Important Jewelry: Hindman’s Colorful Auction



By Judy Carmack Bross




Queued up to try on sparking multicolored rare gemstones at auction May 17 shown by Hindman Senior Jewelry Specialist Ruth Thuston at Monday’s Rush Woman’s Board luncheon, guests proved that “Important Jewelry” is more than just a definition, it is a lodestone of enticement. 


Lot 255 unheated Burmese ruby, diamond and onyx earrings

The ‘toi et moi” emerald and diamond ring is a fine example of antique jewelry in the Auction.

“Important refers to fine jewelry with particular collectability and value, and we have three sales yearly in May, September and December. We have two sales yearly of what is termed fine jewelry and once-a-month sales of what we term essential jewelry,” Thuston explained from her post this week at Hindman’s Chicago Headquarters where more potential buyers are trying on pieces at sale in person and online.  “The best way to decide on a piece of jewelry is to try it on:  please come by this Sunday or Monday to see what you think. Many people never try on a piece before buying, and I send them photos of others wearing the piece, but there’s such joy in seeing how it looks on you.”

 Hindman served as Lead Sponsor at the Rush University Medical Center benefit and when Chair Gillian Stoettner urged guests to extend their Mother’s Day gift wishes there was a happy murmur of agreement among the 400 Spring clad guests.

 Lot 220 Padparadscha sapphire, pink diamond and diamond ring

A 10.14-carat Padparadscha sapphire and pink diamond ring, estimated to sell at between $35,000 and $55,000, is catching the eye of collectors who marveled at the ring as it travelled recently to Hindman sites around the country. Founded and based in Chicago, it is now represented in 13 different cities and has five office showrooms, more than any other auction house in the country. The Important Jewelry auction is one of over 100 auctions yearly in 52 collecting categories.

“The Padparadscha sapphire is named for the lotus flower and has not only shades of pink, but touches of red and orange as well.  This ring is also very unusual because it is so big, Most of these stones are two to three carats,” Thuston explained. 

“For those who love the beauty of colored stones we have an array of emeralds, rubies and sapphires as well as classic diamond jewelry, beautiful Riviera necklaces, brooches and vintage and antique pieces. Highly sought after designers such as Cartier, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., Van Cleef & Apels, Oscar Heyman are also represented in the auction.”

Left to right, Lot 262 & 263 Diamond Rings. Estimates $150-200,000 & $90,000 – $110,000

Lot 198 Oscar Heyman, Diamond and Colored Diamond Bib Necklace. Estimate $80,000 – $120,000

An Oscar Heyman Bib necklace of diamonds and colored diamonds is expected to be one of the top lots, with a sales estimate of $80,000-$120,000.  It has an accompanying bracelet estimated to sell at $25,000-$35,000.

Lot 131 Olga Tritt Peridot Tourmaline and Diamond-Brooch. Estimate 3000-5000 

Lot 132 Olga Tritt Aquamarine and Diamond Brooch. Estimate 3000-5000

Aquamarines, tourmalines and peridots glisten like the sea in brooches from a private collection by Olga Tritt, a Russian who came to New York in 1910 and then travelled the world to gather gems for her bold designs.  She searched the Caribbean islands for her pearls, India for her diamonds, rubies and emeralds, and Brazil for her stunning aquamarines.  She opened two shops, including one in Palm Beach, and her clientele included the Duchess of Windsor.

Lot 40 Antique Aquamarine and Diamond Earclips. Estimate 1500-2500

Lot 238 Emerald and Diamond Pendant Brooch by Jacques Timey for Harry Winston. Estimate-35000-55000

“Tritt was probably the first woman jeweler, establishing her business in New York in the early 1900s and is known for her use of colored gemstones,” Thuston said.  “The brooches in our auction are rare and wonderfully three dimensional.  The way she places the different shades of color makes them very special.” 

 Lot 279 unheated Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring

“There are rare Burmese sapphires which have been found in Kashmir, Burma and Ceylon and even Madagascar.  At one point tens of thousands of years ago the island was probably connected to the mainland. Laboratories are able to determine exactly where the stones have been found,” Thuston, who joined Hindman during the pandemic as a consultant and has been in the jewelry field for 20 years, said.

Lot 223 Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Estimate 40000-60000

“Often blue sapphires are sent to labs where they are heated to enhance the color, but the ones in our auction have not been heated and their colors are intoxicating,” Thuston said.  “You are seeing stones as they looked when they came out of the ground.

“Seeing all the colored stones that we have in the auction is like walking through a field of tulips, they just make you happy,” Thuston said.

Lot 219 Colored Diamond and Diamond Necklace. Estimate-70000-100000

Lot 199 Oscar Heyman Diamond and Colored Diamond Bracelet. Estimate-25000-35000

Lot 36 Art Deco Diamond Ring. Estimate 7000-9000

Lot 206 F.J. Cooper Jadeite and Diamond Ring. 6000-8000

Bidding is available, beginning at 10 a.m. in person, via phone or online. For more information visit