By Michelle Graff

For me, Friday mornings are usually pretty cheery. It's the end of the week, only one more day of work to go and the weekend is right there, just looming on the horizon.

Last Friday was especially so despite the dreary weather, as I trekked up to Christie's in New York City and spent a very informative morning getting an up-close look at a number of pieces that will be on the auction block this Wednesday.

Annenberg First and obviously foremost was the Annenberg Diamond. The 32.01-carat D-flawless diamond was set into a ring by designer David Webb and purchased by well-known philanthropist and art collector Leonore "Lee" Annenberg in 2007.

Annenberg, who died in March at the age of 91, bought the ring as a present to herself on her 90th birthday.That's a self-purchase that would make Ken Gassman proud.

My visit to Christie's on Friday brought to mind this article I read in The New York Times early last week, telling us that luxury is gravitating east. I don't disagree with that notion—the growing importance of Chinese consumers to the diamond industry has been a story for a long time. 

But thinking of this article prompted me to ask why Christie's didn't make the Annenberg part of its December auction in Hong Kong, where a 5-carat pink diamond called the "Vivid Pink" will be up for sale.

A Christie's spokesperson said that they always place jewelry at the auctions where they feel it will do best. For a diamond with a name like Annenberg, that means putting it up for sale in New York.

Lee Annenberg was the wife of Ambassador and publisher Walter H. Annenberg, whose empire included The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, Seventeen magazine, TV Guide and radio and TV stations.  Lee Annenberg also served as President Ronald Reagan's first chief of protocol back in the 1980s, admitting at that time that the $50,000-a-year gig was her first real job.

Together, she and her husband gave away billions to cultural, educational and medical institutions throughout their lives.

Though it's not known what Lee Annenberg paid for her 32-carat diamond when she purchased it in 2007, it's expected to fetch between $3 million and $5 million on Wednesday. 

If you saw the ring in person, you'd see why. It is an amazing stone.

WaveBracelet When I finally recovered my eyesight after being blinded by the Annenberg, another piece that caught my eye at Christie's was an Art Deco diamond and multi-gem "wave" bracelet by Rubel Freres (right).

Channeling our fashion editor Cate here, I couldn't help but think how great the multi-colored piece would look with just a plain little black dress.

It's expected to fetch between $500,000 and $700,000, making it much affordable than the Annenberg.

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