New York--An emerald that has been in the hands of a number of Rockefellers could become a record-setting stone when it hits the auction block next week.
The Rockefeller Emerald, an 18.04-carat octagonal step-cut Colombian emerald, will lead the Magnificent Jewels sale at Christie’s New York on June 20, where it could sell for between $4 and $6 million.
John D. Rockefeller Jr. acquired the emerald in 1930, and gifted it as a centerpiece of a brooch to his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller.
When she died in 1948, the emerald went to their youngest son, David Rockefeller, who then asked private jeweler Raymond Yard to design a setting for it that would highlight the quality and beauty of the family gemstone. Yard set the gemstone in a platinum ring with diamond side stones, the setting it remains in today.
No longer in the possession of the Rockefeller family, the ring is being sold at Christie’s on behalf of an American collector who acquired it more than a decade ago.
If the emerald exceeds its highest pre-sale estimate--$6 million--by enough it could become the most expensive emerald at auction, surpassing Elizabeth Taylor’s 23.46-carat emerald and diamond Bulgari pendant, which sold for more than $6.5 million in December 2011 at Christie’s.