Auctions

Historic 18-Carat Rockefeller Emerald Up For Auction

AuctionsJun 15, 2017

Historic 18-Carat Rockefeller Emerald Up For Auction

The gemstone could set a world record for an emerald at Christie’s New York next week.

This 18.04-carat emerald, which once was in the private possession of the Rockefeller family, could sell for up to $6 million at Christie’s New York.

New York--An emerald that has been in the hands of a number of Rockefellers could become a record-setting stone when it hits the auction block next week.

The Rockefeller Emerald, an 18.04-carat octagonal step-cut Colombian emerald, will lead the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s New York on June 20, where it could sell for between $4 and $6 million.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. acquired the emerald in 1930, and gifted it as a centerpiece of a brooch to his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.

When she died in 1948, the emerald went to their youngest son, David Rockefeller, who then asked private jeweler Raymond Yard to design a setting for it that would highlight the quality and beauty of the family gemstone. Yard set the gemstone in a platinum ring with diamond side stones, the setting it remains in today.

No longer in the possession of the Rockefeller family, the ring is being sold at Christie’s on behalf of an American collector who acquired it more than a decade ago.

If the emerald exceeds its highest pre-sale estimate--$6 million--by enough it could become the most expensive emerald at auction, surpassing Elizabeth Taylor’s 23.46-carat emerald and diamond Bulgari pendant, which sold for more than $6.5 million in December 2011 at Christie’s.



The Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale will feature more than 270 lots.

Among the expected top lots is a modified lozenge mixed-cut fancy deep grayish-bluish green diamond, weighing approximately 5.01 carats and set in platinum, which is expected to sell for between $2 and $4 million.

The June auction also will include a selection of exceptional fancy colored and colorless diamonds and signed period and modern jewels by Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, David Webb, Graff, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels, among others.

The sale also is highlighted by two historically significant private collections by Cartier and Tiffany, with the latter featuring 58 pieces of Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany & Co. jewels that one were part of The Garden Museum Collection in Japan.

Browse all the lots in the sale by visiting Christies.com.
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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