Highlights of Christie’s New York Important Jewels sale

The Jewellery Editor's pick of the top lots at Christie's New York Important Jewels auction on 16 June, which is is expected to fetch $18 million through the sale of more than 200 lots.

Art Deco pear-shaped diamond pendant necklace

By Åse Anderson

A glorious burst of colored gemstones signals the arrival of summer at Christie’s New York. The jewelry auction on 16 June is expected to fetch $18 million through the sale of more than 200 lots, including a varied collection of colored and colorless diamonds, rare gemstones and signed designer jewelry.

The top lot in the New York Important Jewels sale is an extraordinary 80.73ct cushion-cut K color diamond with a pre-sale estimate of $3-5 million.

It is joined by two magnificent Fancy yellow diamonds, which are both expected to generate much interest from bidders. The first is a 28.02ct cushion-cut Fancy Intense yellow diamond boasting VS2 clarity, while the second is a 14.49ct cut-cornered yellow diamond mounted into a ring by Graff.

Leading the line-up of colored gemstones is a 9.97ct cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire dubbed The Majestic Blue, and an oval-cut 7.27ct Colombian emerald.

The auction will also feature jewelry from the collection of Margaret Adderley Kelly, wife of the late William R Kelly, who founded Kelly Services Inc. and was regarded as a pioneer in the temporary employment industry. The name “Kelly Girls” was coined in the 1950s and referred to the company’s temporary employees, who were usually women undertaking secretarial or book-keeping duties.

A generous philanthropist, Mrs Kelly was renowned for her love of jewelry and precious stones, and her collection boasts a number of rare and beautiful pieces. An Art Deco diamond pendant necklace featuring a D color 16.24ct diamond will be going under the hammer with a pre-sale estimate of $1.6-2 million, while a Cartier ring set with a 21.71ct cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire is also expected to fetch up to $2 million.

Other signed jewels appearing in Christie’s New York jewelry auction include a diamond Art Deco Cartier bracelet and a Van Cleef & Arpels brooch set with precious stones depicting a tiger and cub.