Christie’s spring auction: Pricey baubles come from the earth

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Amethyst, emerald and diamond bangle bracelet by David Webb

Tourmaline, sapphire and diamond Starfish Brooch bu jean Schlumberger, circa 1945 Christie's Images
Tourmaline, sapphire and diamond Starfish Brooch bu jean Schlumberger, circa 1945
Christie’s Images

I never thought of pricey jewelry as art, but rather something movie stars wear when they sashay on red carpets. Then, I stopped by a preview of the spring auction at Christie’s at their offices in Beverly Hills, and got enlightened. The 300 pieces that are up for grabs are expected to fetch $30 million, and are coveted for their artistry as much as their flashy bling.

Senior jewelry specialist Leslie Roskind said people do actually wear these fancy baubles and that diamonds are “hot” investments right now, just like real estate and art. Signed pieces are in particularly high demand, like the starfish brooch that’ll go for between $30 and $50 thousand.

3-strand natural pearl necklace
3-strand natural pearl necklace

What people forget, Roskind said, is that all these beautiful items tie back to natural resources. Like a strand of natural pearls, which is expected to sell for a million dollars.  (There is a diamond clasp!)

“Natural pearls are not man-made,” Roskind said.  “Sources are depleted due to pollution. When you come into them two or three strands it’s exceedingly rare.”

Below, our conversation.  Got a great tax return? Maybe you can invest, too: