A platinum Edwardian emerald and diamond link bracelet. Pre-Victorian era diamond earrings. Over 40 watches including 17 Rolexes, one a famed WWII “prisoner watch” valued at $87,000. They were all part of the spoils from the estate of Bernie Madoff, the notorious swindler who bilked investors out of billions in the most devastating Ponzi scheme in history. Madoff is now serving a sentence of 150 years in a NC prison. His wife Ruth, who has not been charged, worked out a deal with prosecutors forfeiting a claim to $80 million in assets. She will be left with $2.5 million.
It’s a sign of the times. The greed, the excess, the conspicuous consumption, the lack of social conscience or morality. Many of Madoff’s targets were friends and associates. Elderly couples were robbed of their life’s savings. Philanthropies and non-profits helping the most needy were also hit. It’s a reminder that white collar crime has real victims.
Two pairs of Ruth Madoff’s diamond dangle earrings sold for $70,000 each: Lot No. 201, Cartier Art Deco onyx and diamond earrings, estimated pre-auction at $9,800, and Lot No. 218, gold, silver and diamond earrings pre-valued at $21,400.
The jewelry was simple and conservative, much of it in onyx, diamonds and gold, made by prestigious firms such as Bulgari, Hermes, Chaumet and David Webb, according to the Toronto Star. The sale opened with lively bidding for Ruth’s gold bracelet with whale, lighthouse and shell charms, pre-valued at $1000, selling for $3500. Bernie’s
The most highly prized item in the sale, the Rolex “prisoner watch,” brought only $65,000. All the watches were made in
Perhaps the most surprising feature was the banality of the offerings. The Madoff’s illicit fortune, staggering by any standards, approximated $65 billion, including numerous yachts and the three homes where most of the trove was seized - their Upper East Side apartment, the beach house in Montauk and the
Fascination with celebrity mixed with desire to benefit the victims fueled the bidding.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning, internationally celebrated couture jewelry designer specializing in high-end necklaces with precious gems in 18-22 karat gold as well as the new affordably priced Jewel Casual Collection. Her Collections, which have been worn by A-List