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Playing Dress Up with Diamonds for the Day

Playing Dress Up with Diamonds for the Day

I can recall the frequent pastime of sifting through my mom’s jewelry as a little girl. Trying on things that didn't fit my little girl wrists or fingers. I would prance around the house in her high heels and silk scarves with a cocktail ring on my finger and bracelets stacked up my arms, about to fall off. 

This enthusiasm for adult accessories only intensified as I started to grow into my mom’s heels and jewels. My feet have since outgrown my mom’s shoes (she has dainty little feet) and I have begun a jewelry and shoe collection of my own. 

To my delight, I was able to attend the press preview of the Important Jewels show at Christie’s in New York. It was any little and grown girl’s dream who has a penchant for the finer things in life. I gratefully accepted the invitation from a friend, well schooled in the arts and gemology, who took me around to try on the magnificent pieces. 

There is a certain calm about Christie’s. And despite the clicking of the lenses from photographers throughout the gallery, it was a serene atmosphere fitting of the one of a kind jewels and gemstones that it displayed. Christie’s was founded in 1766 by James Christie. For centuries it has been dominated the fine art world, rivaled only by the likes of Sotheby’s and Phillips. It currently claims the title of the largest of the fine arts auction houses with $8.4 billion in global auction and private sales in 2014. This past May, Christie’s had the largest week of sales to date in the art world - taking in a staggering $1 billion dollars through both its postwar and contemporary art auction as well as its 20th century works auction. The unprecedented number secured Christie’s preeminence in the art world and shocked even the most knowledgable of collectors.

The Important Jewels sale, which takes place on June 16th, is part of Christie’s Private Collections department and features pieces from various private collectors as well as The Magnificent Jewels of Margaret Adderley Kelly. The sale is expected to achieve $18 million. 

Margaret Adderley Kelly's collection represents her passion for jewels and gemstones that she collected over decades. Wife to the late William R. Kelly, who along with son Terence E. Adderley, grew Kelly Services, Inc. into the global staffing firm that it is today. Some of her finest pieces are included in the sale. Such pieces include the art deco diamond pendant (pictured above). Weighing approximately 16.24 carats it is valued between $1.6 and $2 million (227).

Her collection also includes The Kelly Sapphire, a 21.71 carats Kashmir sapphire, so named by the American Gemological Laboratories for its "unique time capsule of Kashmir's history and its contribution to the world of sapphires." (232)

Other notable pieces include the diamond and ruby earrings, ring and necklace that would make anyone swoon (228, 229, 230).

Stunning jewels from various private collections are also included in the sale. Some of my favorites to try on included a diamond ring weighing 10.04 carats and flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds on either side (197). Send a picture of this to your boyfriend to make him break out in a cold sweat.

The real diamond of note in the sale is the 80.73 carats, cushion-cut ring set in platinum (203). Carats are the measurement of how much a diamond weighs. When choosing a diamond one must understand the 4 Cs (color, clarity, cut, carat).  This diamond is expected to sell between $3 and $5 million and represents the highest quality and size in the diamond world. 

This colored diamond and diamond ring stunner by Graff weighs approximately 14.49 carats and defines the meaning of sparkle (200).

The collection of rare necklaces could make any jewelry enthusiast swoon. This tapered circular, baguette and marquise-cut diamond bib necklace by Jahan is every diamond lover's dream (202).

A necklace for (almost) every formal occasion and for times when you want to add some sparkle to your outfit is the circular necklace of eight-one circular-cut diamonds (37).

One of the many masterpieces in the sale is the venetian glass bead necklace by JAR (180). Joel Arthur Rosenthal, known simply as JAR, is a Parisian jeweler with a "cult" following of celebrities, collectors and socialites alike. Described as a "legend," the mysteriously aloof and hard to reach jeweler is only for the most discerning of enthusiasts. 

The bracelets that set my little girl dreams aflutter included the wide Art Deco Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet with intricate buckle detailing circa 1930 (194). 

Two diamond bracelets caught my eye and would be the perfect glittering accessory for any outfit (186 and 190).

This Cartier diamond band bracelet was another favorite. It is just heavy enough to remind you how many diamonds are glistening on your wrist (119).   

Another stunning piece by Cartier is the pair of diamond Scarab ear clips. Their distinct shape and glitter rest perfectly on the ear (145).

Spending the day playing dress up with some of the most beautiful and important jewels left me feeling like that same little girl again. I was so blissfully transported by the fun of wearing things that were not mine. My friend, Abigail, explained the importance of the jewels to me and it seemed, for those few hours, that they were things that were meant for me. 

I left with the feeling that one day I would be able to call jewels like those my own (a girl can dream). In the meantime, every part time enthusiast deserves to play dress up. Here's to hoping that this blog really takes off so that one day I can be a full-time jewelry enthusiast

For more information on the Important Jewels sale, please visit Christie's.

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