The Story of the Swan Lake Suite
The Swan Lake Suite is a diamond and South Sea pearl necklace with matching earrings. It was made by Garrard, the British Crown Jeweller, for Princess Diana, and Diana reportedly had input into the design process.
She wore it at the British National Ballet’s Swan Lake performance on June 3, 1997. The necklace was a gift from Dodi Fayed, an Egyptian film producer and her partner at the time.
A pair of matching earrings were also being made for her, and after the event the necklace was given back to Garrad to make sure that the set matched. But they were not finished before Princess Diana died.
This event was one of Princess Diana’s last public appearances, before her tragic death in 1997. The suite was then sold with some of the money going to UNICEF, a charity that Diana supported.
Description of the Swan Lake Suite
The necklace, mounted in platinum, showcases a brilliant cut diamond and marquise diamond scroll motif centre, with a South Sea cultured pearl five stone and marquise diamond fringe drop.
The backchain features two rows of brilliant cut diamonds, tapering to a single row. The necklace contains 5 matching cultured pearls 12mm, 11 marquise diamonds 7.71 carats, 3 marquise diamonds 0.88 carats, and 164 diamonds totalling 42.35 carats.
The earrings are an elegant pair of brilliant cut diamond and marquise diamond fancy cluster top, South Sea cultured pearl drop earrings, mounted in platinum, claw set, to peg and clip fittings. The earrings contain 2 matching cultured pearls 12mm and 6 marquise diamonds.
The Swan Lake Suite will be auctioned by Guernsey’s on June 27 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The set was first purchased at a Guernsey’s public auction in 1999 for under $1 million and was sold again in 2009 privately to its current owner, Mark Ginzburg, a Ukrainian real estate developer. The estimated value for this unique item is set between $5 million and $15 million, a broad range reflecting the challenge of appraising such a unique piece.
Auction house president Arlan Ettinger states, “It’s very difficult to try to anticipate what something like this will sell for. When items are appraised and estimated before an auction, they are based upon precedent…. This is unique and it is an impossible task.”