Shipwreck Emerald Sells for More Than $1M at Auction

AuctionsDec 08, 2022

Shipwreck Emerald Sells for More Than $1M at Auction

The 5.27-carat stone, salvaged from the wreck of the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha, blew pre-sale estimates out of the water.

20221208_Shipwreck emerald.jpg
This 5.27-carat emerald ring that belonged to author and philanthropist Mitzi Perdue and was pulled from a 400-year-old shipwreck sold for more than a $1 million at Sotheby’s jewelry auction Wednesday. AGL confirmed in an updated report that it is a Colombian emerald that has undergone only minor, standard clarity enhancement, Sotheby’s said.
New York—An emerald recovered from a 400-year-old shipwreck blew pre-sale estimates out of the water Wednesday at Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale in New York.
Estimated at $50,000-$70,000, the 5.27-carat octagonal step-cut emerald mounted on a gold band sold for $1.2 million after a five-minute round of bidding. 
Recovered in its rough form, the emerald was among the treasures salvaged from the wreck of the Spanish ship Nuestra Señora de Atocha, which was sailing back to Spain from Colombia and Panama when it sunk amid a storm in the Florida Keys in September 1622.
Treasure hunters found the lost ship in 1985.
One of the financial backers of its recovery was the late Frank Perdue, longtime head of Perdue Farms.
While Perdue donated some of the treasures pulled from the shipwreck, he had one rough emerald cut and mounted into the ring he used to propose to his wife, Mitzi Perdue (née Henderson), an author and philanthropist, in 1988.
The emerald came to Sotheby’s directly from her collection, with all the proceeds from its sale benefitting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. 
“Outside of its superb color, cut, clarity and size, when one considers that this gem is part of one of the richest discoveries of sunken treasure in all of history, the appeal to collectors in search of superlatives is extraordinary,” said Sotheby’s senior jewelry specialist Alexander Eblen. 
“It’s been a privilege to have been a chapter in the emerald’s continued storybook journey, and to know that the proceeds will benefit such a worthy cause.” 
When Sotheby’s originally announced the stone’s sale last month, the emerald’s weight was reported as 6.25 carats. 

Sotheby’s said Thursday the previously reported weight was an approximation derived from measurements, explaining that the stone was in a bezel setting when Mitzi brought it to the auction house, which did not allow its specialists to see its full breadth.  

Prior to the sale, she allowed the auction house to remove the emerald from its mounting and have it evaluated by American Gemological Laboratories, which determined its exact carat weight. 
 Related stories will be right here … 
Part of Sotheby’s “Magnificent Jewels” sale in New York, the emerald was one of a number of notable jewels up for auction Wednesday in a sale that totaled $50 million and was 81 percent sold by lot. 
The 303-carat “Golden Canary” diamond found a buyer, as did eight of the nine pieces of Egyptian Revival jewelry offered by Sotheby’s as a nod to the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

20221208_Desert brooch.jpg
German goldsmith Gustav Manz collaborated with Arts & Crafts jewelry designer F. Walter Lawrence on the “Desert” brooch. When lit from behind, the glass has an amber glow “capturing the magic and mystery of ancient Egypt,” Sotheby’s said.

Their sale totaled $1.8 million.
Among the highlights was the circa 1901 gold and ancient glass “Desert” brooch pictured above, which sold for three times more than excepted. Estimated to go for $10,000 to $15,000, a buyer paid $44,100 for the piece. 
A diamond and colored stone bracelet from Lacloche Frères garnered $1.2 million while a pair of Lacloche Frères ear clips circa 1925 garnered $352,800, toward the low end of their estimated range of $300,000-$500,000. 

A brooch from Castellani featuring a scarab made out of Egyptian faience (a ceramic material) and carved with the baboon god sold for $63,000 against an estimate of $50,000 to $150,000. 
Another jewel from the Italian jewelry house—a gold necklace featuring micromosaic and scarabs carved in soapstone estimated at $450,000 to $600,000—was the lone Egyptian Revival piece that did not sell.
An Egyptian Revival necklace Louis Comfort Tiffany made for Tiffany & Co. in 1913, pictured directly above, sold for $75,600, near the top end of its estimated range of $60,000 to $80,000. 
The double-strand necklace features an amulet with an oval-shaped lapis lazuli cabochon suspended from a double strand of gold, lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, and green hardstone beads.  
Sotheby’s said the necklace can be viewed as a modern interpretation of an ancient Egyptian “menat,” a type of beaded necklace intended to bring good luck, fortune, and protection.

The Latest

Susan M. Jacques
Events & AwardsOct 03, 2023
Gem Awards to Honor Susan Jacques

The GIA president and CEO will receive the 2024 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement.

De Beers new CFO Richard Lawson
SourcingOct 03, 2023
De Beers CFO Steps Down

Sarah Kuijlaars is leaving the company and will be replaced internally by Head of Planning and Business Development Richard Lawson.

Pandora Game of Thrones Jewelry
CollectionsOct 03, 2023
Pandora’s New Game of Thrones Collection Is Here

Fans of the series can shop for direwolf charms, dragon earrings, and more.

Brought to you by
Top 5 Ways to Promote Safety and Security Awareness Among Your Staff

Awareness is essential to proactive protection. Learn how to promote and maintain safety and security awareness in your business.

SourcingOct 03, 2023
2 Lucara Execs to Step Down in Wake of CEO Change

Chief Financial Officer Zara Boldt and Vice President of Technical Services John Armstrong will leave the company later this year.

Weekly QuizSep 29, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Entrance to Jwaneng diamond mine in Botswana
SourcingOct 02, 2023
De Beers, Botswana One Step Closer to Finalizing Agreement

The two have signed “heads of terms” for the tentative 10-year sales agreement they reached in June.

Ali Weiss jewelry store and piercing studio in Roslyn, New York
IndependentsOct 02, 2023
There’s a New Piercing Studio on Long Island

Ali Weiss Jewelry has opened its second store in Roslyn, New York.

Dialog Solutions
Brought to you by
A Conversation with Dialog Solutions

Do you always want the right diamonds at the right price in your store? Introducing Dialog, the world’s first diamond subscription service.

Ashley Kets
Events & AwardsOct 02, 2023
WJA Foundation Awards First Helene Fortunoff Scholarship

A New Hampshire store manager is the inaugural recipient of the grant for up-and-coming women in retail.

Lorraine West Nipple Collection jewelry
CollectionsOct 02, 2023
Lorraine West’s New Collection Points to the Power of Women

Available exclusively at Greenwich St. Jewelers, the “Nipple Collection” will benefit Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

Graphic for My Next Question episode on lab-grown diamonds
Recorded WebinarsSep 29, 2023
The Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Where Are We Now?

Watch as Edahn Golan, Sherry Smith and Avi Levy join Michelle Graff to talk pricing and trends in this controversial corner of the market.

692-carat rough diamond from the Karowe Mine
SourcingSep 29, 2023
Lucara Severs Ties With HB Antwerp

The two companies initially partnered during the pandemic and had just signed a 10-year sales agreement in November 2022.

Sonya K. Taylor diamond tennis necklace with tourmaline drop
CollectionsSep 29, 2023
Piece of the Week: Sonya K’s Versatile Necklace

A classic diamond tennis necklace gets a whole lot cooler with a removable pendant.

Columbia Gem House Woz Cuts
EditorsSep 28, 2023
The Gemstone World Is In Its Unique Cut Era

Associate Editor Lauren McLemore recently spoke with Columbia Gem House’s Eric Braunwart about the uptick in non-traditional gemstone cuts.

Pre-Owned Luxury by Rocksbox logo
MajorsSep 28, 2023
Signet-Owned Rocksbox Now Sells Pre-Owned Fine Jewelry

“Pre-Owned Luxury by Rocksbox” offers secondhand jewelry from Kay, Zales, and Jared to members and non-members.

Gold Roman Bracelet from the British Museum
CrimeSep 28, 2023
Have You Seen Jewels Like These? The British Museum Wants to Know

The museum is asking for the public’s help in finding thousands of pieces of ancient gold jewelry and gemstones stolen from a storeroom.

Pam Waclawski The Kingswood Company
MajorsSep 28, 2023
The Kingswood Co. Names New VP, Wins Award

The company was recognized for one of its private-label, consumer-focused jewelry care lines.

Stock image of rough diamonds from De Beers
SourcingSep 27, 2023
India Calls for 2-Month Moratorium on Rough Diamond Imports

The plea comes against a backdrop of declining demand and falling prices.

Hands pushing a shopping cart
SurveysSep 27, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in September Amid Rising Recession Fears

Shoppers also expressed concern about rising prices, higher interest rates, and political uncertainty.

   Platinum Guild International logo
Events & AwardsSep 27, 2023
PGI to Dole Out $500K in Business Grant Program

Participants from the first round of grants saw up to a 900 percent increase in their platinum sales.

Citizen Tsuki-yomi A-T moon phase watch
WatchesSep 26, 2023
Citizen Launches the Tsuki-Yomi A-T Timepiece

According to the watchmaker, it features the first light-powered atomic timekeeping moon phase movement.

Sally Nelson Exclusively Diamonds
IndependentsSep 26, 2023
Sally Nelson, Founder of Exclusively Diamonds, Dies at 86

The former teacher, described as “a pioneer for women-owned businesses,” opened her own jewelry store in 1980.

Crescendo, a 147.96-carat golden citrine by John Dyer for Somewhere In The Rainbow
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
2023 Spectrum Awards Entry Deadline Extended

The contest is now open for submissions until Oct. 10.

Instore show logo
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2023
Instore Announces Dates for 2024 Show

The annual event will return to Rosemont, Illinois next August.

Gold holiday gift boxes
SurveysSep 26, 2023
Mastercard Makes Its 2023 Holiday Prediction

According to SpendingPulse, retail sales will increase in November and December but not necessarily for jewelers.

Stock image of hands in handcuffs
CrimeSep 25, 2023
Oregon Jeweler Accused of Selling Lab-Grown Diamonds as Natural

Police say Douglas Wayne Gamble also swapped natural diamonds for synthetic stones and failed to return customers’ repairs.

Neil Lane lab-grown diamond engagement rings for Kay Jewelers
CollectionsSep 25, 2023
Neil Lane’s Latest Collection Uses Lab-Grown Diamonds

The designer just launched a new bridal range at Kay Jewelers.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy

Additionally, paste this code immediately after the opening  tag: