Continuing a run of eye-popping results recorded by Lawrences of Crewkerne in recent sales, the Somerset firm sold a 40-bead necklace for £11,500 on April 25.
Double the estimate, it was an extraordinary price but was an exceptional geological specimen: each of the beads (from the La Toca mine in the Dominican Republic) contained a different insect, each identified by a chart included with the lot.
Specialist Miranda Bingham said it generated some institutional interest but the serious bidding all came from China.
Leading the jewellery section of this three-day sale was a pretty Victorian necklace mounted with graduated diamond clusters and graduated diamond foliate drops.
Housed in its original case, it came by descent from Gladys Maud Lascelles (1886-1961), granddaughter of the Hon George Lascelles, who was the brother of the 5th Earl of Harewood.
Deemed a very wearable piece, it tipped the top estimate to bring £34,000 from a trade buyer.