Ellen Barkin Parts with Her “Perls”

The sale of an elaborate collection of exquisite jewels leads to a sensational $20 million

By Stephanie Wilson
Photography provided by Christies Images LTD. 2006


 A pair of JAR’s colorless and faint-pink diamond bangles, despite only being appraised for $350,000-500,000 sold for an impressive $1,136,000.

American born actress Ellen Barkin recently divorced Ronald Perlman, whom Forbes Magazine lists as the 40th wealthiest man in America. During her six-year stint as his bride, Barkin collected some of the most exquisite pieces of jewelry. On October 10th, the ex-Mrs. Perlman put her collection up for auction at Christie’s, and it led to a history-making night in the jewelry world.

Speaking of the October 10th auction, Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry for Christie’s Americas said “Tonight’s sensational $20 Million result makes Ellen Barkin’s collection the highest single-owner jewelry sale of the past 15 years in the US and also places it among the top 4 ever worldwide.”

Barkin parted with a wide range of pieces that showed the very best in jewelry design, including pieces from Buccellati, Bulgari, Cartier, Fred Leighton, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co. and Van Cleef & Arpels. The collection also boasted 17 extraordinary jewels from who has been referred to as the world’s most influential jewelry designer, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, co-founder of JAR jewelry. Francois Curiel, the Chairman of Christie’s Europe and International Head of Jewelry said of the event “Rarely has a collection combined such a perfect balance of superb period jewels by the most superb jewelry houses, special creations by leading contemporary designers, as well as top quality precious stones. The perfect mix achieved by Ellen Barkin pays tribute to her exceptional taste and refined eye. Having presented the largest selection of JAR creations to ever appear on the auction market, this sale was also a landmark for admirers of the revered designer, whose illustrious clients form a silent club the members of which recognize the jewels and one another the world over.”

One of the high points of the collection was a “thread” ring set with an elegant, elongated D color (the best), oval-cut diamond of 22.76 carats within a pave-set two-tiered threadwork gallery, which garnered the night’s top price of $1,808,000 (A whopping $79,500 per carat). A pair of JAR’s colorless and faint-pink diamond bangles, despite only being appraised for $350,000-500,000 sold for an impressive $1,136,000.