'Emeralds for Elephants' auction raises $1 million
London--An auction that included an array of emerald jewelry by well-known designers and an emerald-studded "elephant" has raised $1 million for the World Land Trust and the Wildlife Trust of India, organizations that work to create a network of wildlife corridors for the endangered Asian elephant.
The auction was part of the "Emeralds for Elephants" exhibition, which took place June 23 at London's Selfridges department store. The items featured at the exhibition included eight unique pieces of emerald jewelry created by a handful of renowned jewelry designers culled from around the world, including U.K. designers Shaun Leane, Theo Fennell and Dominic Jones, Sevan Bicakci from Turkey, Autore by Alessio Boschi from Australia, Francis Mertens from Belgium and J.W. Currens in the United States. All told, the jewelry sold during the auction raised 517,000 British pounds, or about $782,200.
The centerpiece of the auction, however, was the "Emerald Queen," a life-size fiberglass elephant designed by jeweler Sabine Roemer and featuring a jaw-dropping 678-carat Gemfields emerald. By the end of the night, the Emerald Queen had sold for 150,000 British pounds, or about $227,300.
Attendees at the star-studded event included a number of VIPs and celebrities from the United Kingdom and India, including cricket star Yuvraj Singh, model Lily Cole, writer Mark Shand, musician Jack Penate, and Selfridges owners Hilary and Galen Weston, among others.