Jewellery - Lot 1903

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A large and important natural pearl, 33.15cts, 132.59 grains. 16.51 x 17.44mm.

Accompanied by report number 09623 from The Gem and Pearl Laboratory, London dated 21st January 2014 stating that the pearl measures 16.5 - 17.4mm, weighs 33.15cts and is a natural saltwater pearl.

Accompanied by report number 72642 from SSEF, Switzerland, dated 5th February 2014 stating that the pearl weighs 33.147cts (132.59 grains), measures 16.51 x 17.44mm, roundish, half-drilled, the colour is white and the pearl is a natural saltwater pearl.

With appendix letter stating:

The natural pearl described in Test Report No 72642 from the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF possesses extraordinary characteristics and merits a special mention and appreciation.

The described natural pearl exhibits an impressive size and weight of 33.147cts (132.59 grains), combined with an attractive roundish shape and smooth pearl lustre. The pearl shows an attractive white colour with weak rosé and green overtones, poetically also referred to as the 'orient of pearls'. Such overtones are due to an iridescence effect caused on the surface of pearls and greatly contribute to their beauty.

The combination of well-balanced trace elements found in this pearl is characteristic for a saltwater pearl.

A natural pearl of such a large size and quality is very rare and exceptional.

Also accompanied by report from Gubelin stating that the pearl is natural saltwater.


Documentation of historic round pearls can be prone to conflicting details and some pearls, over the years, have simply disappeared. Although some were recovered, the entire French crown jewels were stolen when the Garde Meuble (Royal Treasury) was stormed in Paris during the French Revolution in 1792. An inventory of the jewels had listed a 388 grain, round pearl just a few months previously. It has not been mentioned again.

A pearl of 148 grains was referred to in Taverniers Voyages (1676 - 1679) as being a gift to the Great Mogul from Shah Abbas. Again, it has not been mentioned since.

However, it is certain that the 33.14, or 132 grain pearl to be offered on May 1st 2014 is one of the largest round pearls ever to be offered at auction.


Estimate: £80,000 - 120,000
Hammer Price £ 680,000
Lot: 1903
Sale: Jewellery - 01 May 2014


Special Jewellery Notices

Some lots are accompanied by gemmological certificates which give an opinion on some or all of the gem stones included in that lot.

Lots marked with this symbol contain gemstones including rubies, sapphires and jade of Burmese origin and are not permitted for import by The United States of America.

For a full list of the Special Jewellery Notices please click here

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