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Natural Pearls Are Rare and Valuable



LONDON.- A wealth of bidding on Bond Street turned Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale into a marathon event, running late into the evening of 17th September, 2016.

The sale made a total of £4.2million. Natural pearls continued to bask in particularly impressive prices: Bonhams says that prices of natural pearls are now hitting record prices because of their increasing rarity – overfishing and pollution mean the supply of new natural pearls is ever waning.

Seventy-five pearls, fastened with a diamond clasp, made up the most valuable lot in the sale - a single-strand natural saltwater pearl necklace dating from circa 1910. The necklace sold to a buyer on the telephone for £194,500.

Two more pearl necklaces shone among the top five prices. A single row pearl necklace composed of 70 pearls captured the heart of one determined telephone bidder who secured the necklace for a staggering £110,500 – more than ten times its £7,000-9,000 pre-sale estimate.

A three row necklace of natural saltwater pearls quadrupled estimates to sell for £92,500. A natural pearl and diamond ring near tripled its £15,000-20,000 estimates as it sold for £47,500.

The single natural saltwater pearl on an intricately engraved band, is delicately set throughout with diamonds. Diamonds also doubled their estimates.

The second highest price in the auction was achieved by a 12.63 carat, fancy yellow diamond ring which sold for a dazzling £146,500.

Statement jewels and signed pieces achieved outstanding results. Lots exceeded estimates as buyers competed to secure the unique pieces: A sapphire and diamond 'pelouse' - or 'lawn' - suite by Van Cleef and Arpels which sold for £146,500.

The choker and bracelet are fashioned as a 'lawn' of circular-cut sapphires, interspersed with diagonal rows of diamonds. A ring and earclips complete the set in a matching sapphire and diamond bombé design.

An adorable rare coral and diamond snail brooch by Cartier Paris, dating from the 1930s, achieved £27,500 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000.

A coral and diamond snail brooch, by Cartier. Photo: Bonhams.

The snail’s carved coral shell sits on a diamond-set body with onyx belly and eyes made of ruby.

A Cartier turquoise and diamond cocktail ring of bombé design, dating from the 1960s sold for £17,500. The ring, set with turquoise stones on one side and brilliant-cut diamonds on the other, near quadrupled its pre-sale estimates.

Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international auction house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions worldwide.

Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery at Bonhams, commented on the sale: “The market for natural pearls continues to escalate with good quality specimens attracting a discerning international clientele. Signed period jewels also made astonishing prices, underlining how quality statement jewels are highly sought after by ladies who require a unique look.” 

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