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The Allure of Type IIa Diamonds

Since the advent of diamond mining, diamonds have been prized for their clarity, transparency and purity. In fact, the finest diamonds were historically referred to as “gems of the first water”—such that the purest diamonds mimicked the color of the clearest drop of water. This popular comparison was even noted as early as 1607, in Shakespeare’s Pericles:

Heavenly jewels which Pericles hath lost,

Begin to part their fringes of bright gold.

The diamonds of a most praisèd water

Doth appear, to make the world twice rich.

Shakespeare, Pericles (Act III, Scene 2)

Nowadays, diamonds are graded on internationally recognized scales for both clarity and color. The majority of diamonds possess varying levels of nitrogen in their chemical composition, which give them a slight yellow tinge. Colorless diamonds that possess very low levels of nitrogen are exceptionally rare and command extremely high prices at market—with prices per carat consistently increasing over time.

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Ulysse Nardin Limited Edition Anchor Tourbillon

Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon Limited Carbon Dial in 18K White Gold.

Fortuna is excited to bring to auction a rare timepiece and marvel of horological innovation: the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon Limited Carbon Dial in 18K White Gold. Conceived as a series of traditionally styled watches equipped with Ulysse Nardin’s proprietary mechanical movement and Anchor escapement, the timepiece is complete with an impressive tourbillon and 8-day power reserve, as well as unmatched craftsmanship and years of research behind the ingenious use of silicon in the movement. The carbon fiber dial adds a lot of depth and is nicely contrasted by the silver printing. The 44mm case also guarantees a handsomely grand presence on any wrist.

A closer look at the Anchor Tourbillon, the result of cutting edge innovation at Ulysse Nardin.

The real marvel behind the Ulysse Nardin Anchor Tourbillon watch is the Anchor escapement, a marriage of the best of watchmaking past with the technology of the future. Made by dedicated watchmakers and nanofabrication engineers alike, the Anchor escapement consists mostly of silicon parts, an unconventional material in the world of luxury watch making, but its resistance to magnetism and ability to be manufactured to a level of accuracy only possible with nanotechnology makes it the ideal material for horologists.

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Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239 in Steel | April 2020 Important Watches

Paul Newman wearing his own Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239

Paul Newman wearing his own Rolex Daytona Ref. 6239 (Photo by Douglas Kirkland/Corbis via Getty Images).

Fortuna is happy to give you a closer look at a prized highlight from our upcoming Important Watches sale, the Rolex Daytona “Paul Newman” Ref. 6239 in Steel.

The “Paul Newman” is one of the most desirable and valuable of vintage sport watches. Rolex unveiled the first Daytona watch in the early 1960s and named it after the famous raceway. A subset of these watches, with the distinctive “exotic” dial, came to be associated with the American icon, Paul Newman, who is known and revered for his many pursuits, from his acting to his philanthropy, and most importantly his career as a professional race car driver. Paul’s wife gifted him the watch and he became quite fond of it, seen wearing it often—on and off the racetrack.

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A Closer Look at Our Highlights | March 2020 Fine Jewels

Fortuna is excited to share some of our favorite highlights from our upcoming March Fine Jewels sale! The sale goes live March 19, 2020, at 1:00 PM EDT

Antique Diamond and Sapphire Compact, Provenance of Anna Thompson Dodge

Lot 78, Antique Diamond and Sapphire Compact

This Antique Diamond and Sapphire Compact is one of the most special pieces in our March Fine Jewels sale. The antique compact is crafted in a combination of gold and platinum with an exquisite floral design: indicative of the late Victorian era. Hours were likely spent on the intricate carvings of the mountainside, cherubs, and floral motifs.  The compact is made more glamorous by the setting of pear- and old European-cut diamonds enhanced by oval cabochon and calibre-cut sapphires; the touch of color contrasts beautifully with the 14k gold. The precious compact has a compartment to store a photo, a mirror enclosed, as well as small compartments where one could hold rouge and some hairpins; the only essentials a lady of that time would need, especially one of as high a status as the original owner…

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Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Citrine and Diamond “Bird on a Rock” Brooch

Our Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Citrine and Diamond Bird on a Rock Brooch is one of the most iconic designs by the famed French visionary.  Jean Schlumberger was deeply inspired by nature and movement. The jeweler traveled far and wide seeking inspiration from then little-seen places like Bali, India, and Thailand. The ‘Bird on a Rock’ is one of the famed French designer’s most iconic pieces. The original ‘Bird on a Rock’ was designed in 1956 with the Tiffany Yellow Diamond in mind, one of the largest yellow diamonds to have ever been discovered. Since then the design has been reissued by Tiffany & Co. still with only large stones as the bird’s perch. 

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Harry Winston 4.51-Carat Pear-Shaped Diamond Ring

This Harry Winston 4.51-Carat Pear-Shaped Diamond Ring from our upcoming Fine Jewels auction, exemplifies the jewelry house’s strive for perfection. Thought of by most as the “King of Diamonds,” Harry Winston had an incredible eye for not only selecting the most important diamonds but for setting them in beautiful designs that would accentuate their natural sparkle. This ring emits a glisten like no other; the center 4.51-Carat pear-shaped diamond exhibits G color and VS2 clarity, and is surrounded by 14 pear-shaped diamonds weighing approximately 2.25-carats total. The VS-SI clarity and F-G color of these smaller diamonds perfectly reflect the sparkle and shine of one another, as well as that of the center stone.

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Richard Mille RM-07 Ladies’ Watch in 18K White Gold | December 2019 Important Watches

One of the highlights in our Important Watches auction, this sublime, nearly mint condition, Richard Mille RM-07 Ladies’ Watch in 18K White Gold was offered for an estimated $50,000 and achieved $93,750, more than tripling its starting bid. Richard Mille is one of the most desired and groundbreaking modern watch brands. Their watches are iconoclastic in design, use manufacture movements and have been popularized by countless style icons, celebrities, and professional sports players.

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Cartier Crash Watch 1991 Limited Edition | December 2019 Important Watches

The Cartier Crash is one of the most iconic watches made by the legendary jeweler. The original Crash was made by Cartier craftsmen in the UK after seeing a colleague’s watch that was badly melted in a car accident. The resulting Crash reminded many of Salvador Dali’s surrealist watches in one of his most well known works, “The Persistance of Memory,” and a legend was born that is associated with the “Swinging London” of the 1960s. 

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