JEWELS owned by Princess Diana are set to go on sale in New York in June.
The Swan Lake Suite, a necklace and matching earrings parure belonging to the late Princess Diana, composed of 214 diamonds and 7 South Sea pearls, will go on sale June 27, 2023 at the Pierre Hotel, New York City.
Speaking exclusively to Politicalite.com in New York – Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey’s auction house who will auction the jewels said in his New York office, “This is the only jewelry belonging to Diana that will ever be sold. All of Diana’s jewelry for State occasions was borrowed from the Crown.
“This was the only jewelry she owned herself and that’s why it’s so valuable. It was made by the Crown Jeweler Garrard.” Despite the number of diamonds and pearls the set is delicate looking and not at all flashy.
When asked about the broad estimate range of $5-15 million. Mr Ettinger explained, “When the jewels were made with Diana’s design ideas in 1997, the diamonds were worth $1 million. Diamonds have increased in value so that the diamonds alone are now worth $1.5 million. The real value is that Diana wore the necklace only once for the Royal Ballet Gala at Royal Albert Hall June 3, 1997.
She was Britain’s Patron of Dance. Diana was photographed more on this occasion than for any other except for her wedding.” Diana loved to dance and studied ballet as a child which she reluctantly had to give up when she became too tall. Mr Ettinger further explained, “Diana [who had divorced Charles the year before] could have retired to the countryside but she continued to promote her charities [such as land mines.]
Mr Ettinger continued, “Normally Garrad would have taken 6 months to create the necklace but they rushed the project to complete it in 3-4 months. As Garrad hadn’t made the earrings when Diana wore the necklace at the gala, they asked for it back so that they could match the diamonds and pearls for the earrings.”
The provenance of the jewels is somewhat complicated. Diana had been divorced from Charles for a year. The jewels were thought to be a gift from Dodi Al Fayed who hadn’t finished paying for them. When Diana and Dodi perished in the aftermath of a car crash August 31, 1997, along with driver Henri Paul, the jewels reverted to Diana’s family.
Afterward, Diana’s butler Paul Burrell wrote in 1999 on behalf of Garrard to Diana’s family for permission for Garrard’s to display and sell the jewels to recoup their costs. Some of the sale price was to go to charity. A British lord bought the set then later gave it to Guernsey’s for auction. The jewels were purchased in 2010 by Jim McIngvale, a Houston furniture magnate, called Mattress Mack. When he gave them to Mr. Ettinger to auction off he said, “It’s time.”
The present owner, Mark Ginzburg, a Ukrainian real estate developer, purchased the parure a decade ago from Guernsey’s. He plans to donate a portion of the sale to rebuilding his country when the war ends. Mr Ettinger believes that the world still admires Diana greatly and there will a lot of interest in the sale of the jewels.