity, pearls represent one of the most treasured and desired materials. Once believed to be the result of dewdrops, gemologists attribute the colour of a pearl to that of the shell in which the gem is born. The oyster producing the black pearls in this necklace is believed to be the Pinctada mazatlanica which can attain a round shape and a respectable size - qualities that are highly coveted in natural pearls. This species also produces a wonderful variety of colours from black with rose overtones to lighter shades of cream. It can also show dark grey and gunmetal colours often with overtones of ‘pistachio’ green or ‘aubergine’ purple. Such marvelous hues are exhibited in all the four strands of this necklace, 255 natural sea-gems that count among the world’s rarest treasures. The most likely source for these black pearls, which are believed to date from the nineteenth-century, is the west coast of North or Central America.