Fall auction season is here, which gives us the perfect excuse to add some glittering new baubles to our personal jewellery collections. In fact, we have already shortlisted quite a number of prospective purchases from British auctioneer Phillips’ upcoming Jewellery and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong, happening on 28 November, 2016.
The sale marks Phillips’ first ever jewellery auction in Asia, and features over 150 dazzling jewels — which include vintage items and signed pieces from iconic brands the likes of Harry Winston and Boucheron. Standout items range from a pink diamond ring to a Belle Époque brooch and glamorous ruby earrings.
The auction house recently conducted a media preview at Grand Hyatt Singapore, where we had a quick chat with Terry Chu, who helms its jewellery department in Asia. Based on her recommendations, here are 10 magnificent jewels you absolutely must see (and buy).
Expected to achieve between HK$22,000,000 to HK$26,000,000 (S$2,800,000 and S$3,300,000), this showstopper is the auction’s top lot. It is composed of a lovely 7.93-carat, pear-shaped fancy pink diamond flanked by two heart-shaped sparklers. The ring is set in 18k white and pink gold. This is certainly something your special someone will say yes to, if you’re planning to propose.
“The design is kept very simple, because the pink diamond is beautiful on its own without any enhancements,” says Chu.
This sophisticated 1910 Belle Époque brooch features a 16.72-carat step-cut emerald bordered by intricate swirls of diamonds and connected to two dangling, natural saltwater pearls. It is fashioned in a mix of platinum and 18k yellow gold, and is estimated to go under the hammer for between HK$8,000,000 and HK$9,000,000 (S$1,000,000 and S$1,200,000).
This signed ring by Harry Winston showcases a 10.23-carat emerald-cut diamond accompanied by smaller side diamonds. The ring is made from platinum, and its selling price is estimated to range from HK$7,000,000 to HK$8,500,000 (S$897,000 to S$1,090,000).
“The central diamond is colourless, internally flawless and top quality. A ring like this will truly never go out of style,” says Chu.
Estimated to achieve between HK$4,500,000 and HK$6,000,000 (S$570,000 and S$770,000), this exquisite pair of earrings is mounted with two unheated, oval-shaped Burmese rubies, which weigh 5.06 and 4.01 carats each. The “pigeon’s blood” rubies are surrounded by 12.10 carats of diamonds, and are set in platinum and 18k yellow gold.
“This is a rare pair of rubies, because their colours match so well. These days, it’s quite rare to find matching rubies of this size in the market,” says Chu.
Created by Boucheron in 1890, this delicate leaf-shaped brooch bears the workshop mark of its brand’s founder Frédéric Boucheron. It is embellished with an adorable cabochon ruby bee atop some 1.80 carats of old- and rose-cut diamonds. The brooch is designed in silver-topped gold, which, before the introduction of platinum in jewellery manufacturing, was the only way to provide a white metal background for diamonds. It is expected to fetch between HK$65,000 and HK$80,000 (S$8,000 and S$10,000).
“This brooch is one of my personal favourites. It is mounted en tremblant (where parts of the jewel are attached to a trembler so they move when worn), so it has some slight movement for a lively look,” says Chu.
If you’re seeking an unconventional engagement ring for your beloved, consider this gorgeous 41.35-carat cabochon star sapphire and diamond ring, which changes from intense blue to purple when viewed under different light sources. The crystal structure of the sapphire contains needle-like inclusions, which produce a star-shaped effect — a phenomenon called asterism — when light reflects off it.
The ring’s price estimate ranges from HK$700,000 to HK$850,000 (S$90,000 to S$110,000). “This untreated sapphire not only has a star, but also changes colour and has a good transparency, making it a rare item,” says Chu.
Dating back to 1950, this stunning piece by French jeweller Pierre Sterlé pulls double duty as a necklace and pair of brooches. The jewel is covered in approximately 12.00 carats of diamonds, and its “pendant” can be detached and worn as tasselled clips. It is expected to fetch between HK$400,000 and HK$500,000 (S$50,000 and S$65,000).
“This interesting and versatile piece looks very glamorous. And if you wear it as a brooch, it’s great for daily use,” says Chu.
Why settle for just one piece, when you can have a full set? This gorgeous jewellery set comprises a necklace bedecked with 14 drop-shaped natural pearls ringed with diamond beads and seed pearls, and a pair of matching earrings. Both jewels are mounted in platinum, and are estimated to sell for between HK$650,000 and HK$800,000 (S$80,000 and S$100,000).
“This is a delicate and exquisite set of jewellery. The lustre of the pearls is good and clean,” says Chu.
Fashioned in titanium and 18k white gold, this whimsical ring features four free-form opals, which weigh around 25.30 carats in total and are crafted to resemble the tail feathers of a peacock. The opals are fringed with some 5.00 carats of sparkling diamonds and festooned with cabochon-shaped sapphires. The head of the peacock is also encrusted with diamonds.
The ring is estimated to fetch between HK$200,000 and HK$250,000 (S$25,000 and S$32,000). “This is a unique creation, because it’s designed around the shape of the opals. It is definitely a conversation piece,” says Chu.
The traditional jade bangle gets a contemporary makeover in this striking piece, which contrasts lustrous jadeite with jet black onyx. If that’s not eye-catching enough, its sides and edges are also adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds.
The bangle is expected to go under the hammer for between HK$160,000 and HK$220,000 (S$20,000 and S$28,000). “Most of the time, jadeite gives the impression that it’s old-fashioned — something only your grandmother or mother would wear. But this bangle is very modern, chic and versatile for both formal events and everyday use,” says Chu.