IF the value of the jewelry collections seized from the Marcoses is doubled from its appraised value more than two decades ago, the government may get more than P700 million if it decides to put the jewels on the block, an official of the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) said Wednesday.
The commission does not yet know how much the three collections of jewels are worth since appraisers from Christie’s and Sotheby’s are still appraising the jewelry.
“We cannot yet determine the current value [of the three jewelry collections]while the appraisal is ongoing. There is yet no definite value,” PCGG public information officer Katrina Peña said on Wednesday.
She however said that the value of the jewelry collections could double from the valuation made in 1991.
The PCGG and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday formally opened the appraisal of the confiscated Marcos jewelry collections at the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
A 1991 assessment valued the Hawaii, Roumeliotes and Malacañang collections at $5 million to $7 million.
“Basically, it can be doubled once it was auctioned off,” Peña said.
The jewelry pieces, which were seized in 1986, are being kept at a vault in the Central Bank. The PCGG serves as the custodian for the Hawaii collection, composed of around 300 jewelry pieces seized by the US customs bureau in Hawaii, while the Bureau of Customs and the Palace are the custodians for the Roumeliotes and Malacañang collections, respectively.
Peña, however, said there is no plan yet to auction off the seized jewelry collections.
The Malacañang collection has over 400 pieces of jewelry left behind in the Palace by the Marcos family when they fled the country in 1986. On the other hand, the Roumeliotes collection was seized from Greek businessman Demetriou Roumeliotes who attempted to smuggle out of the country a week after the Edsa People Power Revolution at least 60 jewelry pieces.
Roumeliotes was allegedly a crony of Marcos.
A newly-discovered pink diamond believed to be previously owned by a Mogul emperor and worth at least P235 million ($5 million) was one of the pieces appraised.
Jewelers from Christie’s described the briolette-cut barrel-shaped pink diamond as an “extremely exciting find” that would “make your knees shake” because of its beauty.
According to David Warren, Christie’s head of jewelry in the Middle East, the diamond was probably overlooked and hence not appraised in 1991 since it was only listed as a “loose crystal.”
He said the pink diamond would significantly increase the value of the entire collection pegged in 1991 between $6 million and $8 million (P282 million and P376 million).