At the Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva next month, there will be the largest and finest fancy vivid blue diamond ever seen at auction before.
The “Oppenheimer Blue,” a rectangular-cut, 14.62-carat stone, is expected to sell for between $38 million and $45 million when it hits the auction block in May.
This big blue diamond was owned by a man who certainly knew a thing or two about diamonds.
Sir Philip Oppenheimer controlled the Diamond Syndicate in London and began working in the family business at De Beers London in 1934, where he sorted and valued diamonds.
Later, as head of the London based Central Selling Organization for more than 45 years and chairman of the Diamond Trading Company branch, he oversaw a diamond sales business set up by De Beers to control the global diamond supply.
Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale is scheduled to take place at the Four Season Hotel des Bergues on May 18.
The sale will also include a collection of 46 pieces that once belonged to H.S.H Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen, estimated to realize more than $15 million total and featuring pieces from brands such as Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels.
The Princess comes from a successful German entrepreneurial and philanthropic family. She was married to Prince Karl-Emich zu Leiningen for seven years and also was a qualified lawyer who became a consultant for UNESCO, advising on equality and women’s rights.
In May 1998, Princess Gabriela married His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, 49th Imam of the Ismaili community and international entrepreneur. During their 16-year marriage, the Princess held the title Begum Inaara Aga Khan and received a number of jewels from her-then husband to build upon her already large collection.
Here are a few of her important pieces that are up for sale.
This Cartier necklace features Colombian emeralds and diamonds, with the detachable emerald pendant weighing almost 40 carats. It’s expected to sell in the range of $2.5 million and $3.5 million. Photo courtesy of Christie’s.
The highlight of Princess Gabriela’s lot, according to Christie’s, is the 36-carat, D color Pohl diamond. It was the first major diamond to be polished in the United States and was sold to a member of the Chrysler family in 1943. It was purchased for the Princess at Cartier in 1998 and could garner as much as $5.5 million.
This five-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace is estimated to go for between $350,000 and $500,000 in May.
I want that blue diamond ring. I want it, I want it!!!