Rare giant sapphire transforms Australian auction market

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 30th April, 2015

Three high priced items should whet serious collector appetites at Sotheby’s Australia forthcoming jewellery auction from 5.30pm Tuesday May 12 at 41 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

One is the extremely rare “Willows” 35.73-carat yellow sapphire pendant carrying a catalogue estimate of $100,000-$150,000.

Reportedly unearthed on August 14, 1946 in central Queensland by John Anderson, the sapphire’s extraordinary size places in an exclusive category and is the largest and finest Australian sapphire that the American Gemological Laboratories has examined to date.

A rare and important 18-carat gold fancy vivid pink and white diamond ring is another major drawcard with a catalogue estimate of $330,000-$530,000.

Owned by William Leslie, one of the founding directors of Ashton Mining, in 1981 he purchased the rough stone, which represented the first one-carat plus pink diamond valuation sample the consortium retrieved during the exploration phase.

The diamond was subsequently polished in London under the supervision of Stuart Devlin and made into a ring. 

A pair of 18-carat white gold and diamond earrings signed by Graff with a $100,000-$150,000 estimate should be another crowd puller.


10am-5pm Friday May 1 to Monday May 4, 30 Queen Street Woollahra NSW.

10am-5pm Friday May 8 to Monday May 11, 41 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

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