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Sunday 2 April saw the sale of the extraordinary The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection – a set of six stunning crystal decanters containing the rarest of The Macallan’s single malts aged from 50 to 65 years old – for US$993,000 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.
Beautiful, mysterious opals... these very unique gems are top of the scale when it comes to superstitions associated with precious stones. They are traditionally the birthstone for October and their multi colour light refracting properties have inspired devotion and irrational fear in equal measure through the ages.
The briolette is one of the oldest cuts used in gem faceting, reaching its height of popularity in the 17th century. A briolette cut is a pear shaped stone whose surface is entirely cut with small, triangular facets. It was developed in India and before the full refractive properties of diamonds were fully understood, in the 16th century it was probably the cut that reflected most light out of the stone. The name probably comes from the Italian word ‘brio’, or vivacity, which is probably the most loquacious way of describing the way this cut reflects light, especially in diamonds.
I have now worked in the jewellery industry for 15 years and the colours and hues available never cease to amaze me. The delicate palette of pale orange and yellow through cherry to pale pink and violet found in imperial topaz is one such colour range. Imperial topaz was particularly prized in the late 19th century, especially by the Russians.
The jewellery auction season is over and now that the blizzard of publicity and eye watering numbers has stopped cascading towards us we can step back and take a measured look at how the sales have performed.