Natural pearls sold for record $3.3m at auction

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Price reached at Doyle New York surpassed previous record by $900,000.

A pair of natural pearls have sold at auction in New York for a record breaking $3.3m (£1.96m) beating the previous record by $900,000 (£535,331).

The drop-shaped pearls sold at Doyle New York measured approximately 9/10 inch in height and ½ inch wide, and were a warn grey colour. The pearls were mounted with antique silver and diamond caps set onto a 1920s platinum and diamond pendant.

The pearls were accompanied by a hand-written note explaining that they had previously belonged to Empress Eugenie of France, who was forced to auction her jewels after the fall of her husband, Napoleon III, in 1887.

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The winning bid will also receive a report from the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF stating that the pearls are natural saltwater pearls with no evidence of artificial colour modification. 

A statement from the SSEF explained: “Assembling a matching pair of natural pearls of this size and quality is very rare and exceptional, and thus this pair of pearls can be considered a very exceptional treasure of nature.”

In May 2013, Sotheby’s Geneva sold a pair of natural pearls from the collection of Gina Lollobrigida for $2.4 million (£1.4m). That pair broke the earlier record of $1.99m (£1.3m) set by Christie’s New York at the sale of the collection of Elizabeth Taylor in December 2011.

The pearls were purchased from Doyle New York by an anonymous telephone bidder.

 

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