Russian Royal Diamonds Sold
at Sotheby's in Geneva

A beautiful sapphire and diamond combination from the collection of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna

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Jewels of a major historical significance that once belonged to the Russian royal family fetched much higher prices than expected at the Sotheby’s auction in Geneva on November 17. The auction was held on Tuesday at the fashionable Bo Rivage Hotel in Geneva

A fine sapphire and diamond combination from the collection of the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna brought $478, 215 – more than three times the high estimate.

According to the Itar-Tass news agency, an undisclosed buyer made the bid over the phone.

Experts praised the quality of the brooch of plaque design set at the centre with an oval sapphire and a pair of clip earrings set with step-cut sapphires within a border of rose-cut and cushion-shaped diamonds.

It is believed that the jewels were secretly taken out of Russia by a British diplomat after the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917. They were kept in one of the city’s banks for several years before being given back to Maria Pavlovna, who managed to flee revolutionary Russia.

The sale consisted of over 400 lots and, apart from pieces of historical value, also featured a selection of rare blue, green and pink diamonds which brought the unprecedented sum of $36,682,714.

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was the wife of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich and mother of Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich.

Russia Today
18 November, 2009