AUCTION – Exceptional Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring leads Bonhams London Jewels Sale


Bonhams New Bond Street will be holding its London Jewels sale on 1 December, featuring a treasure trove of jewellery across several genres including artist jewellery and a privately owned antique jewellery collection alongside a selection of contemporary designs ranging in date from the 1930s-1980s. 

Leading the sale is a spectacular Kashmir sapphire and diamond cluster ring. Kashmir sapphires are one of the rarest precious stones in the world, renowned for their velvety appearance and vivid colour. The ring on offer is a cushion shaped sapphire of Kashmir origin which is deep royal blue in hue and weighs 5.493 carats. The sapphire is set within a surround of old brilliant-cut diamonds with 1.40 carats total. The outstanding ring is offered with an estimate of £320,000-380,000.

Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring

Kashmir sapphire and diamond cluster ring, weighs 5.493 carats set within a surround of old brilliant-cut diamonds with 1.40 carats total, estimate of £330,000-400,000.

Picture courtesy of Bonhams

Sapphires from Kashmir were first discovered in the late 1870s, early 1880s, high up in the snow-clad Great Himalayas of north-western India where a landslide revealed unknown deposits in a rock valley 4,500m above sea level. The mine could only be worked from July-September each year due to the high altitude and near perpetual heavy snowfall and was exhausted after a 30–40-year period. 

Emily Barber, Bonhams Head of Jewellery, UK, said: “Today, Kashmir sapphires are the gold standard against which all other sapphires are judged and consequently they are avidly sought by collectors who are looking for top-quality stones.”

Other sale highlights include a selection of antique heirlooms from the Collection of the Ingilby family who have resided at Ripley Castle for over 700 years. Standout lots include: 

  • pink oval-cut sapphire and diamond ring, circa 1900. The Sri Lankan sapphire weighs 3.89 carats and is offered with an estimate of £8,000-12,000.
  • gold and garnet Archaeological Revival bangle, circa 1860. The hinged gold bangle has a rope-twist border set with applied garnet cabochons, each feature a fringe of garnet bead tassels with gold amphora finials between the cable-link swags allowing movement when worn. Offered with an estimate of £4,000-6,000.
  • An elegant mid-19th century diamond, ruby and natural pearl bow brooch/pendant. The design features a fluttering diamond ribbon bows with a central row of rubies and suspended natural pearl drop. Offered with an estimate of £10,000-15,000.