A 27-carat ring that left an impression at the Café de Paris.

On 19 July, the Monte-Carlo auction house had a catalogue full of rings. From low-domed to standard, there was something for every taste… and every price. How about a ring with a rare cushion-cut Burmese ruby weighing 12.75 carats, or a Cartier flanked by a large oval yellow sapphire weighing 19.45 carats? 

However, there was one ring that many eagerly awaited. Seven buyers competed over the phone and raised the stakes. In the end, the final hammer went to an Italian. He walked away with a ring set with an exceptional Kashmir cushion-cut sapphire weighing 27.94 carats for 2.7 million euros. A princely piece of jewellery in both the figurative and literal sense, as it previously belonged to a European princely family.

This Kashmir sapphire, of a remarkable natural blue, pure and without inclusions, is full of stories. Set in a ring and encircled by diamonds, it was extracted in an Indian mine at the end of the 19th century. The deposit was immediately protected by the Maharaja of Kashmir. In this way, he had control over the area and was able to extract the jewel. Today, most of the deposits in this region are closed, which explains why the finest Kashmir sapphire specimens are regularly sold for over a million euros. 

>> READ MORE: Behind the scenes at a jewellery auction in Monte-Carlo

Travel Club Monaco

A record-breaking transaction

Of the 450 sets of jewellery presented, 80% found buyers, amounting to a total of six million euros. The ring is also part of the Monegasque auction house’s list of winners. It is now one of four sapphires to have exceeded the million euro mark in the last two years.

If the world of jewellery intrigues you, until 19 August, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is hosting an exhibition by collector Diane Venet. The exhibition brings together 180 pieces of jewellery by famous artists, transporting the visitor into various worlds.

From Roubaix to Seoul, by way of Miami, New York and Venice, the Parisian collector’s exhibition was a resounding success with the international public. This summer, the exhibition is being held in Monaco. Some pieces were unveiled to the public for the first time, such as a necklace of contemporary Chinese sculptor Wang Keping.