The recent discovery of a 12.92-carat Kashmir sapphire in a client’s bank vault could prove to be an exciting windfall for one lucky family who had no idea of the gemstone’s value. Estimated to fetch between $120,000 and $510,000, the unheated Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring leads Bonhams upcoming Rare Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong on May 27.
Bonhams Asia Director of Jewellery, Graeme Thompson, assessed the sapphire and believed it to be of Kashmir origin. The gemstone was then sent by Bonhams to Switzerland for scientific testing where it was confirmed as an extremely rare Kashmir sapphire, which had previously been assessed by other auction houses at $3,800-$6,300.
“Kashmir sapphires are the rarest of gemstones and collectors are prepared to pay princely sums for top-quality specimens, which have experienced a 970 per cent price increase for sapphires over the past decade,” commented Thompson. “We are delighted to headline this extremely rare piece in our upcoming sale. Sapphires were first discovered in Kashmir around 1880 but most Kashmir mines rapidly depleted soon after. Termed as 'blue velvet' due to the superiority of their superb cornflower blue hue, most Kashmir sapphires that appear on the market today were discovered more than 100 years ago.”
Alongside this piece, the Hong Kong sale features an exceptional range of rubies, emeralds, spinels, diamonds and a collection of signed jewellery from the most famous Houses including Van Cleef and Arpels, Cartier, Harry Winston, Graff, Chopard and Bulgari across some 168 lots valued from $2,550-$636,930.