FAMOUS BLUE DIAMONDS

 

 

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond, a deep blue coloured 45.52 ct. diamond is currently held at the Smithsonian Institute. Some say French Explorer, Tavernier brought the stone back from the Golconde mines during his sixth voyage to India, and that he sold it to Louis XIV in 1669. Whatever the story, Louis XIV had the Hope stone cut and set in the crown jewels. The diamond stayed in the hands of the Kings of France until the reign of Louis XVI. The Hope had been stolen while it was being kept in the Garde-Meuble in Paris.

Very little is known of its whereabouts between the time it was stolen and the time it was bought by the English banker Henry Philip Hope (hence its name) around 1825. After this, the diamond changed hands several times up until 1949 when it was finally purchased by the famous American jeweller Harry Winston and eventually he offered it to the Smithsonian Institute.

 

 

The Tereschenko A.K.A. The Mouawad Blue

The Tereschenko is a fancy blue, 42.92 ct., pear shaped diamond. It may have come from the Kollur alluvial deposits in India around 1913, although it’s exact origin is unknown.

Its original owners were the Tereschenko's, a family of sugar magnates in pre-communist Russia. In 1915, Mikhail Tereschenko instructed Cartier to mount the gem as the centerpiece of a necklace containing a variety of fancy coloured diamonds.

The Tereschenko Diamond was secretly taken out of Russia and passed into private ownership. The Tereschenko came up for sale in November 1984 at Christie's in Geneva, where it was purchased by Robert Mouawad, who set a new world record for the purchase price of a diamond – 10 Million Swiss Francs or $4,508,196 USD

 

 

 

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond

The amazing Witteslbach Diamond was originally a 35.56 ct Fancy Deep Grayish Blue VS2 clarity diamond and was first publicly shown in 1722 at the marriage of Maria Amalia to Charles of Bavaria (one of the Wittelsbach family) in Munich. It was first mounted on the Bavarian’s chain of the Golden Fleece Order in 1745. When Maximilian Josef of Wittelsbach became the first king of Bavaria in 1806 he set the family famous blue diamond in the Bavarian Royal Crown.

Much later it was seen in 1921 at the funeral of Ludwig the 3rd, the last king of Bavaria. In 1931 the Wittelsbach family tried to sell the diamond with no luck. They sold it finally in 1951 and it was exhibited at the World Trade show, Expo, that took place in Brussels, Belgium in 1958. It was in a private collection until 1964 thereafter it was given as an Engagement Wedding present by Helmut Horten to his beloved Heidi (known today as the world's 3rd wealthiest billionaire woman).

In the end of 2008 the 35.56 ct. Wittelsbach was sold at a Christie's auction to the famous jeweler Laurence Graff for £16.4 Million or $24.3 Million USD. It was the highest price ever paid for a diamond at an auction. He then re-cut it to enhance the colour and clarity of the diamond. It ended up to be the now famous Witteslbach-Graff Diamond at 31.06 ct and is a Fancy Deep Blue with Internally Flawless (IF) clarity.

 

 

 

The Blue Lili

The 30.06 ct. Blue Lili diamond is a tapered cushion shape and was cut by the William Goldberg Corporation and named after Goldberg's wife, Lili. The colour, clarity and actual history of the diamond are unknown.

William Goldberg started life in the diamond industry as a cutter for Harry Winston Inc., New York. It was there that he mastered his trade of cutting and polishing. In 1952, he partnered with Irving Weiss in establishing a merchandizing company called Goldberg & Weiss. In 1973 Goldberg opened his own business - the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation, which became a De Beers sight holder.

The company gained great success and became a prestigious name in the highly competitive diamond trade. They specialized in the processing and selling of expensive large diamonds, fancy coloured diamonds, and diamond jewelry.

 

 

 

 

Heart of Eternity

The Heart of Eternity is a 27.64 ct. diamond measuring rated in colour as Fancy Vivid Blue by the Gemological Institute of America. The Heart of Eternity was cut by the Steinmetz Group, who owned the diamond before selling it to the De Beers Group.

The Heart of Eternity is a member of an exceedingly rare class of coloured diamonds. It was found in the Premier Diamond Mine of South Africa. Blue (Type IIb) diamonds account for less than 0.1% of the output of the Premier mine, which is the only mine in the world with an appreciable production of blue diamonds. Of the ten coloured diamonds that drew the highest bids, six of those ten were blue diamonds.

The Heart of Eternity was unveiled in January 2000 as part of the De Beers Millennium Jewels collection, which included the Millennium Star. The Heart of Eternity was featured with ten other blue diamonds. The De Beers Millennium Jewels were displayed at London’s Millennium Dome throughout 2000. An attempt on 7 November 2000 to steal the collection was foiled.

During its exhibition at the Smithsonian, the Heart of Eternity was noted to be on loan from a private collector, giving rise to speculation that it was sold during the exhibition at the Millennium Dome in London.

 

 

 


 

The Blue Heart

The Blue Heart Diamond was produced from the Premier Mine, South Africa in 1908. This 30.62 ct. heart shaped diamond has a rare deep blue colour and was faceted by French jeweler Atanik Eknayan of Paris in 1909-1910 from a 100.5 ct. rough stone.

The stone was purchased by Pierre Cartier in 1910. Cartier then sold it to a Mrs. Unzue of Argentina in a lily-of-the-valley brooch in 1911. It was next acquired by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1953 and sold to a European family in the form of a pendant. In 1959, it was purchased by Harry Winston who mounted it in its present platinum ring setting (as pictured on left), surrounded by 25 round brilliant cut colourless diamonds with a total weight of 1.63 ct.

The Blue Heart Diamond's heart-shaped brilliant cut and lively blue colour have made it one of the most popular blue diamonds in existence. The Gemological Institute of America graded the Blue Heart as a natural fancy deep blue diamond with a clarity grade VS2.

Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased the ring from Harry Winston in 1960 and generously gifted the Blue Heart Diamond to the National Gem Collection in 1964. The Smithsonian celebrated the 100th anniversary of when the Blue Heart Diamond was cut, 1910 - 2010.

 

 

 

The Transvaal Blue

Unfortunately not much history or providence is known about the Transvaal Blue.

It's a pear cut, 25 ct. blue diamond and was discovered in the Premier Diamond Mine in Transvaal, South Africa. This is the same mine that produced the 3,106 ct. Cullinan crystal.

The diamond was once owned by Baumgold Bros., and is now owned by an unknown buyer.

 

 

The Sultan of Morocco

A 35.27 ct. cushion cut fancy grayish blue diamond that is believed to have emanated from India during the mid 1800's. Although the name suggests a possible linkage with the ruling families of Morocco, the Sultans, there is no evidence to confirm this.

The diamond was in the possession of the Yousupov family, a Russian noble family of Tartari descent, in 1840. In 1922, Prince Felix Yousupov, the last Yousupov prince and best known for his direct involvement in the murder of Rasputin, sold the diamond to Cartier's of New York.

In 1969, Cartier lent this diamond to the New York State Museum for their World of Gems Exposition and in 1972 it was sold to a private American collector in San Francisco, for $250,000 USD. The buyer was apparently linked to the Vice President of the "Bud" Ehresman company who had the stone delivered to him by the famous jeweler, Laykin et Cie, based in Los Angeles, CA.