MONROVIA, Calif. – Two consecutive sale days were required to accommodate the wide variety of jewelry, timepieces, and coins on offer at John Moran Auctioneers in mid-May. The first day, conducted May 11, featured Fine Jewelry & Timepieces and the Studio Jewelry & Coins sale, and yielded pleasing results. Much of the jewelry hailed from established names such as Tiffany & Co, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels, and the timepieces on offer came from Breitling, Panerai, and Rolex. Art Deco, Retro, and Indian jewelry did well, as indicated in the standout moments below.
Some of the pieces that performed best were from the collection of the Czechoslovakian figure skater turned Hollywood starlet, Vera Ralston. Her father was a jeweler, a fact that no doubt had a positive influence on her distinguished taste in jewelry. The first high flyer from the Vera Ralston collection was a platinum Art Deco diamond and emerald bracelet. The luxurious link bracelet, which featured cabochon emeralds surrounded by more than 800 diamonds exceeded its estimate of $15,000-$20,000 to sell for $28,125.
Another Vera Ralston favorite was the Retro aquamarine, ruby, and diamond bracelet in 14K gold. The impressive piece boasted distinctive vibrant colors and bold geometric design. It’s no wonder it sold for $12,500, double its low estimate.
The lots on offer from the Vera Ralston collection ended on a high note with a set of Retro Tiffany & Co. gem-set jewelry, dating to circa 1945. The bracelet, ring, brooch, and earrings were set with five large rectangular citrines accompanied by diamonds and sapphires. Dripping with Hollywood glamour, the set soared past its $8,000-$12,000 estimate and sold for $28,125.
There were plenty of diamonds to go around in this sale. A marquise-cut diamond ring, sporting wide, tapering shoulders that only added to its handsome qualities, sold for $25,000, well past its estimate of $10,000-$15,000.
A giant unmounted aquamarine weighing 61.45 carats sold to a phone bidder after a fierce back and forth among buyers. When all was said and done, the aquamarine soared far beyond its $1,200-$1,800 estimate and sold for $11,250.
Aggressive bidding continued with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wristwatch. Its striking gray tapisserie dial and 18K gold case had a timeless aspect that proved to be desirable. The iconic wristwatch flew past its $2,000-$3,000 estimate and sold for $25,000.
The Studio Jewelry and Coins sale was also full of atypical treasures that buyers took notice of. Many were unique statement pieces such as a lavender jadeite ring that sold at double the low estimate for $1,375. There was also considerable interest in the Indian jewelry on offer, such as the Indian sapphire and diamond reversible fringe choker necklace in the Fine Jewelry sale, which was a true crowd-pleaser. The versatile necklace, finished with a brilliant blue silk cord, had a $2,000-$3,000 estimate but sold for $5,625.
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