Rare Cullinan fancy yellow diamonds shine at auction

fancy yellow diamonds

A collection of extremely rare fancy vivid yellow diamonds with an illustrious provenance was the centre of attention at Bonhams London Fine Jewellery sale, fetching a total of £577,750 (about US$773,844), revealed the auction house.

The diamonds, which originally belonged to the influential Cullinan family, came to auction for the first time, the company said. The star performer of the sale was a fancy colour diamond and diamond brooch with three step-cut fancy vivid yellow diamonds, weighing 5.29, 3.11 and 2.37 carats, respectively. The piece was sold for £452,750 (US$606,467) to an online buyer.

In addition, a pair of fancy colour diamond and diamond earclips was snapped up for £125,000 (US$167,412). The brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamonds weighed 2.08 and 1.93 carats, respectively.

Jean Ghika, Bonhams director of Jewellery for UK and Europe, commented, “The fancy vivid yellow diamonds in this collection are exceptionally well-matched in colour and boast an enviable provenance. They were extremely popular in our previews in London, New York and Hong Kong and were highly sought after by a number of our discerning clients. I’m delighted they performed so well in the sale.”

The diamonds were acquired in 1940 during a train journey when the present owner’s father-in-law, RV Cullinan – son of the famous South African diamond magnate Sir Thomas Cullinan – asked his friend, General Pierre De Villiers, a director of De Beers, to buy him some diamonds on his next visit to Kimberley. On the train back from the De Beers mine at Kimberley, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer asked General De Villiers, “What have you got this time?” The General retrieved a packet from his pocket and proudly showed Sir Ernest, who replied, “I can do better than that,” and showed the general a set of yellow diamonds. A deal was struck. The diamonds were then purchased by the general, who kept half, and the other half were given to RV Cullinan. These are the diamonds which were offered in the sale.

News Source: jewellerynewsasia.com

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