Whew….what a busy, busy week….have a wonderful weekend!
After a successful Important Jewels sale in New York, Christie’s heads to Geneva for its Magnificent Jewels sale on November 11th. With 391 lots, the sale is stacked with truly magnificent jewels. Here’s one that I think is just exceptional.
The Blue Belle is thought to have been discovered in 1926 at Pelmadula, Ranapura also known as ‘The City of Gems,’ a location on the island of Sri Lanka. This particular location is known in the gem industry as an area that for centuries has had deep, rich sapphire deposits. These sapphires are known for their high clarity, special color (Ceylon Blue) and fingerprint inclusions. Almost 10 years after its discovery, in 1937, the Blue Belle of Asia was sold to a British automotive magnate, the founder of Morris Motors Ltd., Lord Nuffield (1877-1963). The reasons behind his purchase of the Blue Belle were mysterious. It was reported that the sapphire was to be presented to HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother on her coronation day on 12 May 1937. The truth is that the Blue Belle ‘disappeared’ into private hands and that its location was unknown for the next 35 years. According to records from the 1970s, the famous Swiss based gem dealer Theodore Horovitz had the opportunity to examine the sapphire. His notes and drawings give precious additional information on the shape and weight of the gem.
Below are a different set of notes from the Christie’s 2014 catalog.
Accompanied by report no. 72359 dated 2 September 2014 from the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute stating that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin, with no indications of heating, and a Premium Appendix stating that the sapphire ‘.. possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits special mention and appreciation’.
Report no. 14090018 dated 11 September 2014 from the Gübelin GemLab Institute stating that the sapphire is of Ceylon origin, with no indications of heating, an information sheet on ‘Unheated sapphires’ and an appendix stating that the sapphire ‘..is one of the largest faceted sapphires the Gübelin Gem lab has seen to date and possesses a combination of outstanding characteristics’.
The Blue Belle of Asia weighs 392.52 carats and has an estimate of $7,000,000 – $10,000,000. The stone is set in a brilliant cut diamond tassel necklace.
The Ceylon Blue stone is the fourth largest faceted sapphire in the world. If the Blue Belle of Asia reaches its estimate, the stone will set a new record price for a Ceylon sapphire, which is currently held at $1,859,965 for a 60.44 carat sapphire sold at Christie’s Geneva in November 2012.
She’s (?) a big one. Weighing 392.52 carats, the Blue Belle of Asia is the fourth largest faceted sapphire in the world.