One favorite childhood memory of mine is waiting for the Sears Christmas Wish Book to arrive in the mail, so that I could carefully page through the toy section, fold the corners featuring my most desired gifts, and create a wish list for Santa.
Fast forward to today. No more Sears, very few catalogs, hardly any mail. But I still enjoy flipping through pages that highlight beautiful things, particularly jewelry, and narrowing them down to my favorites. For this I turn to Sotheby's, Christie's, and Hindman's spectacular year-end auction catalogs. While I no longer subscribe to the beautiful paper editions, the website catalogs are an acceptable substitute, and are certainly more environment-friendly.
These are the sales that the world's most important jewelry collectors wait for. It's a wealth of riches -- extremely rare gemological specimens, over-the-top jewels fit for royalty, and highly coveted, rare designer pieces. I'm not necessarily drawn to those with the highest estimates, or the most interesting provenance. It's simply a lark to imagine how I would wear and enjoy something that appeals to my taste.
Here are some of my favorite stocking stuffer ideas from Christie's recent and upcoming jewelry auctions.
A magnificent step-cut red spinel ring, with the center gemstone weighing 7.22ct. I'd stack it on top of my own baguette diamond wedding band and wear it with anything that looks good with red.
A pair of natural saltwater pearl, white jadeite, and diamond brooches. As I said, I just pick what I like, but the materials in these pieces are quite rare, so the auction estimate was an eye-popping $400,000 to $600,000. Wouldn't these be gorgeous on black velvet for winter or on pink for spring?
A pair of gem-encrusted Suzanne Belperron earclips. I've always liked the informal look of gemstones nestled up against one another in a random way. This setting style, along with a sophisticated palette of tourmalines, sapphires, peridots, emeralds and diamonds makes what might have been very "fancy" earrings into something casual and wearable.
While the emerald-cut is my favorite shape of diamond, I've always been drawn to older marquise-cuts. With larger facets than the marquise diamonds that became so popular in the 1970s, the chunkier appearance of these stones, probably cut in the '20s or '30s, appeals to me. This ring features a particularly fine diamond weighing 13.84 carats of D color, VS1 clarity, and it is Type IIa, a rare classification renowned for its purity and spectacular appearance.
Enjoy your holidays this year and consider treating yourself to a new piece of fine jewelry, even if you've been naughty!