OK, almost... the valuation of two pearl items in a current Christie's auction caught my attention - the two are exceptional South Sea and natural pearl necklaces. The striking different look of the peer items seems to tell a story all in itself: these guys are arguably not 'the best' of each kind (at least for the SS part there was mentioned), but the real-time 'race' should be fun. I am leaving to you to decide what would have been a better matched pair
Auction: IMPORTANT JEWELS, Sale 1343, 21 Feb 2007, St. Moritz
The two items are:
Lot No. 0049: 'A SOUTH SEA CULTURED PEARL NECKLACE'
Estimate: 75,000 - 100,000 Swiss francs
Special Notice: This lot is offered without reserve.
Lot Description: Comprising twenty-three graduated South Sea cultured pearls measuring from 20.0 to 16.0 mm to the polished 18k white gold ball clasp with brilliant-cut diamond detail, 45.0 cm long
Lot No. 0193: 'A TWO-ROW NATURAL PEARL NECKLACE'
Estimate: 80,000 - 100,000 Swiss francs
Lot Description: Comprising 192 and 183 natural pearls and one cultured pearl measuring from 7.6 to 4.8 mm to the cushion-shaped ruby and sapphire, old-cut diamond and seed pearl clasp, shorter row 103.5 cm long, longer row 111.0 cm long. Accompanied by report no. 46806 dated 29 June 2006 from the SSEF Swiss Gemological Institute stating that 395 pearls are natural saltwater pearls and that one pearl is a cultured saltwater pearl.