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Lily Safra Jewel Auction to Benefit Charity

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A ruby and diamond Camellia brooch created for Lily Safra by renowned jeweler, JAR.

Christie's Geneva announced that the Brazilian-born billionaire Lily Safra is selling her personal collection of jewelry at auction expecting to raise more than US$20 million for 20 different charitable organizations. The sale, called "Jewels For Hope," will feature 70 exquisite jewels.

Philanthropist and socialite Lily Safra, who is the widow of Lebanese banker Edmond J. Safra, is known as a discerning connoisseur of jewelry whose taste in jewels has been admired and the cause of inspiration during the past five decades. This outstanding collection contains important rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, as well as an exceptional array of fine antique and period jewelry.

“Throughout our journey as collectors, my husband and I sought the highest quality in our diverse areas of interest, from pictures, to furniture, works of art, watches and jewelry,” Safra said.

A special section of the sale will be dedicated to a group of extraordinary creations by JAR, the majority of which were designed specifically for Lily Safra by the renowned jeweler between the 1980s and 2000s. Showcasing 18 pieces, this is the largest private collection of creations by JAR ever to be offered at auction.

“A sublime collection of rare jewels, comprising the very best in all styles, periods and makers, from the late 18th Century all the way to modern times, is enough to attract the attention of jewelry amateurs and professionals worldwide," commented François Curiel, head of Christie's International Jewellery Department.

The Safra jewel collection will tour the world with stops in major cities before the auction takes place in Geneva in May.

Some of the charities identified to receive donations from the auction include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Paris Opera, the Paris Ballet, the Royal Opera House London, Water Treatment Program in Bahia, Brazil, Keren Shemesh, Israel, and Henry Street Settlement in New York.

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