Over the years pearls have been one of the most revered and sought after gemstones . They are highly collectable due to their rarity and beauty, and often carry exception provenance in particular with royalty. Here is our list of the top 5 most expensive items of pearl jewellery in the world:
5. The Cowdray Pearls Christies 2012 $3.3m
The Cowdray pearls set a world record auction price in 2012 for natural grey pearl necklaces. The necklace gets its name from the late Viscount Cowdray, Lady Pearson, who’s collection it came from. The necklace far outperformed its estimate of £280,000 to £350,000, a testament to its fantastic rarity and provenance.
It is comprised of a single row of thirty eight natural grey pearls, graduating from 6.8mm up to 11.4mm. The necklace is 43.2cm long, and features a beautiful rectangular mixed cut diamond clasp.
Natural pearls of such consistent size and quality are extremely rare, and as such are highly sought after by collectors all over the world.
4. An Exceedingly Rare Double-stranded natural pearl necklace Christies 2012 $3.7m
This beautiful double-stranded natural pearl necklace sold at Christies in 2012 for $3.7m. The necklace comprises of 120 large natural pearls, arranged in two strands. The individual pearls range in size from 6.5mm to 12.25mm and are accompanied by a 3 carat diamond clasp designed by Cartier. The colour of the pearls ranges from white to light cream.
3. Duchess of Windsor single-strand pearl necklace. Sothebys 2007 $4.82m
Previously part of the Duchess of Windsor’s collection, these pearls were most recently bought by Calvin Klein as a gift for his wife at the time, Kelly. The necklace was created by Cartier, Paris and has a rich history having been owned by Queen Mary before being gifted to the Duke of Windsor.
The necklace is a single-strand natural pearl and diamond design. It is 14 inches long, composed of 28 natural pearls, and accompanied by an oval clasp set with 2 fancy cut and 2 emerald cut diamonds.
2. The Baroda Pearls. Christies 2007 – $7.1m
The Baroda Pearls have such a rich history and genuine rarity that it is easy to see how they are the 2nd most expensive set of pearls in the world.
The Baroda pearls were owned for many centuries by the Indian Maharajas. The Indian royal families of the time were famed for their expansive collections of pearls, with the Baroda pearls being the pinnacle of their collection. The necklace was originally comprised of 7 strands of beautifully matched natural pearls. Such was the attention to detail with each strand, that they could take decades to collect and match to achieve such perfection.
Before being auctioned in 2007 the 7 strands were recompiled into a 2 strand necklace featuring only the finest pearls from the original 7 strands. The resulting 2 strand necklace is possibly the finest examples of perfectly matched pearls, with colour, luster, size and shape.
1.Elizabeth Taylor La Peregrina Christies 2011 – $11.8m
Top spot in our list is taken by an astonishing pearl necklace previously owned by Elizabeth Taylor which was sold for $11.8m at Christies in 2011.
“La Peregrina” (Spanish for “The Pilgrim”) refers to the magnificent pearl located on the bottom of the Pendent attached to the necklace. This pear shaped pearl has a recorded history dating back over 500 years, and has regularly been referred to as one of the most important pearls in the world due to its size, perfect shape and rarity.
The necklace itself comprises of 2 strands of natural pearls, interspersed with 8 rubies, each surrounded by diamonds in a floral pattern. The inner strand comprises of round shaped pearls, while the outer strand comprises of large drop-shaped pearls.
Treasured antique pearl jewellery has a century old history. They exist from a time when the craftsmanship was in few handpicked people and when pearls meant beauty, royalty and fashion. Libertons is helping bringing those glorious and real fashionable days back in action by bridging the gap between the sellers and the buyers through it’s marketplace.