Catherine the Great's
Emerald and Diamond Brooch Sold

Catherine the Great Emerald and Diamond Brooch sells for $1.65 million
Photo: Sotheby's

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An emerald brooch that once belonged to Catherine the Great went under the hammer Thursday at a Christie’s auction for $1,650,500. Experts call it one of the most outstanding jewelry pieces in the world.

The name of the new owner of the precious brooch remains unknown so far. The price was estimated to range from $1 million to $1.5 million. "A tough bidding battle ended with the prize going to a buyer over the phone," Christy’s informs. Some say that the new owner must be a wealthy Russian.

The brooch, ordered by the Empress, is decorated with a Colombian emerald of an octagonal facet, weighing around 70 carats, and is unique in quality and size. It is surrounded by two rows of diamonds, faceted in the shape of rose flowers.

According to experts’ assumptions, the brooch was made in Russia and belonged to three generations of the Romanov Imperial family. It became the wedding gift to the second wife of Paul I, Maria Fedorovna (born Princess Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg), and subsequently remained the property of the heirs of the princess, a German family of Hohenzollerns.

Another unique stone fanned by historical glory is the Maximilian Diamond, and sold at the same auction for $ 1,762,500. The diamond, weighing 39.55 carats, was taken from the neck of the Mexican Emperor before his execution and given to his young widow, the Belgian princess Charlotte.

The demand for jewelry at the auction went beyond the organizers’ expectations. The total amount of sales exceeded $ 41 million.

Russia Today
23 April, 2010