Half the excitement of what we do at AZ Jewelry Appraisals comes from knowing that we often hold priceless pieces of history in our hands.
Granted, that might sound as though we assign some pretty lofty importance to examining and professionally estimating the value of exquisite necklaces, rings, brooches and the like. We wouldn’t exactly disagree with that observation, either. However, some of the world’s oldest, most valuable and cherished jewelry could tell some stories to make even our heads spin, if only they could talk.
That’s why we always keep one eye trained to such marquee Sotheby’s auctions as the sale of the acclaimed Stotesbury Emerald for a jaw-dropping $996,500 on April 25: believe it or not, many a precious stone has quite the tale to tell.
In the instance of this verdant hexagonal-cut 34.4-carat Colombian beauty, the odyssey has already passed through the hands of some significant American names before hitting the auction block with expectations to fetch somewhere between $800,000 and $1.2 million a few months ago. Around 109 years ago, Cartier first fashioned the Stotesbury Emerald into a necklace along with the equally stunning 94.8-carat Star of the East diamond on behalf of colorful mining heiress Evalyn Walsh McLean. The stone’s origins are a mystery prior to that particular piece, but its travels after are so astounding, we can’t imagine any beginnings that could compare. AZ Jewelry Appraisers can find out the past of any piece of jewelry. McLean’s complicated trade three years later involving the lavish Paris house, the Stotesbury Emerald and the legendary Hope Diamond ignited a court standoff that eventually returned the gem to Cartier. AZ Jewelry Appraisers can Help you find out the origin of any piece of jewelry.
Prominent Philadelphia banker and society staple Eva Stotesbury next claimed the emerald and became its namesake before selling it to esteemed New York jeweler Harry Winston in 1946. Winston then reset it as a ring, which eventually sold to Colorado socialite and jewelry collector May Bonfils Stanton and had awaited its next journey in a private collection since Parke-Bernet Galleries of New York liquidated Stanton’s estate in 1971.
Has the Stotesbury Emerald’s journey reached the end of its most incredible days of wandering the world? We aren’t the only ones who very much doubt it.
“No one lives like this today, no one collects jewelry like this today,“ said Frank Everett, sales director of the Sotheby’s New York jewelry department, to The New York Times this past April from Dubai as he accompanied the stone on an international preview tour. “To think about this one jewel going through the hands of these three fabulous women and two legendary jewelry houses, you just couldn’t make it up.”
Even though your jewelry might not be as prominent as this emerald. Your jewelry is still valuable in its own way. AZ Jewelry Appraisers is there for you from getting a value on your collection for insurance purposes to equitable distribution in the event your estate needs to be divided up.