Record-Setting Safra Jewels Auction Brings in $38 Million for Charity

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An auction this week of exclusive jewelry belonging to billionaire Lily Safra netted an jaw-dropping $38 million for charity, simultaneously setting two records.

Entitled Jewels For Hope: The Collection of Mrs. Lily Safra, the event was held at Christie’s Geneva in Switzerland. The sale of a 32-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring – “The Hope Ruby” by Chaumet – for $6.7 million set a world record for a ruby sold at auction. Additionally, an assemblage of eighteen jewels designed by JAR, the largest such assemblage ever placed on the auction market from the collection of a single owner, sold for over $11.4 million, making it the most valuable privately-owned collection of JAR jewels sold at an auction. Altogether, a total of seventy jewelry pieces were sold.

“Mrs. Safra received a standing ovation as she walked into the saleroom at the end of the sale to thank every buyer and bidder who contributed to this evening’s great success,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of Christie’s Geneva and New York Jewelry Departments.

The $38 million raised by the auction will be distributed among 32 organizations by the Lily Safra Foundation. In addition to ALEH: Caring for Israel’s Disabled; A Window to Tomorrow – A Computer for Every Child; the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital in Tel Hashomer, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Yad Vashem International School, all of which are located in Israel, the recipient charities of the auction include the Claude Pompidou Institute for Alzheimer’s Disease in Nice, France; Hope and Homes for Children in Romania;  King’s College in London;  the Elton John AIDS Foundation (worldwide); Henry Street Settlement in New York; the Parkinson and Movement Disorders Center at New York University; the Royal Opera House in London; and the  Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda.

 “From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who participated in this evening’s success,” Safra said. “I am overjoyed, knowing that so many people in need around the world will benefit.” The widow of famed banker Edmond Safra, who died more than a dozen years ago, is said to have a net worth of $1.2 billion.

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