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Duchess of Windsor Pearls

The name Calvin Klein is one of the most famous names in fashion to this day. He has created cutting edge fashions for the everyday consumer and has built a fashion empire. With his fashion empire comes certain perks like a set of diamond and pearl jewelry that was put up for auction at Sotheby's in New York in 2007. They offered up three gorgeous and historically significant pieces of jewelry at the auction and they were predicted to fetch an astronomical sum.

The first piece in the auction was a single strand of natural pearls and diamonds. This piece, along with the other two in the auction were purchased by Kelly and Calvin Klein back in 1987 when Sotheby's had their legendary auction of The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor. The necklace is a single strand of 28 graduated white pearls ranging in diameter from 9.2mm to oval clasp is set with 2 emerald cut diamonds accented with other smaller diamonds totaling about 3 carats. The Duchess of Windsor loved this necklace and was often photographed wearing it. The single strand necklace was estimated to bring in about $1.5 to $2 million.

Another piece offered up for auction by Sotheby's was the pearl and diamond pendant also owned by the Duchess of Windsor. The Duchess loved wearing this exquisite pendant as a drop on the single strand pearl necklace. The pendant consists of a baroque shaped pearl about 18.4mm in diameter. This huge pearl is capped off by single cut and round diamonds with a stirrup-shaped diamond encrusted fitting. At the auction, this pendant alone was expected to fetch $400,000 to $600,000. This piece was a highly treasured item by Kelly Klein.

The final piece put into the Sotheby's auction by the Kleins was a pair of black and white pearl and diamond earclips. These earclips were purchased by the Duchess of Windsor in the same auction as the other pieces. The earclips are mounted in white gold and are set with a black pearl measuring 18.2mm and a white pearl measuring 18.1mm. The pearls are surrounded by 32 pear-shaped diamonds and 64 round diamonds weighing 9.25 carats. These earclips were estimated at $300,000 to $500,000.

When the Kleins purchased these jewels back in 1987, the entire lot of the Duchess of Windors' jewelry was up for auction. This auction set a record for a single sale of jewelry at $50.3 million. The romance of the Duchess and Duke of Windsor was regarded as the romance of the century and her jewelry collection brought this fairytale to life. This is the main reason why the Klein's picked up these three fabulous pieces. They represented a simpler time and had classic beauty that could persist the ages.