A K Agnihotri; DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER ( part iv )


Archduke Joseph Diamond: The Archduke Joseph Diamonds is one of the Golconda diamonds (an ancient Indian diamond mine), what makes it unique is its colour and clarity. It measures 74.65 carats and is rated a flawless D. The diamond is a family heirloom of the Hapsburg Family from Hungary. During World War II the gem was put in hiding in France. The whereabouts of the diamond were unknown until 1961 when it came up for auction. In 1993 it went on auction a second time and sold for 6.4 million dollars. It is set in a remarkable necklace and is quite often lent to celebrities for special functions. Celine Dion wore the necklace on her return performance on CBS in April of 2002 when she premiered "A New Day Has Come".

Allnat Diamond :

The Allnat diamond is a cushion cut fancy vivid yellow diamond. Prior to 1950 there is no recorded history for this diamond although experts guess it came from the premier diamond mine in South Africa. In 1950 Major Allnat commissioned Cartier to make a setting for the diamond. The stone was re-cut from 102.07 carats to 101.29 carats and it was regarded as a vivid fancy yellow increasing its value. It's currently in the "Splendour of Diamonds" collection at the Smithsonian Museum.

Centenary Diamond:

The Centenary Diamond is the third largest diamond to have been extracted from the DeBeers mine in South Africa. Its 273.85 carats is internally and externally flawless with a D colour rating. It was displayed in its uncut form at 599 carats for the DeBeers Centenary Anniversary. It was displayed in the Tower of London for several years before it was removed. While no sale price was ever made public it was insured for over 100 million.


Darya-ye Noor Diamond:

Is one of the Crown Jewels from the country of Iran. It is well known not only for its large size

of 182 carats but also its pale pink colour which is exceptionally rare in diamonds. Modern research also indicates this may have been part of a larger stone that was originally part of the throne of Mughahl Emperor Shah Jahan.

The Noor-ol-Ein is also part of the same stone.

Dresden Green Diamond: The Dresden Green Diamond is the largest of the very rare natural green diamonds. It is 41 carats and its green colour comes from natural and not artificial irradiation. The diamond was discovered in 1722 before the technology for artificial irradiation existed. This diamond is currently part of a research project to help identify diamonds which are naturally coloured. The diamond is named after the Saxony Capital in Germany. For most of its history the diamond has stayed in Germany, except during World War II when it was in the Soviet Union.

Excelsior Diamond: At the time of its discovery in 1893 the Excelsior Diamond was the largest diamond discovered at 971 carats. It was displaced by the Cullinan Diamond in 1905. The stone had a blue and white colour and was eventually cut into 13 stones ranging from 68 carats to 13 carats.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond: The Golden Jubilee is currently the world's largest faceted diamond displacing the Cullinan I or Star of Africa by over 15 carats. The diamond is cut into a fire cushion shape and weighs a total of 545.67 carats. What's most remarkable about the stone is its yellow brown colour. It was presented as a gift to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his coronation. It is currently part of the crown jewels in the Royal Thai Palace.

Great Moghul Diamond: The Great Moghul diamond is the most legendary diamond of the ancient world. It was first described by traveller Jean Baptiste Tavernier from a visit to India he made in 1665. The Great Moghul Diamond was said to have measured 240 carats, a size unheard of in the ancient world. However the stone disappeared and hasn't been seen for thousands of years. Experts are divided some believing that the Koh-i-Nor diamond is the Great Moghul Diamond other experts believe it's the Orloff Diamond.

Heart of Eternity: The Heart of Eternity diamond is one the most famous fancy blue diamonds. It came from the premier mine in South Africa which has the largest production of fancy coloured diamonds. The heart of eternity is the sister stone of the Millennium Star which were both cut from the same stone. They were part of the DeBeers Millennium Jewels Collection and were the target of an unsuccessful diamond heist at the Millennium Dome during the year 2000 celebration. The gem is 27.64 carats and is classified as fancy vivid blue.

Idol's Eye Diamond: Where the Idol's Eye diamond originally came from is something of a mystery. Many claim it was the eye of an idol or statue from a temple in Benghazi. That is highly unlikely since that area has been Muslim since the 8th Century and devoid of idols. The diamond first appears in recorded history at a Christie's auction in 1865. At the time of the auction the buyer was anonymous, but history later revealed the buyer was the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II. Towards the end of his rule Hamid sensed he was going to be forced out of power and started to move his wealth to a secure location, this included his collection of jewels. However the person responsible for moving the jewels stole them and turned up in Paris. The diamond was purchased by a Spanish Nobleman who kept them in London. The gemstone remained hidden until after World War II when a Dutch Merchant acquired them and sold it to Harry Winston. The Idol's Eye diamond is a triangular old mine cut measuring 70. 21 carats and has a slight bluish colour.

Incomparable Diamond: The Incomparable Diamond was the fourth largest uncut diamond when it was discovered. In 1984 owners Marvin Samuels, Louis Glick, and David Zale of Zales Jewellers had the diamond cut. The largest stone was 407.48 carat triolette shape. There were also 14 smaller diamonds from the same stone. The largest diamond retained the name Incomparable diamond and is golden in colour. The smaller stones range from colourless to deep rich brown. The Incomparable diamond made an unexpected appearance on the internet auction site EBay in November of 2002 with a reserve price of 15 million pounds sterling but remained unsold.

Lesotho Promise: The Lesotho Promise is a new diamond that was discovered in 2006. It was discovered in the Letseng diamond mine in Lesotho. In its uncut format it is 603 carats in size and the diamond sold for 12.4 million in its uncut form.

Millennium Star: The Millennium Star is the sister stone to the Heart of Eternity diamond as both were originally cut from the same stone. Unlike its sister stone Millennium Star is a colourless diamond rated a flawless D. It's also the second largest D diamond in the world measuring at 203.04 carats. This diamond is part of the DeBeers Millennium Collection and was part of the exhibit at the Millennium Dome. The stone was also the target of a failed diamond heist. When the police, security, and DeBeers officials learned of the planned robbery a duplicate stone was created and placed on display as a precaution. The thieves failed to get their hands on the real diamond or the replica.