The luxury jewellery set will be offered at Guernsey's auction in New York on June 27th.
A necklace and earring set commissioned by Princess Diana in the late 1990s will be auctioned in New York on June 27th.
In 1997, Princess Diana met with Crown Jeweller to agree on plans to make jewellery from diamonds and South Sea pearls. A few months later, the style icon wore the necklace to a performance of Swan Lake at London's Royal Albert Hall, and photos of Diana from that evening appeared on all magazine covers.
The set, which is estimated to sell for between $5 million and $15 million, contains some extremely valuable details. The necklace features 164 brilliant-cut and 14 marquise-cut diamonds, totalling nearly 50 carats. The earrings are similarly shaped: 30 diamonds are split, in addition to six marquise diamonds and two matching cultured pearls.
A few days after the ballet, the jeweller requested that Diana return the necklace because he had not finished the earrings by the date of the event and needed to ensure that the stones and pearls in the pair matched flawlessly. By the end of that summer, the earrings were complete, and along with the necklace, the duo became known as the "Swan Lake Suite." Just as the jeweller was about to present the complete set to Diana, she was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997.
The jewellery was supposed to be a gift from Dodi Fayed, who died during the same incident. Two years after their deaths, Diana's family authorized a jeweller to sell the Swan Lake jewellery set.
Crown Jeweller contacted Guernsey's auction house in 1999, and the set was later sold to a New York company. The jewellery was eventually sold to the current owner, a prominent family from Ukraine. The family kept the jewels in their possession for more than a decade, but the ravages of war in the European country affected the owners' business, prompting them to return the jewels to auction house Guernsey's for new potential buyers. Part of the proceeds from the sale will be used to help rebuild Ukraine, according to the auctioneer's website.
If you would like to view the Swan Lake jewellery set you can do so between now and June 27th by contacting Guernsey's directly. The live auction will take place at the prestigious Pierre Hotel in New York, where the duo will also be on display before the auction on June 24-26 from 1-8pm and on June 27 from 1-6pm.
You can also place your bids on the jewellery set at LiveAuctioneers.com on June 27.