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Sotheby's auctioned off a diamond necklace from the Russian royal family's collection for 2,036 million Swiss francs
Sotheby's auctioned off a diamond necklace from the Russian royal family's collection for 2,036 million Swiss francs ($1.5 million) Monday. Experts said the necklace, a ribbon of 27 large diamonds encased in silver and studded by minor diamonds on both sides with the snap made in the form of a bow, had been made in the second half of the 19th century for Russian Empress Catherine II, better known in the West as Catherine the Great. It's worth an estimated 1.5-2.5 million Swiss francs. The necklace remained in St. Petersburg's Winter Palace when the empress died in 1796. However, its whereabouts were unknown for the past 80 years. It was sent to Moscow along with other treasures during WWI, but was seized by the new government after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. In 1925, part of the collection of the Russian tsars was handed over to a syndicate of British and American businessmen. In 1927, a jeweler bought the necklace at a London auction and later sold it to a private collection owner. The piece has since been in private hands, probably a royal family in Western Europe.
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