And it is a convertible piece, breaking down into a necklace and a set of 11 brooches (brooch fittings and screwdriver included within the tiara’s blue leather case, naturally).[...] Sometimes people cry out that the Queen should have bought it to keep it in the family, but really, that was never going to happen. She - most certainly not a magpie herself - has plenty of tiaras she’s already not wearing, and it’s not like this one had a huge royal history. And so we are left to weep that we might never see it again.
Christie’s said at the time that the auction was won by a private Asian buyer.
But it certainly did make some serious bank: the original estimation for the tiara’s price was £150,000 - £200,000, but the combination of royal provenance and sale publicity pushed the final price all the way up to £926,400 ($1,704,576).
The clearest indication of how much the public cherished Princess Margaret's memory (or perhaps of its collective ability to spot a bargain) came with some of the more modest items in the catalogue. Two small ivory bracelets, for example, - little different from those you might buy for a child in a holiday souvenir shop - sold for £3,360. The original estimate was between £200 and £300.
Likewise an ordinary looking pin, bearing a single cultured pearl, was valued less than £60. It went for £6,000, a staggering 100 times the highest estimate.
Another of the star items was her Faberge clock, a gift from Queen Mary. The estimate was that it might fetch £600,000 to £800,000. It sold for £1,240,000 to an anonymous telephone bidder.
In 1843, Queen Victoria appointed Garrard & Co to the position of Crown Jewellers, leading to the production of numerous pieces of silverware and jewellery for the Royal Family, as well as the upkeep of the Crown Jewels. Garrard dealt with a number of famous jewels, such as the Cullinan diamonds (including Cullinan I, "The Great Star of Africa"), and created such pieces as the Imperial Crown of India in 1911, the crown of Queen Mary for her coronation, and the Crown of Queen Elizabeth in 1937. In 1852, Garrard were given the responsibility of re-cutting the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond into a brilliant.
On 15 July 2007 an announcement was made in the Court Circular, under Buckingham Palace, that Garrard & Co's services as crown jeweller were no longer required, with the reason cited being that it was simply 'time for a change.' G. Collins and Sons were appointed the new Crown Jewellers.
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