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Two Ponahalo diamonds to feature at Christie’s New York Sale
Christie’s is also organising the sale of Superb 20th Century Jewels from an American Collection
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 21 2008 5:58AM
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Reference: 3066  

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Christie’s New York Sale, scheduled on October 15, 2008 is offering a rare glimpse of diamonds, both coloured and white, gems, and a collection of signed jewels (Superb 20th Century Jewels from an American Collection). The highlight of the auction are two diamonds weighing approximately 102.11 and 70.87 carats, cut from a rough diamond of 316.15 carats and bestowed with the name, The Ponahalo. The sale will comprise of 273 lots and expects to realise in excess of $35 million.

The 316.15 carat rough was the largest to be discovered at the De Beers Venetia mine, and the Ponahalo name was christened following the tradition of naming very special diamonds. Ponahalo was a name given by Jonathan Oppenheimer, Head of the Chairman’s Office De Beers Group, and translates as “vision in Sotho, language of the Venda tribe of South Africa where the gem was mined. The diamond was cut into four roughs by Steinmetz Diamond Group. The company produced four polished diamonds, leaving one in its rough form. It took the company 18 months to shape the two largest diamonds, into rectangular-cut gems (estimate: on request).

Funds from the sale proceeds of these Ponahalo Diamonds will be donated to the Diamond Empowerment Fund, co-founded by Russell Simmons.

Some of the other gems and jewellery in the main sale, include a rectangular cut diamond necklace of 40.21carats, D color, internally flawless clarity; a cut-cornered rectangular-cut diamond ring of 16 carats, D color, with potential to be flawless (estimate: $1 - 1.5 million); a 8.23 carats diamond bee ring designed by Jean Schlumberger, of D color (estimate: $800,000-1.2 million). Coloured diamonds rings include a cut-cornered modified rectangular-cut fancy intense blue diamond, weighing approximately 7.02 carats, and set with a pavé-set pink diamond two-tiered surround (estimate: $3.5 - 5 million) and a pear-shaped fancy intense purplishpink diamond, weighing approximately 5.60 carats, flanked on either side by a pear-shaped diamond (estimate: $2.6 - 3 million).

Jewellery containing exquisite gems include a sapphire, emerald and pearl necklace set with a cushion-cut sapphire of 68.16 carats, and a square-cut emerald, weighing approximately 8.37 carats (estimate: $1-1.5 million), and an Art Deco Padapradscha sapphire and diamond clip brooch designed as a geometric plaque, and set with a modified pear-shaped Padparadscha sapphire of 29.87 carats (estimate: $180,000-250,000). Jewelry from the Collection of Giselle Bündchen includes a diamond ring by Sabbadini set with a cut-cornered modified square-cut yellow diamond weighing approximately 3.35 carats, flanked on either side by a trillion-cut diamond (estimate: $15,000-20,000), and a circular-cut diamond pendant weighing approximately 6.01 carats (estimate: $120,000-150,000).

The Superb 20th Century Jewels from an American Collection consists of 110 lots and features an extensive assortment of signed jewels by all the leading makers of the 20th century including: René Boivin, Jean Schlumberger, Paul Flato, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels. Both auctions are scheduled to be held on October 15, 2008.

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