Ahead of Christie's Maharajas & Mughal Magnificence auction in New York on June 19, during which nearly 400 diamonds, coloured stones and bejewelled objects from the Al Thani collection will be sold, we speak to three experts on how to buy jewellery at auction.
Vickie Sek, chairman of the jewellery department, Christie's Asia
Know your objective: Are you buying because you love collecting, or as an investment? Acknowledge the difference before you bid on a piece, because only then will you know how much you're willing to spend.
Learn about the piece's provenance: Provenance is the history of ownership. It can include auction houses, dealers, or galleries that have sold an item. A lot of the time, if a piece was worn or owned by royals, socialites or celebrities, its estimated auction price will skyrocket. Do your research and know what you’re getting for your money.
Research the gemstones: It’s important to verify the source of an auction piece's gemstones. Look up their origin, including the suppliers and mines they came from. During the preview, examine each jewel's colour, clarity and saturation, as well as any treatments they may have had over the years.