Princess Diana's 178-Diamond Necklace from Her Last Engagement Up for Sale at $14 Million
Diana, Princess Of Wales attended a performance of "Swan Lake" at Royal Albert Hall in London on June 3, 1997. It was one of her last public appearances before she died tragically in August of the same year. Even twenty-six years later, the photographs of 'People's Princess' remain a sight to behold.
She was dressed in a stunning ensemble — beaded Jacques Azagury minidress, satin Jimmy Choo pumps, and a custom-made South Sea pearl necklace by Garrard. The crown jeweler designed the necklace based on creations by Princess Diana herself. The necklace was returned to Garrard so they could complete the earrings, but unfortunately, they were not finalized before her death. It is often suspected that Diana was pictured more often on that evening as compared to other times, with the only exception being her wedding day in 1981.
Now, the Swan Lake Suite will be up for auction on June 27 at the Pierre Hotel, located on New York City’s Upper East Side, as per WWD reports. It is estimated to bring in as much as £10 million (approx $14 million). The auction will take place only a few days after the coronation of Diana’s ex-husband, Charles. King Charles III's coronation took place on May 6, 2023.
The Swan Lake Suite, which is calculated to market for between $5 million and $15 million, is composed of some remarkably meticulous pieces. The necklace, for starters, has 164 brilliant-cut diamonds and 14 marquise diamonds, weighing almost 50 carats in its entirety. The stones are intricately placed in a platinum necklace with a claw set, accented by five cultured pearls in a fringe-drop composition. The earrings are likewise fashioned: 30 diamonds are divided between the pair, with six marquise diamonds, and two matching cultured pearls, per Robb Report.
Guernsey’s, the auctioneers accountable for the deal of the Swan Lake Suite, state that the collection carries its own history. In 1999, the pieces became the sole high jewelry sported by Diana ever to be traded. Currently, the profits from the auction will be used toward rebuilding measures in Ukraine after the Russian invasion. Mark Ginzburg, who is the seller, is noted to be a "prominent family from Ukraine." The jewels, he told the New York Times, "were never something to be worn. They were really something that was supposed to be iconic and treasured."
According to The U.S. Sun reports, Arlan Ettinger, president of Guernsey's Auctioneers, said: "While many accomplished figures fade from view, Princess Diana is as vibrant today as when she was indeed the most admired woman on the planet. The jewelry Princess Diana wore when she was part of the Royal family was loaned to her by the Crown. The Swan Lake Suite was specially made for her. She was part of the design process. It is thought to be her only jewelry to have ever been sold, making it extraordinarily important."