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UK’s most valuable private gemstone collection goes up for sale


One of Europe’s largest private collections of precious coloured natural gemstones is to be sold in a multi-million pound international online auction offering.

Some of the World’s rarest and purest Rubies, Emeralds, Tanzanites, Sapphires and other prized gems forming over 680 gemstones from the esteemed David Jerome Collection are to be presented to the international market by John Pye’s Luxury Assets Division, a division of John Pye Auctions.

The rate of rising values of coloured gemstones are now outstripping those of Diamonds as royals and celebrities alike, including the Duchess of Cambridge, highlight their appeal and have raised their highly prized profile, establishing 2015 as ‘The Year of the Coloured Gemstone’.

Ethically sourced directly from precious gemstone mines all over the World – including but not limited to Burma, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zambia – only the finest natural stones have been selected for the collection, valued at over £8 million retail.

All precious gemstones within the collection were originally sourced as loose gems. It is only in recent years these gems have been set and mounted among diamonds, into pieces of fine jewellery, to showcase their desirability and make them a suitable offering for the international public auction market.

The anonymous owner has collected the gemstones for over 40 years after buying a highly-prized 133 carat Tanzanite – which ignited a passion to source a range of gemstones from all over the world.

Through decades of global travel, the private client has become established and recognised by gemstone miners as one of Europe’s preeminent buyers of natural coloured gemstones. The collection includes a matching set of 35 carat Zambian Emerald earrings with an estimated value of £500,000 to £600,000.

This 13.77 carat emerald ring is expected to sell for between £50,000-£60,000

John Pye gemstone valuer Ian Hall said: “This is quite simply a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy from an exquisite and extremely valuable collection of gemstones. We believe the collection to be certainly the largest in the UK, if not Europe.

“Every gemstone in the collection has its own independently-issued certificate, a guarantee of both authenticity and quality, including Gem Research Swisslab (GRS) Certificates showing that they are the purest quality in their natural form.”

Coloured gemstones have been rapidly growing in popularity and these rising asset values are being reflected in auction rooms globally, with a World record realisation set this spring for a Ruby sold at auction in Geneva for £19.4m.

John Pye director Sheldon Miller said: “Not only are the pieces up for auction truly unique, but they also offer significant investment potential. Auction rooms across the globe are seeing record-breaking sales. We are expecting substantial interest from international buyers. It is extremely rare a collection of this purity and size comes to the market.

“It has been a labour of love for our client, who has sourced only the best and clearest stones directly from mines around the world.”

John Pye’s private client, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he wasn’t sorry to see the collection broken up because he wants others to enjoy them.

“I am an avid collector and I love sparkly things,” he said.

“I started my collection with a Tanzanite. I began to search for the best available stones and I learned all about them. My knowledge of gemstones has grown over the years and I can tell the difference between a stone that has been heated or tampered with.

“I love the buying, the finding of the mine and acquiring the very best stones. The best mines from all over the world come directly to me with their finest stones. We are giving people the opportunity to buy the most beautiful stones in the world, just as nature created them.

“I am now happy for the stones to be sold so other people can enjoy them as much as I have.”

The owner has travelled all over the World to source the stones which he says are of “Bond Street quality”.

Sheldon added: “Our client has set conservative reserves based somewhat marginally above mining sourcing prices, yet considerably below retail values.

“This presents auction buyers with a unique opportunity to acquire the finest natural grade gems at investment value. John Pye Auctions shall present the collection to market through a series of online auctions later in the year, we are now taking registration of interest online for prospective bidders requiring further auction updates and catalogues as and when they are made available.”

The collection of precious gemstone jewellery ranges in value from an 8.96 carat pink Topaz ring with a £600 estimate, to an extremely rare matching set of Zambian Emerald earrings totalling 35 carats estimated to be valued at over £500,000.

The first auction in November will offer 345 coloured stones. To register your interest for the auction please visit