The Kashmir Bracelet is a unique sapphire and diamond bracelet created by Cartier, circa 1960. In June 2010, it was sold at auction for $6,942,856, a record-breaking amount for a bracelet.
The bracelet consists of 18 stones (9 sapphires and 9 diamonds) mounted in platinum, and in total weighs 49.61 carats. The bracelet is 18.5cm in length. The centre stone, a 10.52 carat sapphire, is flanked by 4 smaller sapphires, weighing between 4.16 and 6.10 carats each.
All 9 sapphires are cushion-shaped and are described as “exemplary specimens of the fabled Kashmir Sapphire”, displaying a “characteristic cornflower and velvety blue” colouring which “resembles the hue of a peacock's neck plumage.”
Alongside the sapphires are “alternating marquise-cut diamonds” which “set … off the full-bodied hue of the Kashmir blue.”
Praised as “a glamorous period jewel of the very finest quality”, the bracelet is highly coveted, primarily because availability of Kashmir sapphires “is extremely limited … making this collection of nine Kashmirs truly the rarest of its kind.”
On 1st June 2010, the piece sold for $6,942,856 in the auction, “Christie's Jewels: The Hong Kong Sale”, making it “the world's most expensive bracelet”.
This equated to a “per-carat price of $140,000”. The price realised was also significantly higher than the pre-auction estimate of $3-5,000,000.
Vickie Sek, of Christie’s, described the auction as “the most important ever organized by Christie’s anywhere in the world” and claimed that it “confirm[ed] the position of Hong Kong and Asia as a premier centre for the finest jewels and gems.”
The bracelet was previously sold in New York in 1988 for $902,000 (equivalent to $1,800,000 in 2010), meaning an impressive 323% rise in price over 22 years. The winner of the 2010 auction was “an unidentified phone buyer who bid through … Mandarin-speaking staff”.