Phillips Jewels and Jadeite Hong Kong Spring Auction 2021: International jewellery specialist Cristel Tan shares the highlights

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On June 5, Phillips will hold its highly-anticipated 10th jewellery sale at Hong Kong’s JW Marriott.

The auction house’s annual Jewels and Jadeite event has been nothing short of sensational. In 2018, a 1925 Cartier Tutti Frutti double clip brooch by Henri Picq went under the hammer. A magnificent diamond-studded butterfly brooch by Graff was on offer in 2019. Last year, Chinese artist-jeweller Feng J’s breathtaking Les Jardins de Giverny transformable necklace fetched HK$20 million (approximately SG$3.4 million), the most expensive piece ever sold by Phillips’ jewellery department in Hong Kong.

Cristen Tan, Phillips’ International Jewellery Specialist

Of course, this season’s presentation will be no different. Featuring 165 lots, headliners include a pair of exquisite Fancy Blue diamond earrings and a 10.59 carat, Asscher-cut, D-Flawless, Type IIa diamond ring amid a magnificent range of precious stones and signed jewels by iconic houses such as Harry Winston, Cartier and Graff.

For a closer look into what will be on sale, we got Cristel Tan, Phillips’ International Jewellery Specialist, to introduce us to her favourite pieces in the upcoming auction. Keep your eyes peeled for these sensational sparklers:

Lot 611: Harry Winston, An Exquisite Diamond ‘Wreath’ Bracelet, Circa 1980

Estimate: HK$ 2,000,000 – 3,000,000 (US$ 250,000 – 380,000)

“A classic and timeless diamond bracelet is a staple for any jewellery collection. Highlighting the luminosity and lustre of diamonds, Harry Winston’s signature cluster design is sculptural and multi-dimensional as fancy-shaped diamonds are set at different perspectives to each other. When worn, the diamonds scintillate on different planes, radiating brilliance and spectral colours from every angle.”

Lot 612: Harry Winston, An Important Pair of 8.61 and 8.01 carat Colombian Emerald and Diamond Earrings, the Surmounts, by Harry Winston

Estimate: HK$ 4,500,000 – 5,500,000 (US$ 580,000 – 700,000)

“Also from the House of Harry Winston is this pair of emerald and diamond cluster earrings that demonstrates the jeweller’s longstanding commitment to the finest diamonds. Two Colombian, no-oil emeralds are later set beneath the iconic Winston cluster — also known as the “Winston Look” — to bring out the stones’ proportions, symmetry and shape appeal, all while remaining true to the hallmark of the house.”

Lot 621: A Fine 5.74 carats Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring

Estimate: HK$ 2,500,000 – 3,500,000 (US$ 230,000 – 450,000)

“It’s always a pleasure to come across sizeable Kashmir sapphires of good saturation and fine quality. Kashmir sapphires are the pinnacle of all sapphires. Its mining source was discovered in 1880 in the namesake region of the Indian subcontinent, but was shortly exhausted by 1887. No other known deposits have been found to this day, which makes the rarity of this near-mythical gemstone second to none. A distinctive attribute of Kashmir sapphires is the display of silk-like inclusions that gives the gemstone a captivating, velvety appearance and a soft incandescent glow akin to when sunlight is scattered.”

Lot 598: Cartier, A Superb 4.00 carat Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring

Estimate: HK$ 1,600,000 – 2,000,000 (US$ 200,000 – 250,000) 

“Another highly coveted gemstone for a jewellery collection is a fine-quality Burmese ruby. Rubies command higher prices per carat than any other gemstone besides coloured diamonds, and, over the years, ‘pigeon blood’ stones from Burma have sparked excitement amongst collectors. Burmese rubies are considered highly valuable due to their very specific, highly saturated colour — a result of a high chromium content in the ground from which they are extracted. Their natural fluorescence, which makes the gemstone ‘come alive’ and appear internally illuminated, also contributes to their desirability. Historically, the term ‘pigeon blood’ reflects the fulfilment of a certain set of factors, and is afforded to the most exceptional of rubies that boast a rich, seductive and even red colour with strong saturation and liveliness. This particular ruby ring, mounted by Cartier, possesses inherent characteristics consistent with examples from the legendary mines of Mogok, a source renowned in producing the finest of ruby specimens. Spared exposure to heat treatment, its clarity and colour are thus entirely natural and considered to be rare and exceptional.”

Lot 530: Cartier, A Gold, Lapis Lazuli and Diamond ‘Turtle’ Brooch, Circa 1949

Estimate: HK$ 32,000 – 48,000 (US$ 4,000 – 6,000)

“The theme of nature has been a source of inspiration for Cartier jewellery. Bejewelled designs, interpreted through the use of vibrant gems, such as emeralds, turquoise and lapis lazuli, have become the maison’s classics through the decades. Definitive of Cartier’s unparalleled craftsmanship is its ability to incorporate a design around the natural features of a gemstone, as seen in this tortoise brooch, where both metal and stone are highlighted.”

Lot 613: Cartier, A Gold and Diamond ‘Flower’ Brooch, Circa 1960

Estimate: HK$ 62,000 – 80,000 (US$ 8,000 – 10,000) 

“The ‘60s were a period of female empowerment, which translated to the use of yellow gold jewellery. Reflective of this era is the ingenious design of the gold and diamond floral brooch, which showcases the incomparable techniques used by Cartier’s artisans with a blooming mechanism. Its delicate gold weave, thoughtful diamond accents on the petals and pistons, as well as the intricate creasing of the gold leaves are evidence of Cartier’s attention to detail and artistic prowess.”

Lot 665: An Exceptional 10.59 carat D-Flawless Type IIa Diamond Ring

Estimate: HK$ 5,500,000 – 6,500,000 (US$ 700,000 – 830,000)

“The highest quality of diamonds have a D colour grade and Flawless clarity. A diamond that is also graded ‘Type IIa’ is the most chemically pure, and accounts for fewer than 2% of all natural diamonds. An elegant alternative to brilliant-cuts, step-cut diamonds have experienced a recent surge in popularity. Their sleek, symmetrical profiles appeal to the minimalist-leaning, and better showcase the stone’s optical transparency. For this particular 10.59 carat, D colour, Flawless diamond, it also was afforded the grade of Excellent Polish and Symmetry, a testament to the diamond cutter’s masterful skill. It’s a seamless harmonisation between nature and man that results in an overall perfect jewel.”

Lot 658: A 2.21 carat-Fancy Blue Diamond and Diamond Pendant Ring; and 659: A Pair of 1.12 and 1.13 carat Fancy Blue Diamond and Diamond Earrings

Estimate of pendant/ring: HK$ 4,000,000 – 6,000,000 (US$ 500,000 – 770,000) 
Estimate of earrings: HK$ 4,000,000 – 6,000,000 (US$ 500,000 – 770,000) 

“Coloured diamonds appeal to those who appreciate the fire and brilliance of a diamond with the enhancement of colour. Fancy coloured diamonds can be found in an array of hues throughout the colour spectrum. Blue diamonds derive colour naturally from the presence of boron within the crystal lattice during formation. A colour reminiscent of the sea or sky, blue diamonds have historically been prized in scholarly art and decoration. Geographically, only a few mines produce blue diamonds, making the overall output undeniably scarce. The matching pair of Fancy Blue diamond earrings, as well as the Fancy Blue pendant/ring, can be dressed together for a formal soiree or as separate pieces. I’m a big fan of versatility in pieces and I enjoy knowing that items can be worn in a variety of ways and suitable for different occasions.”

Lot 644: Graff, An Elegant Pair of Ruby and Diamond Earrings

Estimate: HK$ 880,000 – 1,200,000 (US$ 110,000 – 150,000) 

“Chandelier earrings are a stylistic statement that can complete and elevate a look. This pair of ruby and diamond chandelier pendant earrings add a pop of colour with the vibrant red rubies of graduating shapes and sizes. Designed by Graff, it showcases the jeweller’s flair for the dramatic, as well as an innate understanding of diamonds and coloured stones with the use of perfectly proportioned cuts that highlight the brilliance, colour and overall quality of every stone used.”

Lot 570: Karen Suen, A Unique Pair of Jadeite, Paraiba Tourmaline and Diamond Earrings

Estimate: HK$ 250,000 – 350,000 (US$ 32,000 – 45,000) 

“A contemporary Asian designer that pushes the boundaries of jewellery and melodiously blends east and west, Karen Suen is known internationally for fearlessly using unusual gem combinations such as conch pearls and Paraíba tourmalines. This pair of meticulously hand-crafted jewels demonstrates Karen Suen’s aesthetic and originality as a jeweller, as she elegantly juxtaposes the traditional emerald green navette-shaped jadeite cabochons with the neon-blue Paraíba, creating a look that is simultaneously glamourous, fun and yet modern.”

Lot 622: Stewart Young, A Pair of Gem-set and Diamond Earrings

Estimate: HK$ 75,000 – 90,000 (US$ 9,600 – 11,500) 

“Stewart Young is a Hong Kong-based designer whose creative designs encompass unusual gemstones and materials. With a penchant for the natural beauty of gemstones, his designs take into consideration how light is refracted when they are worn. This bold yet soothing pair of earrings features contrasting colours, like the deep orange hue of the spessartite garnets and the ethereal luminosity of the moonstone. Making the moonstone pendant drops detachable allows for versatility and affords the wearer very different looks.”

Bid for your coveted piece via the Phillips app on App Store or Google Play.

Phillips Jewels & Jadeite Hong Kong Spring Auction is happening on 5 June, 2.30pm (HKT) at JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, 88 Queensway, Admiralty. Viewings will take place between June 2 to 5, from 10am to 7pm (HKT).

Singapore Preview 

May 14-15, 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Embassy & Consulate Room, The St. Regis, 29 Tanglin Road

By appointment only; email 

(Main and featured image: Cartier, A Superb 4.00 carat Burmese Ruby and Diamond Ring; all images courtesy of Phillips)

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