How to Become a Princess, Thanks to Christie’s, Heritage and other Auction Houses


A pair of ‘Mystery-Set’ ruby and diamond ‘Poppy’ earrings, by Van Cleef & Arpels. Part of the upcoming Christie’s auction.

It’s no secret that many young girls dream of becoming royalty. Visions of diamond tiaras, jewels, long gowns, princes and more dance in their heads – often in response to the overwhelming presence of grand Disney Princesses that surround us on television, the big screen and at theme parks. Conversely, many young girls also dream of becoming lawyers, engineers, scientists, architects and even presidents.

So, what’s the point? Today’s successful women can have it all- thanks to a myriad of amazing jewels that are currently on the auction block. World-renowned Christie’s, for instance, is holding an auction in Geneva (bidding can be done on line) on May 18 that features the Superb Jewels from the Collection of H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen.

Born in Germany, H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen – a lawyer by trade — held royal titles after being married to the Prince of Leiningen (and later as Begum Aga Khan during her marriage to Karim Aga Khan IV that ended in 2014).

A five-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace. Part of the upcoming Christie’s auction.

Also a staunch supporter of women’s rights, children’s rights, education and health programs (she founded the Princess Inaara Foundation in 2004 to aid in these projects), H.S.H. Gabriela Princess zu Leiningen says that the jewels up for auction, in addition to their rare beauty, “bare a compelling history o their own.”

There are 46 lots going up for sale — estimated to bring in more than $15 million. Standouts in the auction that can make anyone feel like a true princess include magnificent jewels from brands such as Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Arpels and Boucheron.

A magnificent emerald and diamond necklace, by Cartier. Part of the upcoming Christie’s auction.


Those with an appetite to own a crown jewels and make it into a dream piece of jewelry may take particular interest in the 36.09carat Pohl Diamond that is expected to fetch between $3.8 and $5.5 million. The unset cushion-cut D color diamond was mined in 1934. In its rough format it was a 287-carat stone and is deemed to be the first important diamond polished in America. It’s provenance gets better: it was sold in 1943 to Bernice Chrysler Garbisch of the famed Chrysler Family. (In 1998, it was acquired at Cartier for the Princess.)

Other magnificent jewels that should capture attention include a 40-plus carat necklace of diamonds and Colombian emeralds with matching earrings (expected to fetch between $2.5 and $3.5 million). While this is a classically elegant piece, today’s younger some may prefer the decadent beauty of an incredibly timeless and alluring cultured pearl and diamond fringe necklace that features a floral pattern with yellow diamonds. Also expected to command between $2 and $3 million, this special piece originally belonged to the H. H. Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (1906-2000).

If these pieces are not enough to entice one into the world of romance and royalty, Heritage Auctions New York may have an alternative answer. This auctioneer has a Fine Jewelry Auction event slated on April 19 that features more than 1300 lots, including some superb pieces fit for a queen.

Heritage Fancy Deep Yellow Diamond Ring
Heritage Fancy Deep Yellow Diamond Ring

While they are not necessarily of “royal” descent, many of the pieces going up for sale have superb pedigree, including large-carat diamonds and pieces from Tiffany & Co created by the famed Jean Schlumberger. This year, Tiffany & Co celebrates the 130th anniversary of the iconic Tiffany Setting engagement ring, so it is a great year to focus on purchasing a big stone for romantic purposes.

Heritage Burma Sapphire Ring
Heritage Burma Sapphire Ring

Highlight items at the Heritage Auction include a host of large-carat diamonds, including a 6.9-carat pear-shaped diamond (expected to fetch more than $100,000), a Fancy Deep Yellow Diamond and platinum ring, and an exceptional Burma Sapphire and diamond platinum ring that features a 14.62-carat cushion-shaped sapphire surrounded by marquise-shaped diamonds.

Schlumberger Brooch
Heritage Schlumberger Brooch

Additionally, for those who like a unique twist, there is an extraordinary Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Dolphin brooch going up on the block. The multi-stone Dolphin brooch features more than six carats of sapphires, garnets, rubies and diamonds set in 18-karat gold. It was designed by the Parisian artist during his heyday with Tiffany & Co. Jean Schlumberger (1907-1987) joined Tiffany & Co. in 55 and was the first ever designer to be allowed to sign his name to his jewelry designs. His geometric and whimsical pieces often focused on nature, with highlights such as birds, butterflies and sea life.

In short, these two upcoming auctions offer a little something for everyone.

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