By Ashley Davis
“The duPont Ruby” leads Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale this week. The Pigeon Blood Burmese stone weighs 11.20 carats.
New York—Two important jewels from The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are headlining Christie’s New York’s Magnificent Jewels sale, happening this week.

Prior to being acquired from VMFA, both jewels originated in the collection of Mrs. Alfred I. duPont. One of America’s wealthiest families, the duPonts made their fortune in gunpowder manufacturing in the 19th century.

“The duPont Ruby” brooch, estimated to fetch between $3.5 million and $5.5 million, features an 11.20-carat cushion mixed-cut pigeon blood Burmese ruby, not heat-treated.

Pictured at top, it sits in a platinum and 18-karat white gold brooch set with rectangular- and trapezoid-shaped emeralds, French-, old- and marquise-cut diamonds and pearls.

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“The duPont Emerald” (pictured above) can be had for a much more wallet-friendly price estimate of an estimated $500,000 to $700,000. The Colombian, no clarity enhancement, modified rectangular step-cut 9.11-carat emerald is set in a Tiffany & Co. ring, created circa 1920.

The platinum ring also features old-cut diamonds.

Proceeds from the sale of the duPont pieces will benefit future VMFA acquisitions.

Another jewel from the early 20th century Belle Époque era is tied with “The duPont Ruby” for highest estimated sale price at Magnificent Jewels.

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Circa 1915, the above ring features a Kashmir cabochon 30.14-carat sapphire with no evidence of heat or clarity enhancement set in platinum with old-cut diamonds. It’s also expected to garner between $3.5 million and $5.5 million.

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The pictured blue diamond ring is another of the sale’s top lots. The fancy vivid blue round-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut 3.07-carat diamond set in platinum is expected to earn between $3 million and $4 million.

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Colorless diamonds are also likely to make a splash at the sale, in particular the above Type IIa D-color, flawless rectangular-cut 24.13-carat diamond, flanked by trapezoid-shaped diamonds and set in platinum.

It’s predicted to sell for between $2 million and $3 million.

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The above diamond is also expected to earn $2 million to $3 million. By Harry Winston, the Type IIa D-color, potentially internally flawless, rectangular-cut 23.55-carat diamond is flanked by triangular-shaped diamonds and set in platinum.

The Magnificent Jewels auction features many signed pieces from the likes of Belperron, Boivin, Cartier, Fouquet, René Lalique and Van Cleef & Arpels.

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One notable piece from Lalique is the above signed Art Nouveau enamel, glass, diamond and aquamarine pendant necklace, circa 1915.

The pendant can be detached and also worn as a brooch. It’s estimated to sell for between $150,000 and $250,000.

Pieces from contemporary designers like Taffin and JAR are also available at the sale, as are the decidedly modern diamond-crusted headphones seen below.

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The diamond, ruby, platinum and white leather Beats Pro headphones by Graff are expected to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000 and were created for performers at Super Bowl XLVI: LMFAO, Madonna and Lil’ Wayne.

They’re crafted with more than 1,500 diamonds weighing more than 120 carats and 28 rubies weighing 3.35 carats.

Magnificent Jewels will take place Dec. 11 in New York City. To see the full listing of lots, visit

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