REMEMBERING VISIONARY DESIGNER ELSA PERETTI

Elsa Peretti was not your typical jewelry designer. She had a unique ability to transform the beauty of nature into sculptural, organic, and irresistibly sensual pieces. Her journey to becoming one of the most iconic designers of her time was an unconventional one.

Born in Florence, Italy in 194, Peretti initially pursued a career in interior design. However, it was during her time studying in Rome that she discovered her passion for jewelry design. She started experimenting with creating her own pieces and quickly realized she had found her true calling.

In pursuit of new opportunities, Peretti moved to Barcelona and then New York City where she worked as a fashion model. While modeling allowed her to travel the world and experience different cultures, it also exposed her to the world of high fashion and luxury brands – an industry that would soon be captivated by her unique aesthetic.

In 1975, she famously posed in a Playboy Bunny costume photographed by Helmut Newton.

Elsa Peretti, was a true pioneer of design, translating  all she saw in the natural world into jewelry that is sculptural, organic and irresistibly sensual. After studying interior design in Rome and working as a fashion model in Barcelona and New York City, Peretti found her true calling in the world of jewelry design.  Peretti’s unique ability to infuse natural elements with timeless elegance set her apart, earning her recognition as one of the most iconic designers of her time.

Her revolutionary aesthetic enchanted the world after she joined Tiffany & Co. in 1974. This partnership remains among the most successful in the brand’s history, which resulted in some of Tiffany’s most iconic pieces, including the Bone Cuff and Open Heart collection. Additionally, Peretti played an important role in changing the perception of diamonds in everyday fashion and elevated the status of sterling silver. 

“She provided the 70s working woman with jewelry she could buy for herself and wear for her own pleasure”

Not only did Peretti leave an indelible mark on Tiffany & Co.’s history, but she also played a pivotal role in altering the perception of diamonds in everyday fashion while elevating the status of sterling silver. Her legacy continues to enchant collectors and enthusiasts alike, solidifying her position as an influential figure in modern jewelry design. Decades later we still see these influences resonating in the jewelry world making her legacy live on.

Peretti’s pieces from our upcoming auction on July 16th, 2024, 11AM ET

ELSA PERETTI FOR TIFFANY STARFISH PENDANT NECKLACE

Starting Bid: $1,500

Estimate: $2,800 – $3,800

Maximizing Your Cartier Sale in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you considering selling your Cartier jewelry and want to ensure you get the best value for your exquisite pieces? In 2024, leveraging the right strategies and platforms can make a significant difference in maximizing your earnings. Here’s a detailed guide on how to sell Cartier for the most money this year.

Cartier Jewelry You Can Sell

Cartier is renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and timeless designs across various jewelry categories. If you’re considering selling Cartier jewelry for the most money in 2024, here are some popular items you can consider:

Cartier Rings: Iconic engagement rings, wedding bands, and statement rings featuring diamonds, colored gemstones, or Cartier’s signature motifs like the Love collection.

Cartier Bracelets: Bangle bracelets, tennis bracelets, or charm bracelets crafted from precious metals such as gold or platinum, often adorned with diamonds or enamel detailing.

Cartier Necklaces: Pendant necklaces, chains, or multi-strand necklaces showcasing Cartier’s elegant designs and craftsmanship.

Cartier Earrings: Stud earrings, hoop earrings, or drop earrings featuring diamonds, pearls, or gemstones in classic Cartier settings.

Cartier Watches: Luxury timepieces including the iconic Tank, Ballon Bleu, Santos, or Panthère collections, known for their precision engineering and sophisticated designs.

How Much Can I Make with My Cartier Fine Jewelry?

CARTIER ART DECO CONVERTIBLE BURMESE RUBY AND DIAMOND NECKLACE, BROOCH SET

Estimate:  $80,000 – $120,000

SOLD $150,000

The potential earnings from selling your Cartier fine jewelry can vary significantly based on several key factors:

Market Value: Cartier is renowned for its fine jewelry crafted from high-quality materials such as gold, platinum, and adorned with diamonds, gemstones, or enamel. For example:

  • Cartier Love Bracelet: Prices typically range from $6,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the material (gold or platinum) and presence of diamonds.
  • Cartier Diamond Rings: Engagement rings and statement rings can range widely, from $10,000 to over $100,000, depending on the size, quality of diamonds, and design intricacy.

Condition: The condition of your Cartier fine jewelry significantly impacts its resale value. Pieces in excellent condition with minimal wear and well-maintained settings generally command higher prices.

Provenance and Documentation: Documentation such as certificates of authenticity, original receipts, and any historical provenance can add value and enhance buyer confidence. Vintage pieces with documented provenance may attract collectors and command higher prices.

Timing: Market timing plays a role in determining selling prices. Participating in auctions during peak seasons or times of high demand can lead to competitive bidding and potentially higher sale prices.

CARTIER ART DECO COLOMBIAN EMERALD AND DIAMOND PLATINUM RING

Estimate: $8,000 – $12,000

SOLD $20,000

How to sell

1. Choose the Right Platform

Selecting the optimal platform to sell your Cartier jewelry is crucial. Auction houses like FORTUNA offer access to a large network of verified buyers and competitive bidding environments. This ensures that your pieces receive the attention they deserve, potentially driving up the sale price. Look for platforms known for their expertise in luxury goods and a track record of achieving high prices for similar items.

2. Understand the Market

Before selling, familiarize yourself with the current market trends for Cartier jewelry. Research recent sales of similar pieces to gauge their market value. Factors such as the rarity of your item, its condition, and any historical significance can all influence its price. Being informed about these details allows you to set realistic expectations and make informed decisions throughout the selling process.

3. Ensure Authenticity and Documentation

Ensure that your Cartier jewelry comes with all necessary documentation of authenticity, such as certificates of authenticity or original purchase receipts. Buyers are more confident in purchasing items with clear provenance and authentication.

4. Set Realistic Reserves

When participating in auctions, setting a realistic reserve price is essential. A reserve price is the minimum amount you are willing to accept for your jewelry. It helps protect your investment while still allowing for competitive bidding. Discussing reserve prices with auction experts can provide insights into market conditions and help you make informed decisions.

5. Stay Informed and Flexible

Lastly, stay informed throughout the selling process and be prepared to adapt your strategies based on market feedback. Auction dynamics can change quickly, and being flexible with your approach can maximize your chances of achieving the highest possible sale price for your Cartier jewelry.

By following these steps and leveraging the expertise of professionals in the luxury goods market, you can confidently sell your Cartier jewelry for the most money in 2024. Whether you’re parting with a treasured heirloom or making room for new acquisitions, maximizing your sale requires careful planning, presentation, and strategic execution. Take the time to explore your options and ensure a rewarding selling experience that reflects the true value of your Cartier pieces.

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Behind the November Birthstone

Each month of the year has a birthstone that carries special significance. Some months, like November, are associated with two gemstones.

What Is November’s Birthstone?

November is a month with two birthstones — the traditional November birthstone is topaz, while the modern gemstone for November is citrine.

Topaz is a gorgeous gem that comes in an array of colors. Golden or yellow topaz is most often associated with its status as a November birthstone, but other topaz colors include blue, pink, violet, orange and colorless. Topaz has a hardness of 8 but poor toughness, which means these gemstones require careful cleaning and handling.

Citrine is the modern November birthstone. This gem comes in warm shades ranging from transparent yellow to a deep, orangey-brown similar to golden topaz. While citrine is slightly lower on the Mohs hardness scale than topaz, it has greater durability, making it more practical for everyday wear. Citrine is often easier to acquire and more affordable than topaz, qualities which have fueled its popularity as a November birthstone over the last several decades.

The Origins of Topaz and Citrine

Topaz is commonly found in Brazil, Pakistan, Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar and parts of Russia. Historically, the gem has been popular among royalty, including the Russian monarchy, which mined the rare, golden-pink imperial topaz in the Ural Mountains. Ancient Greeks and Medieval Europeans believed topaz had special properties of strength and wisdom.

Citrine has also been popular since antiquity and has a long history of being mistaken for golden topaz. Citrine is found all over the world, but top sources for this gemstone include Bolivia, Spain, Madagascar, Mexico and Uruguay. Many modern citrines are heat-treated amethysts from Brazil.

What Do the November Birthstones Mean?

For centuries, people have associated birthstones with particular qualities and characteristics, and November’s gemstones are no exception. Topaz was important to ancient Greeks, Europeans during the Renaissance and Hindus in India for hundreds of years. Many cultures believed topaz provided strength, dispelled anger and ensured wisdom and beauty. During the Middle Ages, some people thought topaz could thwart magic spells. Topaz is also connected to health, healing and long life.

Similarly, cultures around the world believed citrine could soothe tempers and promote calm. From the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to Scots during the Victorian Era, citrine has been a popular jewelry choice for centuries.

Blue topaz is the traditional fourth wedding anniversary gift, and imperial topaz is for the 23rd anniversary. Citrine is often given as a 13th wedding anniversary present.

Are Topaz and Citrine Valuable?

The value of November’s birthstones depends on a number of factors including color, size, condition and origins. In recent decades, the market has seen an increase in heat-treated topazes and citrines, which has made both gemstones more abundant and affordable. Famous pieces of topaz jewelry are highly valuable due to their hue, history and natural origins.

Learn More About Yellow Gemstones

To learn more about November’s two warm and radiant gemstones, contact Fortuna Auction today. Explore our site and discover upcoming monthly sales and auctions for topaz, citrine and more.

Fine Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

With this alexandrite ring the possibility of owning a museum quality gemstone is here. It is the ultimate example of high taste and unique style necessary for any high jewelry collection.

Fine Alexandrite and Diamond Ring

In today’s world, exclusivity is key. Everyone wants to impress their friends, but most want to own something they…………can not only appreciate and wear timelessly, but also have the power to say they own something truly in its own realm. With this alexandrite ring the possibility of owning a museum quality gemstone is here. It is the ultimate example of high taste and unique style necessary for any high jewelry collection. The enormous size, pristine clarity and evenness of color………..of this center set alexandrite is a feat that only Mother Nature can provide. It is coupled with a prestigious report from the Gubelin laboratory of Switzerland which subsides any doubts in any jewelry lover or collector’s hearts. It’s not only fascinating that the earth can create such a beautiful stone. It is also something magical that through the illusion of incandescent and fluorescent lighting we can see a phenomenon that is truly amazing. In addition people are able to harness that and use master craftsmanship to create a whole piece of stunning gemological art that can be worn.

For more video content, click here to subscribe to FORTUNA’s YouTube channel.

Rolex Daytona “Rainbow” in 18K Gold with Box and Papers

A blend of mold-breaking fashion and superior craftsmanship. The “Rainbow” Daytona is accented by a carefully curated array of diamonds around the lugs and meteorite sub-dials, which only adds to its allure.

Rolex Daytona “Rainbow” in 18K Gold with Box and Papers

Rolex’s “Rainbow” Daytona is one of the most audacious watch designs to have been made by the conservative company. Rolex started out with a solid 18K Daytona, added diamond pave to the lugs and crown guards, decorated the glossy black dial with factory diamonds, and added meteorite sub-dials. To top it off, the bezel was set with an array of rainbow-colored sapphires, each in a unique shade. The result is extremely luxurious and appealing to collectors for the use of materials and the expert craftsmanship, not to mention the rarity of the Rainbow Daytona.

For more video content, click here to subscribe to FORTUNA’s YouTube channel.

4.24-Carat Square Step-Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring, GIA Certified

Offering iconic watches and highly desirable estate jewels, the latest addition to FORTUNA®’s monthly auction series is sure to excite collector’s of all tastes. Bid now on a broad selection of jewelry and watch treasures—most notably a stunning and rare Fancy Yellow diamond from the famed Zimmi mines, highly regarded for producing the most vivid canary diamonds in the world. Diamonds from the famed Zimmi mines have an outstanding reputation within the diamond industry due to their distinct and highly-saturated yellow color—a color that is rarely seen.

4.24-Carat Square Step-Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring, GIA Certified, April Jewels & Watches auction

Fancy Vivid Yellow diamonds are already known to be the crème de la crème amongst canary diamonds. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. This particular 4.24-Carat fancy yellow masterpiece is of Zimmi origin which is almost an immediate declaration of the diamonds’ superior color intensity—even when compared to other diamonds that are graded Fancy Vivid Yellow.

For more video content, click here to subscribe to FORTUNA’s YouTube channel.

46-Tiffany-Necklace

Behind the March Birthstone

Tiffany & Co. Aquamarine Morganite and Diamond Drop Necklace
Sold for $30,000

Birthstones play a significant role in people’s lives. Many people attribute good health, wealth and security to the gemstones they wear or use. Each month has at least one associated gem known as a birthstone. Read on to learn about March’s most popular birthstone.

What Is the Birthstone for March?

Aquamarine is the birthstone for March. This gemstone got its name because its bright blue color resembles clear ocean water. The name “aquamarine” comes from the Latin word for seawater, “aquamarina.”

Aquamarine is a part of the beryl mineral family, along with emerald and heliodor. Beryl gems are often flawless and transparent. This blue or cyan gemstone forms in igneous rocks and grows in giant six-sided crystals that can reach a foot in length. The gems can grow to impressive sizes, then be cut down and polished to resemble clean-cut stones.

David Webb Multigemstone Necklace
Sold for $10,625

When Did Aquamarine First Appear?

The first documented discovery of aquamarine was made in 1723 in the Siberian mountains. By the end of the 18th century, large deposits of aquamarine were exported from Russia and shipped to Europe.

Today, aquamarine primarily comes from Brazil. You can also find this gemstone in Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, Mozambique and Madagascar.
 

Does Aquamarine Have a Meaning?

There are many meanings and symbols associated with aquamarine. In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans thought of aquamarine as the sailor’s gem. They believed this blue gem would protect sailors during storms while traveling across the ocean. Ancient cultures also thought aquamarine was a token of love between married couples. Now, it’s the official gemstone to celebrate a 19th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine also symbolizes happiness and everlasting youth in the Sumerian, Egyptian and Hebrew cultures. Many people believe that aquamarine has physical and mental healing powers. Modern believers think that the gemstone helps with fluid retention, glandular disorders and maintaining eye health. It’s also thought that aquamarine has calming, soothing and cleansing powers, making it an ideal gemstone for meditation.


Tony Duquette Aquamarine and Cultured Pearl Cuff
Sold for $17,500

Is Aquamarine Valuable?

Aquamarine is a semi-precious stone, making it an affordable gem. Light blue stones are abundant, which makes lighter varieties of the stone inexpensive. However, there are instances when aquamarine is more valuable. Rich, dark blue aquamarine is rare, so gems of those shades are highly valuable and more expensive.

One of the most famous pieces of aquamarine is the crystal Eleanor Roosevelt received as a gift from the Brazillian government in 1936. It weighs 1,298 carats and is the second-largest cut of aquamarine. 

Other famous aquamarine gemstones include the British Queen Elizabeth’s aquamarine tiara that matches her aquamarine necklace and earrings. Another member of the royal family also has an aquamarine piece of jewelry. Prince Harry gave his late mother Princess Diana’s aquamarine cocktail ring to his wife, Meghan Markle, as a gift.

Contact Fortuna Auction Today

Do you want to learn more about aquamarine jewelry? Fortuna Auction can help. We are the only global premier fine jewelry and watch auction house. Find out more information about gemstones and our upcoming monthly sales when you contact Fortuna today!

What Is Citrine?

If you own an extensive jewelry collection, there’s a good chance that at least one of your pieces consists of citrine. This semiprecious quartz variant is one of the most popular gemstones. Depending on the version, citrine exhibits an attractive golden brown to pale yellow color that closely resembles topaz. Examples of specific color options include bright and deep orange, golden yellow, lemon and reddish-brown.

Cartier Art Deco Citrine Diamond and Onyx Pin
Sold for $9,375

Citrine consists of large, visible crystals of quartz, the second most abundant mineral found in the earth’s crust. Although quartz is common, natural citrine is relatively rare. Madagascar and the Ural Mountains of Russia are among the few locations in the world where it’s possible to mine citrine. 

Natural citrine may develop in the form of geodes, which are secondary geological formations found in rock cavities. Geodes begin as mud balls in sedimentary rock or bubbles in volcanic rock. Over time, the outer shell of the geode hardens into a spherical shape. Citrine may also occur as veins of quartz beneath the earth’s surface.

What Is the Meaning of Citrine Stone?

The Ancient Greeks started using citrine as a gemstone around 300 B.C. The name derives from the Latin word “citrus” and the French word “citron” due to its yellowish hue. The color also exhibits the warmth, energy and power of the sun, another reason citrine stones are favorites of jewelry buyers around the world. Finding “natural” citrine is rare — in most cases, a heat-treating process transforms quartz into citrine. 

Citrine Characteristics

Besides its visually appealing color, citrine contains several properties that make it a top gemstone choice for watches, rings, necklaces and other jewelry pieces:

  • Clarity: Like most quartz materials, citrine offers a clear visual presentation. Because of its remarkable transparency, ensuring the color’s evenness throughout the stone is a primary consideration when purchasing a citrine stone. Small blemishes or cracks are also more likely to show.
  • Hardness: As a quartz derivative, citrine is harder than most minerals. It measures 7.0 on the Mohs hardness scale, trailing only topaz, corundum (sapphires and rubies) and diamond. However, as a gemstone, citrine is relatively soft. It’s possible to cut and shape citrine into various configurations. Although citrine jewelry pieces scratch easily, they’re tough enough to resist breaking or chipping.
  • Health benefits: Many people feel that wearing citrine jewelry contributes to better physical and mental health. The yellowish color projects warmth and stimulates the brain, promoting creativity, motivation and self-expression. It also wards off negative feelings like anxiety and depression.

What Is the Worth of Citrine?

The worth of a citrine piece largely depends on its color. In general, the darker deep red-orange color offers the highest value at around $30 per carat. The value typically diminishes as the shade lightens. Pale yellow products may only be worth about $10 per carat. Unlike diamonds and other gemstones, size has little impact on the price of citrine jewelry. 

Citrine and Diamond Gold Cuff
Sold for $150,000

Caring for Citrine Jewelry

Regular care helps preserve the beauty of a citrine ring, watch, bracelet, necklace or earrings. Due to the stone’s susceptibility to scratches, you should store citrine pieces in fabric-lined compartments of a jewelry box, away from other items. Use warm, soapy water and a soft-bristled brush to clean your citrine products. 

Trust FORTUNA When Selling Your Citrine Jewelry

Do you have any citrine jewelry pieces you’d like to sell? FORTUNA’s process ensures you’ll get excellent value for your products and you’ll avoid the unscrupulous practices of many local jewelers, jewelry dealers or pawn shops. 

Contact us to learn more about what citrine is good for and how our auctions can help you get top dollar for your pieces. If you’re looking to buy, browse our upcoming auctions to see what’s available.

The Beauty of Kashmir Sapphires

Kashmir is a region of Northern India known for producing some of the most beautiful sapphires at market. The sapphire trade in Kashmir is relatively recent, beginning in the 19th century, while other places have centuries of history. 

Sapphires possess a rich history of being much sought after as beautiful additions to jewelry or standalone jewels. Yet, the desirability of Kashmir sapphires stand apart from sapphires originating from other regions, due to their rarity and appearance. 

Edwardian 1.62-Carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Platinum Pin, achieved $21,250 at FORTUNA®’s 2018 June Fine Jewels auction.

What Sets Kashmir Sapphires Apart From Other Sapphires?

The importance of the Kashmir origin among sapphires can be likened to Burma for rubies. Gem-quality Kashmir sapphires are unmatched for their gorgeous blue color, a blue that is often described as a “corn-flower” blue or having a “velvety” appearance—as pictured above in the Edwardian 1.62-Carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Platinum Pin, a highlight of FORTUNA®’s 2018 June Fine Jewels sale in the past. When compared to most other blue sapphires, the richness and quality of color in fine Kashmir sapphires are truly in a league of their own.

The velvety softness of Kashmir sapphires can be attributed to minute liquid filled cavities within the stone that can only be seen with a high-power microscope. Under magnification, Kashmir sapphires also exhibit a unique phenomenon known as “zoning,” where the blue hue seems to be concentrated in parallel bands. Unlike most other sapphires, Kashmir sapphires lose none of their vibrancy or strength of color under artificial light.  

Victorian 4.30ct Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring - Fortuna NYC
Victorian 4.30ct Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring, achieved $187,500 at FORTUNA’s 2018 September Important Jewels auction.

How Rare Are Kashmir Sapphires?

Kashmir sapphires are rare, and their presence at auctions are scarce compared to most other colored gemstones.

The unrest in the Kashmir region, where India and Pakistan have a longstanding dispute, makes further mining more difficult, contributing to the scarcity of the stone. Very little has been taken from the Kashmir mines since the early part of the last century. With no new gems coming out, the ones already in circulation are even more in demand. 

Kashmir sapphires remain the crown jewel in many collections. They have become more sought after as their scarcity increases, and finding a quality one at auction is considered a major achievement for those who appreciate their deep color, and velvety, soft smoothness.

Find Kashmir Sapphires With FORTUNA®

While origin is very important to a sapphire’s value, it is also critical to note that a Kashmir origin is not an automatic indicator of the gemstone’s quality. FORTUNA’s jewelry specialists have years of experience evaluating rare gemstones, including Kashmir sapphires, and are available to consult whether you are seeking a Kashmir sapphire to add to your collection or are looking to sell. Browse our upcoming auctions or contact us for more information. 

Foster Family Heirloom Comes to Auction

The Foster family built a great legacy as founders of one of the most successful retail lumber enterprises in the United States, and we are thrilled to share part of that legacy with you in our November Jewels & Watches auction. John McCullough Foster established his first retail lumberyard in Randolph, Kansas in 1879, the first of what blossomed into an empire of over 70 lumber yards across 5 Midwestern states.

John McCullough Foster and one of his sons, Benjamin, who succeeded him as President of Foster Lumber Company.

In 1880, the Kansas Central Railway was extending its line, in an area formerly known as Clinesburg, Texas. The Fosters established a mill there, and what began as tenant housing quickly grew into a flourishing town known as Fostoria. The Fosters brought a progressive, idyllic existence, making sure to give back to the community. Schools, churches, a store, a hotel, and more were all run by the family. The only thing not run by the mill was the post office. Today, the Fosters are remembered as progressive employers creating a fulfilling living experience for all lucky enough to live in a Foster-held community.

The Fosters learned to enjoy their vast wealth, investing in fine jewelry as well. In 1945, one of Foster’s grandsons, also named John, spotted this luminous Art Deco Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl and Diamond Ring at William Schmidt & Sons, right here by Rockefeller Center half a century ago. This exquisite piece has remained with his family as an heirloom ever since.

Original 1940s advertisement material from Wm. V. Schmidt Co., Inc. about Cat’s Eye gemstones.

What are Cat’s Eye Gemstones?

Art Deco Cat’s Eye Chrysoberyl and Diamond Ring, an exquisite Foster family heirloom (Lot 2250, November Jewels & Watches)

Cat’s eye, or chatoyancy, occurs in gemstones when a band of light is reflected from a series of thin crystals in a stone that are parallel to each other. The eye of a chrysoberyl is the sharpest of any cat’s eye gemstone, but the optical effect can be found in moonstones, aquamarines, and tourmalines. In chrysoberyl gems, fine silk crystal inclusions create this effect. When light obliquely strikes such a stone, it usually creates a shadow effect within the gem. The side opposite the light is a rich brown, while the side facing the light is yellowish-white. This so-called “milk and honey” look is characteristic of the finest cat’s eyes and makes them so desired.

This exquisite example of a cat’s eye chrysoberyl was offered in FORTUNA®’s November Jewels & Watches auction for an estimated $6,000–$8,000, and achieved a final price of $11,250. For more details on this lot, click here.