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Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch
Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch

Famous jewels up for auction

Two rare gems with historic significance will go under the hammer next month, and are expected to fetch millions.
The Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch and the Emperor Maximillian Diamond will be offered at a Christie’s auction in New York on 22 April.

The Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch centres upon a hexagonal-cut emerald, within an openwork two-tiered rose-cut diamond surround, bordered by old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in silver-topped gold.

It was owned by Catherine II of Russia in 1762, and was passed through the Russian royal family. An American buyer has owned the brooch since 1972.

It is expected to fetch up to $1.6 million.

The Emperor Maximillian Diamond is a 39.55-carat cushion-cut stone set within a platinum ring.

Originating in Brazil, it was owned by Archduke Maximillian in 1860 before passing through royal hands and eventually to private sellers. It was purchased by Laurence Graff – recently named one of the world’s richest men by Forbes – in 1982, and has since traded hands a number of times.

The auction marks the first time the diamond has been on display since 1982.

Like the Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch, the brooch is expected to fetch up to $1.6 million.

The jewels will be on public display in New York from 17 April until the auction on 22 April.

Learn about: The World’s Most Famous Diamonds

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