Christie's to hold Magnificent Jewels sale with Princie Diamond in spotlight

Auction house Christie's will commence its spring auction season with a large selection of diamonds and jewelry at its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York on April 16.

Almost 300 jewels, including high-end colored and colorless diamonds, gemstones, natural pearls and signed vintage creations, will be on sale at the auction.

In the spotlight will be The Princie Diamond, a 34.65-carat fancy intense pink cushion-cut diamond whose provenance can be traced to the ancient diamond mines of Golconda in south central India. It was first recorded as belonging to the royal family of Hyderabad.

First auctioned in 1960 by the London branch of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, the diamond took on its starnge-sounding name at a party at the company's Paris store where it was called the Princie in honor of the 14-year-old Prince of Baroda, who attended the party.

The New York sale is the first time in more than 50 years that it has been put on the block.

François Curiel, Chairman of Christie’s Jewelry Department, said, “One of the largest and finest pink diamonds in the world, the Princie Diamond carries a fabulous provenance, which brings together the legendary names of Golconda, Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda. This rich history, combined with its rare pink hue, conveys a special charm, which will speak to all collectors in the world seeking the best of the best in gemstones.”

The sale will also feature part of the Extraordinary Diamonds from an American Private Collection. The seven diamonds in the collections have had the same owners for a number of decades.

Four of the diamonds will be auctioned on April 16 at Christie’s Rockefeller Center saleroom; two more diamonds are being sold in Geneva on May 15, and the remaining diamond in Hong Kong on May 28.

Another private collection is the so-called Property of an Elegant Lady featuring a diamond cluster necklace by William Goldberg set with more than 160 carats of top-quality diamonds.

Meanwhile, the Distinguished American Collection features a 1950s emerald and diamond necklace by Harry Winston, and a ring with a D color potentially flawless diamond weighing 23.30 carats, also by Harry Winston.

Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie’s Americas and Switzerland, says, “For our first auction of the spring jewelry season, we have compiled a superb selection of colorless diamonds, beautiful vintage jewels from the best houses, and rare natural pearls which are experiencing a remarkable surge at auction. Collectors continue to enjoy being part of a vibrant auction market both as sellers and buyers of rare jewels.”