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Autumn leaves signal the season of Sothebys Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale

Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale gets the auction season warmed up with a splendid array of important gems.

13 September 2014

By Ase Anderson in London

Precious gemstones in a rainbow of colours and a brooch designed by an A-list actress are among the many highlights at the upcoming Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale.

The star attraction of the auction, which takes place on 7 October 2014, is undoubtedly the 8.41 carat Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond. With a pre-sale estimate of US $13-15.5 million, this extraordinary pear-shaped diamond could be on course to smash auction records.

However, it is by no means the only rare rock vying for bidders' attention at the autumn sale. A 50.05 carat Internally Dlawless D-colour heart-shaped diamond pendant is bound to appeal to romantics with a few millions to spend (the pre-sale estimate is set at US$7.7-9 million). It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a beautiful heart-shaped gemstone that not only boasts the highest colour and clarity grading but is also virtually transparent thanks to a lack of nitrogen in the stone. Heart-shaped diamonds are notoriously tricky to cut and polish, and stones weighing over 30 carats are extremely rare.

Another impressive gemstone heading to auction is a 35.72 carat step-cut Colombian emerald ring, from the famous Muzo mine (estimate: US$4-4.6 million). Its size is matched by an unusually rich and even blue-green colour and extraordinary clarity. Celebrated as a symbol of everlasting love in Greek mythology, the emerald has been worn by many great icons, from the Egyptian Pharaohs to Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor. Fittingly, the Hollywood actress was given a suite of Bulgari emerald jewels by her then husband Richard Burton while playing the Egyptian queen in the 1963 film, Cleopatra.

A more modern icon, Sarah Jessica Parker, best known for her role as Carrie in Sex and the City, has collaborated with fine jewellery artist Cindy Chao to create an exquisite "Ballerina Butterfly" brooch. Featuring a 26.27 carat cushion-cut fancy brown-yellow diamond as well as three champagne coloured diamond plaques and three conch pearls, the brooch depicts a ballerina imitating a butterfly. With a pre-sale estimate of US$750,000-950,000, proceeds from the sale of the brooch will benefit the New York City Ballet.

Completing the colourful line-up at Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale is a remarkable pair of ruby earrings that used to belong to Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, the great-granddaughter of Baron Mayer de Rothschild and wife of the ninth Duke of Roxburghe. A supporter of numerous charities and a patron of the Royal Ballet, the Duchess was renowned for her covetable jewellery collection.

The earrings feature two unheated rubies - weighing 6.80 and 6.70 carats respectively - that hail from the world's best ruby source, the famous Mogok Valley in Burma. With a homogenous red colour, good saturation and exceptional clarity, these were probably some of the first Mogok gemstones to reach England. It is believed that the earrings as well as a matching necklace were originally given to the Duchess' grandmother Countess Rosebery, before being passed down the family line.

Sapphires also feature strongly in the auction, led by the spectacular Imperial Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring. Weighing 17.16 carats, the sapphire boasts an intense cornflower blue colour and velvety texture thanks to the needle inclusions that are typical of gemstones from Kashmir.

With around 340 lots, expected to fetch a total of more than US $90 million, Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale is bound to get the autumn jewellery auction season off to a hot start. 

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