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Victorian Necklace Could Break Dorchester Auction House Record


10:57am 8th October 2013
(Updated 10:58am 8th October 2013)

A diamond necklace that's been kept hidden away for nearly half a century could become the most expensive piece of jewellery ever sold at a Dorchester auction house.

The stunning necklace, that was a popular style during the Victorian period, is set with 53 cushion-cut diamonds totalling 64 cts.

Dukes Auctioneers estimate the item could go for between £100,000 and £150,000 when it goes under the hammer in December.

Amy Brenan, jewellery valuer at Duke's in Dorchester, says these types of necklaces well known for their grandeur and remarkably remains in its original condition;

"These necklaces were known as 'rivieres' - the idea of a literal 'river' of diamonds gracing the wearers neck was so seducing in the Victorian period that many women copied the design of necklaces like this but using cheaper stones and in some cases, glass. To find an original diamond one is extremely exciting!'
'The necklace is in its original condition. It clearly was an incredible piece when it was first made. Each mount for each diamond is engraved with the old weight of the diamond in grains instead of carats. This is how diamonds were measured in the 19th century. The diamonds are a wonderful colour and are very lively.'

The current house record for a piece of jewellery is for an emerald-set turban brooch which sold for over £84,000.

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