Antique & Modern Jewellery - Auction Report, Thursday 16th May 2013

A successful bidder in our sale of Antique and Modern Jewellery on 16th May, might consider themselves luckier than usual when they outbid rivals on an 8.88ct diamond single stone ring.



Having been in the business for over a century, the Fellows specialists had seen a few diamonds in their time – but very few as striking as the 8.88ct diamond that was featured in May’s Antique & Modern Jewellery Auction.  It sold for  £131,000 from an estimate of between £70,000 - £100,000.


Its cut is one of the most elegant forms a diamond can take: the emerald cut. When used for a diamond, as was the case for our 8.88ct, only the cleanest of stones would benefit from such a revealing cut. The light that passes through the stone is reflected but with little scattering giving internal blemishes nowhere to hide. Not that they would need to – the stone was graded at VS2, meaning that it contains only very small (and very few) internal inclusions visible only under 10 times magnification. The stone came very close to the most sought after ratio for the emerald cut.


After all the cutting and polishing, the stone has ended up at precisely 8.88 carats, and it is this ‘triple eight’ which gives the stone such importance, especially within the Chinese community.


Chinese numerology is based on homophones – words that sound similar to each other. The meaning of a particular number is related to the word that it most sounds like when spoken aloud. This means that there can be subtle regional difference in the significance of numbers as the dialects throughout China change. One of the numbers whose meaning is unchanged throughout China and, indeed, large parts of South-East Asia is the number 8. In Chinese the word ‘bā’ for 8 sounds very similar to ‘fā’ meaning prosper or wealth and, in some dialects, fortune.


A double eight has an extra visual significance as it looks similar to the ‘shiāng xi’, a popular decorative character also referred to as the double happiness. 


If two is good, three is even better and the image of the triple 8 has become synonymous with luck the world over, even being used as a brand name by an online gaming company. The auspicious nature of this number was shown during the staging of the Beijing Olympics where they managed to incorporate two triple eights into the event. The games began on 08/08/2008 with the opening ceremony starting at precisely 8.08.08pm local time.


While we cannot guarantee a life of riches for the ultimate owner, one thing is certain; they are now the proud possessor of the most stylish and refined of good-luck charms.


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