A 65.72 Carat Tsavorite Garnet – a verdant green gemstone the size of a quail’s egg – is expected to sell for $1 million at Heritage Auctions as the crown jewel of The Rainbow of Africa Gem and Mineral Collection, among the world’s finest private collections of fine gems and minerals. More than 350 rare gemstones spent nearly 50 years in The Rainbow of Africa Museum collection. The Oct. 15 auction in New York marks the first time the offering will be publicly available in its history.
The collection spans three generations and more than a half century of collecting by the Taylor family, beginning in South Africa in the 1950s with Morton Taylor, and then with substantial additions by his son Warren Taylor through 2005, and lastly Warren’s son, Ian Taylor, until 2014. Warren Taylor spent part of his career as a metallurgist with De Beers in South Africa but by the mid-1970s his passion turned to colored gemstones and a desire to build the finest African gem collection the world has ever seen. The privately-held collection was on display by appointment only in a small museum located in the English countryside outside of London. The collection’s core are Tsavorites, gemstones with lush green coloration which are thousands of times rarer than emeralds while also being cleaner in color and more durable.
Amid the collection’s dazzling rarities is a 16.88 carat Tsavorite Garnet of East African origin (est. $250,000+) and a fiery, 51.07 carat Cuprian Tourmaline Gemstone from Mozambique (est. $70,000+). An extraordinary41.76 carat Mandarin Garnet var. Spessartine was carefully extracted from the unforgiving and barren Namibian landscape (est. $50,000+).
Other highlight of the auction include an enormous 283.7 carat Scapolite Gemstone, bursting with transparent crystals of gold, is among the finest known to exist (est. $40,000+) while a 360.81 carat Morganite Gemstone from Madagascar, was specially cut to show off its opulent purplish-pink hues (est. $40,000+).