Important Jewels Favourites with Dr Chantel Thornton

Ahead of our Important Jewels Auction, we chatted to Dr Chantel Thornton, a Specialist Breast Cancer Surgeon based in Melbourne, to discover what she loves about wearing jewellery and asked her to choose her favourite five pieces from the collection.

We thank Chantel for taking the time out of her schedule to browse jewellery for us! She says:

If I had not been a surgeon, I would have loved to have been a buyer of vintage and antique Jewels. When I wear jewellery I love to wear big bold statement pieces and unique pieces. Jewellery is a fashion accessory but also can have deeply personal significance and really tell a lot about an individual’s style and personality!

I love bold, unique pieces I think mainly because in my profession as a surgeon, it is very difficult for me to wear jewels. Jewellery is restricted to a bare minimum in the operating theatre, so when I can wear it, I want it to be special and for it to make a statement.

When I was studying abroad at the University of Hong Kong, on the weekends I enjoyed attending auctions of important and unique Jewels. I was a student and could not afford to purchase any pieces, but was always overwhelmed by the craftsmanship, the decorative details and the vivid hues of the special and unusually large gemstones.

Living in Asia introduced me to a whole new world of jewellery and appreciation for unusual designs. It was also wonderful to see women and men wearing their significant pieces with ease on a daily basis.

Here are my five favourite pieces from the August Important Jewels collection:

Lot 180
18ct gold and diamond bracelet
Estimate $20,000-30,000
I love the decorative detail and the beautiful workmanship in this bracelet. I like that it is unusual, you won’t see every woman wearing it. It’s good to be different!
Lot 2
18ct two tone gold collier, Cartier, circa 1990
Estimate $8,000-12,000

This is a bold statement necklace. Yellow gold is very fashionable at the moment. And Cartier always makes beautiful quality pieces with unparalleled design. They have always been the leaders of change and their designs are collectable and never out of style.


Lot 55
An impressive sapphire, argyle fancy pink diamond and diamond ring
Estimate $150,000-180,000
It speaks for itself. I love anything impressive! The Argyle diamonds are beautiful, and my favourite colour is pink. Given that the Argyle mine has closed, and it will be accompanied by a significant restoration of the natural ecosystem and preservation of the cultural heritage of the land and will support the return of the land to the traditional owners, I think any diamond from the Argyle mine sits in a special pedigree. It is part of Australian history and a reminder of what a beautiful country we live in and allows us to appreciate the natural resources we have. Argyle diamonds are in limited supply and highly coveted. The sapphire is big, bold, and blue! The colour is spectacular. As a new mother to a baby boy I think a blue sapphire would be a perfect addition to my collection!

Lot 73
An extraordinary diamond and argyle fancy pink diamond ring
Estimate $600,000-800,000
Worn alone or with other jewellery, this is a stand out – a statement piece! I still find myself gazing at my diamond engagement ring on a daily basis but I would be mesmerised if I upgraded to this! You can wear it every day to work or you can wear it with black tie. It’s simply  stunning and I expect it would become a true family heirloom.
Lot 26
Pair of 18ct gold, fancy intense yellow diamond and argyle fancy pink diamond ear studs
Estimate $80,000-120,000

These for me would be practical. In the operating theatre I can only wear studs. And I don’t have any yellow diamonds. Yellow is a colour that makes me think of sunshine, hope, spring, joy and happiness and when I am in the operating theatre excising breast cancer this is what I want for my patient’s future. The intensity  of the colour is simply wonderful. And they are fun both at the beach, poolside or at formal events.

– July 2021