1. Rare Three-Strand Natural Pearl Necklace. $ 1.4 million (sold by Christie’s in 2013) On April 16, 2013, this RARE NATURAL THREE-STRAND NECKLACE was auctioned at Christie’s as part of New York Magnificent Jewels. It is formed of 180 large-sized individual pearls. Ranging in size from 4.95 to 11.05 mm in diameter, the pearls are beautifully matched and graduated and the necklace is completed with an ornate cabochon emerald and diamond clasp.
2. COWDRAY Pearls. $ 3.3 million (sold by Christie’s in 2012)
A RARE NATURAL GREY PEARL NECKLACE that set on 2012 the world record price for natural grey pearls. It is composed of a single row of thirty-eight graduated natural grey pearls, measuring 11.4-6.8mm, to the rectangular mixed-cut diamond clasp, 43.2cm long. From the collection of the late Viscountess Cowdray, Lady Pearson (1860-1932), these rare and beautiful coloured pearls are a testament to their owner’s discerning taste as a distinguished connoisseur and collector.
“The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens.”
Often referred to as the “queen of gems,” the pearl has been a prized adornment in all cultures since ancient times. Today, matched strands of natural pearls have become almost extinct, as the traditional pearling industry has all but vanished in the Middle East. As a result, natural pearls of important size and quality have become increasingly sought-after by collectors from all regions of the world, and their appearance at auctions is always a major event for the jewelry world.
3. A SUPERB FIVE-STRAND NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE. $ 1.7 million (sold by Christie’s in 2012)
A superb FIVE-STRAND NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE Of seventy-three, seventy-three, seventy-two, sixty-eight and sixty-three graduated natural pearls, measuring from approximately 4.10 to 11.35 mm, joined by a blue silk cord, length adjustable. Listen to the audio here.
4. AN EXCEEDINGLY RARE DOUBLE-STRAND NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE. $ 3.7 million (sold by Christie’s in 2012) An exceedingly RARE DOUBLE-STRAND NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE formed of 120 large-sized individual pearls. Ranging in size from 6.50 to 12.25 mm in diameter, the pearls range in coloration from white to light cream, with subtle rosé and green overtones and superb luster. This beautifully matched double strand is accented with a 3-carat, D color diamond clasp signed by Cartier.
All jewelry photographs courtesy of Christie’s New York.
For Part 2 of this post, you will discover the most expensive pearl jewelry that are not just composed of natural pearls but with royalty provenance. Like the historic single-strand pearl necklace that had been owned by American Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton, as well as Marie-Antoinette and several members of European royal families before her. Another is the historic Baroda Pearls, worn for centuries by the Indian Maharajas from the Royal state of Baroda, which was sold by Christie’s New York for a staggering $7.1 million.
Watch out for Part 2 of this post…