Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Diamond Luxuries

Diamond Luxuries

This is the latest design of modern luxury design Tiffany products on the market color, and excellent quality of the products seems to Tiffany luxury item he did not believe that the most excellent and you can easily set up the Ministry of Interior






These days, the diamond industry uses millions of dollars, mostly in vain tried to find a viable diamond mines.
Another argument is that he told her, or to provide access to sexual and gift ... A symbol of the commitment or manufactured moissanite and cubic Zirconia just as well.

It is expected that many of these pieces, that this social value and emotional value, and spiritual values, or less important and more effective than anything. And perhaps tell us more Masłów!
It is difficult to maintain. This is not a question of the existence or non-De Beers has established in the market, but is "good", because in this market, and those who wish to participate. Information on the diamond industry to have a gang of human dignity - and commitment at the present time, more than ...
Luxury, but in these cases is not a diamond, but the "why" of their commitment. Is a symbol of the selection of inexpensive gift, in order to provide the eternal, pure, natural, and individual ...
If you can not find a better icon, it is a luxury and to allow the reception, and then continue to exchange information.


Say hello Peter Diamond Aloisson ERA is the design of Motorola V31. Admittedly, this is not a beauty queen! And a gold and stainless steel, and the delivery of 855 out of 3.8 carats of diamonds, whether to emphasize the fact that the mobile phone.












Diamond Covered Mercedes

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This diamond covered Mercedes might just make you blind if you are not wearing any sun glasses. Obviously, the diamonds are fake but it gives a pricless blingbling effect. Via W3sh
continue reading "BlingBling Diamond Covered Mercedes"

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Vergas Diamond

History of Vergas Diamond

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On August 13, 1938 Brazil revealed its greatest gem when a diamond weighing 726.6 carats was picked up in the gravels of the San Antonio River in the Commandeer district of Mina's Gerard. Two garishness (diamond diggers or prospectors), Joaquim Venancio Tiago and Manoel Miguel Dominguez, were the lucky finders.

Their good fortune did not extend very far. Not long after they had sold the diamond to a broker for $56,000, the same man sold it for $235,000. The buyer in turn sold the gem to a Dutch syndicate represented by the Dutch Union Bank of Amsterdam. By then the diamond had been named "President Vargas" in honor of Giulio Dardanelles Vargas, president of Brazil (1930-45 and 1951-54).

While the stone remained in the bank's safety deposit vault Harry Winston learned of its existence through his brokers in Brazil; they advised him of its rare quality and exceptional size. He traveled to London, then on to Amsterdam, where he finally purchased the President Vargas. The diamond was duly shipped to New York by ordinary registered mail at a cost of seventy cents although it had been insured by Lloyds for $750,000.

On account of its unusual formation it was decided to cleave the President Vargas. A 20-carat piece was sawn from the top before the first cleaving; from this a pear shape, weighing 10.05 carats, was fashioned. The cleaving of the diamond was to result in two pieces, one of 150 carats and the other of 550 carats. But in all, twenty-nine gems were fashioned from the President Vargas, nineteen sizeable and ten smaller ones weighing a total of 411.06 carats. They comprised sixteen emerald cuts, one pear shape, one marquise and, among the lesser gems, ten triangles and one baguette.

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Rough President Vergas Diamond

The name "President Vargas" has been retained by the largest gem, an emerald-cut weighing 48.26 carats.

For a number of years this diamond was owned by the wife of Robert W. Windfohr of Fort Worth, Texas, who purchased it in 1944.

In 1958 Harry Winston repurchased and re cut it to a flawless 44.17 carats stone, selling it again in 1961.

The identities of the other buyers are not known, but in 1948 was reported that the Gateway of Baroda had bought one of the Vargas gems.

In recent years two of the emerald cuts, numbers IV and VI, have come up for sale at Sotheby's in New York. In April 1989 President Vargas IV, weighing 28.03 carats, formerly among the jewels of Lydia Morrison, fetched $781,000, while in October 1992, President Vargas VI, weighing 25.4 carats, sold for $396,000.

Detail of Vergas Diamond

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Vergas Diamond Before Cutting

The rough Vargas diamond was cut into 29 gems, out of which 19 were of considerable size and the remaining 10 were smaller stones. The total weight of the finished diamonds was 411 .06 carats. Out of the 29 gems, 16 were emerald-cut stones, one pear-shaped, and one marquise-cut. 10 of the smaller gems were triangular brilliants and one was a baguette. All diamonds were D-color diamonds of exceptional quality.

The largest diamond was an emerald-cut, weighing 48.26 carats and retained the name President Vargas.

Being D-color diamonds, the Vargas diamonds are most probably type IIa diamonds, that are chemically pure and structurally perfect diamonds. The presence of chemical impurities such as nitrogen, boron and hydrogen impart colors to diamonds. Likewise the presence of structural distortions can also impart rare fancy colors to diamonds. Thus the absence of these two factors make the diamonds absolutely colorless. The occurrence of these diamonds however is only about 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds.

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Most Famous Vergas Diamond

The lucky finders of the diamond lost no time in finding a suitable buyer for their precious find, and sold it to a diamond broker for $ 56,000. In their undue haste to convert their precious find into hard cash, the finders of the diamond suffered a great loss, for within a short time the broker who purchased the diamond sold it at the enhanced price of $ 235,000. Eventually the diamond was purchased by a Dutch syndicate represented by the Dutch Union Bank of Amsterdam. The diamond had by then be named "President Vargas" in honor of the ruling chief executive of Brazil, President Getulio Dornelles Vargas, who ruled Brazil for 15 years from 1930 to 1945 and again for 4 years from 1951 to 1954. President Vargas is credited with having brought about social and economic changes that helped modernize the country. He has also gone down in history as the "Father of the Poor" for his battle against big business and large landowners.

The diamond was then taken to Amsterdam where it was kept in the safe deposit vault of the Dutch Union Bank. In the meantime the famous diamond dealer and jeweler of New York, Harry Winston, learnt about the existence of the massive diamond of exceptional quality from his agents in Brazil. Harry Winston who was a reputed buyer of such exceptional rough stones, lost no time in taking a trip to Amsterdam via London. In Amsterdam he initiated negotiations with the Dutch syndicate who owned the diamond, and finally acquired the stone. The diamond was insured by Lloyds for $ 750,000, and yet the company agreed to the shipping of the diamond to New York by ordinary registered post. This was a usual strategy adopted by Harry Winston in dispatching valuable diamonds to his office in New York, in order to minimize attention towards the precious items, that would otherwise have involved serious security risks.

Harry Winston's team of master cutters studied the rough diamond extensively and after a long period of study that lasted several months, finally decided to cleave the diamond to many pieces in order to obtain several smaller diamonds of exceptional quality, rather than going in for one or two larger diamonds of inferior quality. The cutting of the diamond began in 1941. At first a 20-carat piece was sawn off from the top of the diamond before the actual cleaving took place. This piece was later transformed into a 10.05-carat, exceptional quality, pear-shaped diamond. The diamond was first cleaved into two unequal large pieces, one weighing 550 carats and the other 150 carats. Subsequent cleavings followed, and eventually the diamond was cut into 29 smaller pieces from which 29 gems were faceted and polished, out of which 19 were of fairly large size, with the largest being 48.26 carats, and the remaining were smaller ones. The total weight of the finished diamonds was 411.06 carats, resulting in a loss of 43 % of the original weight of the stone.

In terms of shape, 16 diamonds were emerald-cut stones, one pear-shaped, and one marquise-cut. Out of the smaller diamonds ten were triangular brilliant cuts and one was a baguette. The largest diamond which was an emerald-cut weighing 48.26 carats, retained the name President Vargas.

The Uncle Sam Diamond

The Uncle Sam Diamond

The "Uncle Sam" diamond is the largest diamond ever found in the United States, weighing 40.23 carats and discovered in 1924, by Wesley Ole Ba sham in the Prairie Creek pipe mine, which later came to be known as the Crater of Diamonds Park, situated in Arkansas. The diamond gets its name from the nick name of the founder W.O. Ba sham, who was fondly referred to as Uncle Sam.

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The Uncle Sam rough diamond crystal before cutting

Nature of the Uncle Sam diamond

The diamond is a 12.42-carat, emerald-cut stone with an unknown color and clarity grade. The website of the Crater of Diamonds State Park describes the diamond as a white diamond with a pink cast weighing 40.23 carats. The clarity of the diamond appears to be exceptional from the photographs of the diamond.

The Uncle Sam Diamond- After cutting

The slight pink tone of the diamond may be caused by slight plastic distortions in the crystal structure during its formation in the earth's mantle or subsequent rise to the earth's surface. The plastic ally deformed areas of the crystal change the absorption spectrum of the stone imparting the pink color. Thus the "Uncle Sam" diamond is most probably a Type Ila diamond, free of nitrogen and other impurities, but the color being caused by plastic deformation of the crystal.

Details of Diamond

The rough diamond weighing 40.23 carats was discovered in 1924 in the Prairie Creek Pipe mine at Arkansas, by a workman of the Arkansas Diamond Company, by the name of Wesley Ola Ba sham, whose nick name was Uncle Sam. The white rough diamond became the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States, and still holds that record.

The rough diamond was said to have been cut twice, and on the second occasion transformed into a perfect emerald-cut diamond weighing 12.42 carats. In 1971, the Uncle Sam diamond was reported to have been sold to an anonymous buyer for $ 150,000.

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Uncle Sams Diamond

The Crater of Diamonds State park, located on State Highway 301, in Pike Country, southwest Arkansas, near Murfreesboro, is the only diamond mine in the world open to the public, where visitors are free to search for diamonds, and keep what they find. In other words the park is operating a "finders are keepers policy", a unique policy that has never been tried out before in any part of the world. This unique approach had proved to be a tremendous success, attracting over 60,000 visitors to the park every year, among whom the lucky ones discover on an average about 600 diamonds every year. This works out to an average of two diamonds each day.

The Crater of Diamonds State Park

The search area of the Crater of Diamonds State Park is a 36½ acre site, which is believed to be the eroded surface of a gem-bearing volcanic pipe known as the Prairie Creek Kimber lite pipe. These diamonds were formed millions or perhaps billions of years ago deep inside the earth's crust about 200 to 300 Km below the surface of the earth. The diamonds were subsequently brought to the surface of the earth by a violent volcanic eruption, estimated to have taken place about 100 million years ago. Test drilling at the crater has shown that the diamond bearing reserve or pipe is shaped like a martini glass.

Kimber lites which are a type of igneous rock are mica Periodontists that are found in pipes. They are rare occurrences in the catatonic (stable) areas of the earth's crust. The stable interiors of South Africa and Siberia have wide spread occurrences, but these pipes are also found in north America, Australia, Brazil and India. Not all Kimber lites contain diamonds. When diamonds do occur they constitute less than one part per million of the rock.

The diamonds found in the Crater of Diamonds site are generally less than one carat in size. Most of them are about the size of a match head or even smaller. The diamonds exist in different colors, however, the three most common colors found are white, brown and yellow, in that order. Diamonds of significantly larger sizes ranging from 2 to 40 carats have also been discovered, but their occurrence is rare. Diamonds found at the crater are typically smooth well rounded. They have a metallic luster and are generally translucent, i. e. light passes through them but you cannot see the other side.

Besides diamonds a range of other minerals are also found in this site such as quartz, amethyst, garnet, peridot, agate, jasper, calcite, Bartie. In all about 40 different rocks and minerals have been found in the site of the crater.

Discovery of Diamonds in The Park

Diamonds were first discovered in the area in 1906, by John Wesley Huddles ton who bought a farm on the site. But it is reported that two geologists had studied the site before 1906 with a view of identifying potential diamond-bearing sites, but could not find any diamonds. On August 8, 1906, while Huddles ton was spreading rock salt on his hog farm, he observed some shiny specks in the dirt around. His curiosity aroused, Huddles ton decided to probe the area that drew his attention, and retrieved two shining pebbles from the dirt. Having refused an offer of 50 cents for the two stones from a local bank cashier, Huddles ton dispatched the two stones to a gem expert in New York City, who confirmed that the two stones indeed were diamonds. One stone was a 3.0-carat white diamond, while the other was a 1.5-carat yellow diamond.

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The Place where Uncle Sams's Diamond's found

News of the discovery of diamonds by Huddles ton sparked a diamond rush in Pike country. The farm next to Huddles ton's owned by Millard M. Maurine was also situated in the same gem-bearing crater. Diamond prospectors and fortune hunters rushed to the area, and within a short time the little town of Murfreesboro, assumed a boom town atmosphere reminiscent of the Kimberley township that developed in the cape region of South Africa during the South African diamond rush in the late 19th century. Huddles ton sold his farm to a Diamond Mining Company for $ 36,000, and the public were prohibited from mining in this area. Eventually the entire land covered by the crater became the property of two rival diamond mining companies, the Arkansas Diamond Mining Company and the Ozark Diamond Mines Corporation. It was during this period in 1924, that the largest diamond ever discovered in the United States, was found by a worker of the Arkansas Diamond Mining Company, which was subsequently named the "Uncle Sam" diamond. Over the next four decades the two companies engaged in sporadic mining activity, but operated under severe financial constraints, compounded by poor management, lawsuits and sabotage. Moreover the output of the mine was not sufficient to sustain the operations of the mine and to further expand mining operations. Thus the continued operation of the mine was not economical, and operations ceased at the mine by early 1950s.

Development of the Site

In 1952 the owners of the rival companies formed a partnership, not for further exploration of the mine, which they knew very well was not worthwhile pursuing, but to develop the site as a tourist attraction. They adopted the novel suggestion that the mine area be opened to the public to look for diamonds after paying a nominal fee, and keep what they find. The site was called the "Crater of Diamonds". A museum, gift shop and restaurant were also built and the site was promoted aggressively as a tourist attraction. The project turned out to be a modest success and several diamonds of significant sizes were discovered during this period. They are the 15.33-carat "Star of Arkansas" diamond discovered in 1956, that sparked a second diamond fever. Other diamonds include the 6.42-carat Gary Moore diamond discovered in 1960, and the 34.25-carat "Star of Murfreesboro" discovered in 1964.

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Uncle Sam's Diamond Mine

In 1972 the Crater of Diamonds was purchased by the State of Arkansas, and converted into the Crater of Diamonds State Park. The new state administration of the park continued with the open policy of allowing the public to scout for diamonds for a fee, and keeping the find. Facilities provided for visitors were tremendously improved, and today the park has become one of the leading tourist attractions not only in the state but the entire country. Some of the facilities provided for visitors include camp sites, picnic sites, a cafe, standard pavilion that includes rest rooms, laundry, and gift shops, hiking trails, and interpretive programs for park visitors, and an aquatic play ground called the Diamond Springs. The parks interpretive programs and exhibits explain the site's geology and history and offer tips on recognizing diamonds in the rough. Diamond mining tools are available for rent or purchase. The Diamond Discovery Center provides free identification and certification of diamonds and minerals discovered.

Today the visitor turnout at the park is over 60,000 annually. Over 600 diamonds are discovered annually, which works out to an average of two diamonds per day. Since the discovery of diamonds in the area in 1906, over 70,000 diamonds have been unearthed, and since the establishment of the State owned park in 1972, over 25,000 diamonds have been discovered in the park. The largest diamond discovered since the crater became an Arkansas state park in 1972, was the 16.37-carat white diamond the "Amarillo Starlight" found in 1975 by W. W. Johnson, of Amarillo, Texas. About 15 other diamonds ranging in size from 3 carats to 9 carats, have also been discovered during this period.

Commercial mining at the site

In early 1990s Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas signed a bill to authorize a lease for commercial exploration and mining at the park. A consortium of four mining companies undertook a preliminary exploratory survey to look into the possibilities of starting a full-scale deep mining operation. However, by 1994 it was clear that the returns from this exploratory operation were not encouraging, to make a full-scale mining operation viable. Consequently the companies decided to withdraw from the project. Further studies conducted in 1996, confirmed the results of the previous studies, and it appears that the Crater of Diamonds State Park is destined to maintain its status quo as a popular diamond "hunting" ground with all the thrill and adventure associated with it.

The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

History of The Tiffany Yellow Diamond


Tiffany's good looking diamond

The fact that no major gemological organization has ever formerly examined the Tiffany Yellow remains to be seen. Herbert Til lander addresses this in his book Diamond Cuts in Historic Jewelry - 1381 to 1910, in which he writes about the Tiffany Yellow:

The golden-yellow Tiffany is not only a typical Stellar Cut Brilliant with a star-like arrangement of small facets around the cutlet, but the crown is stepped, which consequently involves splitting the main facets. This was a standard procedure.* The pavilion, however, received three steps: between the regular two steps a third was applied, which was probably unique. This involved the splitting of the lower main facets into two triangular and one flat keystone-shaped facet. Consequently the Tiffany Yellow Diamond received 40 actual facets on the crown and 48 on the pavilion, plus the compulsory table and cutlet - in all, 90 facets compared with the 56 plus two facets of the Standard Brilliant Cut.

No one has ever explained why such a bulky step cut was applied to this diamond. It seems that priority was given to weight retention, since the prestige of a diamond depended at that time primarily on its weight. Dr. Kunz state "that this unprecedented number of facets was given the stone not to make it more brilliant, but less brilliant. The stone was of yellow color, and it was thought better to give it the effect of a smothered, smoldering fire than one of flashing radiance.The stone has an unusual feature, in a yellow diamond, of retaining its color by artificial light. The designers decided to ignore the modern rules of proportioning (such as those introduced to America by Morse) since these would have produced a Brilliant of well below the magic figure of 100 carats, which entitles a diamond to the name of 'Paragon'. Here, even the classic proportions would not have done -- a Brilliant with the width and length of this stone 27 mm × 28.25 mm with 45° angles would have barely weighed 100 carats.

In the end, a number of solutions were found. Obviously, the diameter of the finished gem was weighed against a symmetrical outline. But the height of the crown, the thickness of the girdle and the depth of the pavilion could all be substantially increased. In fact, they managed to retain a vertical measurement of 81.5 percent 22.2 mm as compared with Jeffrey' 68 percent and the modern 60 percent.


A view of the crown, pavilion and side of the Tiffany Yellow's facet layout.

The convex silhouette shows not only the weight saved through stepping but also an exceptionally high crown and deep pavilion. Other measures were taken in order to produce desired light effects. An exact calculation was made of the angles of reflection and refraction of light and the cutlet was given a size which made it act as a reflector. Until the Tiffany Yellow Diamond is professionally examined two queries remain unsolved: the four extra facets on the pavilion, adjacent to the girdle, and the often-mentioned seventeen polished spots on the girdle which, according to a check-up at the premises of Tiffany in 1945, are 'no true facets'.

We know that the rough, a fine octahedron weighing 287.42 carats, was found in about 1878 in what appears to have been the French-owned part of the De Beers Mines. It was shipped to Paris where it was shown to the Tiffany representatives. The result was extraordinary, as we have seen. The finished gem has the amazing weight of 128.54 carats. It was, until recently, the largest golden-yellow diamond in the world. According to the official invoice from a Paris office, the Tiffany Yellow Diamond was shipped to New York on the City of Chester on June 15th, 1880, and was listed with a number of other gems 'on consignment' at 100,000 French francs.

It should be noted that at some time, the clarity of VS1 was mentioned for the Tiffany Yellow. This, however, might have been an educated guess by a Tiffany official rather than an actual clarity grade issued by a gemological lab. British gemologist Michael Hing, who handled the Tiffany Yellow in person when it was shown at an exhibition in Paris in 2000, said that the diamond has signs of wear, and there is a noticeable scratch in the table facet. He offered to re polish the diamond for Tiffany & Co., which would have removed the wear marks with a very minimal loss of carat weight, but they turned him down. Mr. Hing has also hinted that the 'lack of wording' in the color descriptions of the Tiffany Yellow is a hint at what the stone's color is. The diamond is always described as 'canary yellow' or 'golden-yellow', but these are not actual gemological color grades. A color grade would be something like Fancy Intense Yellow, Fancy Light Orange y-Yellow, Fancy Yellow or something like that.

Tom R. Barbour published his instructions in the March, 1963 issue of Lapidary Journal on how to cut a Tiffany Yellow replica, he called for a 27 mm x 27 mm x 21 mm finished stone. His measurements as well as his facet design were relatively close, at least compared to some of his other replicas. Greg Thompson, a friend of mine from the Texas Facets Guild whom I am helping compile Gem cad files of famous diamond replicas, showed me that the stone does NOT have 90 facets, which is the figure most sources list, but rather 86 facets, as shown in the Bauer and Tillander drawings... In other words, the four missing pavilion facets are something him.

This got me thinking... What is considered a dirty word in the diamond industry, as far as pitching sales goes? BROWN. Special dressed-up words are always used to describe brown, words like 'champagne', 'cognac' or 'coffee'. If the Tiffany Yellow had a brown overtone to it, Tiffany & Co. might not want it known, out of fear that it might the diamond sound bad. Personally, I've seen a number of brown diamonds, or diamonds with brown overtones that were absolutely beautiful, and I believe that calling a diamond brown, brownish-yellow, brownish-orange or some other combination does not hurt a stone. Brown is just a word to describe color, i.e., a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.

The Tiffany Yellow

It is debatable whether Truman Capote novel Breakfast at Tiffani's did much to increase the prestige of this famous New York jewelry store because long before 1958, the year of the book's publication, it had become a household name within the United States as well as abroad. Doubtless some people continue to inquire whether the store does serve breakfast to its clientele, but of course what the delightfully-named heroine, Holly Go lightly, sought was not refreshment of the stomach but of the spirit, which was supplied by the sight of the magnificent gems on display in the showcase.

Founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany in 1837, Tiffany & Co. came to the fore among diamond merchants during the second half of the 1800s. During the political disturbances in Paris in 1848, which cumulative in the over through of King Louis Philippe, the firm bought a large quantity of jewels. At the sale of the French Crown Jewels in 1887, Tiffany's bought a great diamond necklace of Empress Eugenie, considered at the time to have been the finest single item to go on sale, four diamonds which may have been among the former Mazarin, as well as several other pieces. In the end, Tiffany's emerged as the largest buyer, with 24 of the total 69 lots.

Between these two events in French history came the discovery of diamonds in South Africa. Tiffany's were active there too, buying a light-yellow cushion of 77 carats cut from a rough stone weighing fractionally less than 125 carats and another fine yellow gem weighing 51 and 7/8 carats. Both of these two diamonds were among the first large stones to be cut in New York City. They were surpassed, however, by the famous gem named after its owners. In the rough, the stone was a beautiful canary-yellow octahedron weighing 287.42 metric carats.

It is believed that the Tiffany Yellow was found in either 1877 or 1878. The lack of exact information concerning the correct date of its discovery extends to its location as well; this has been variously described as the 'De Beers Mine' or the 'Kimberly Mine', 'the De Beers Mines' or 'the Kimberly Mines'. The finding of the Tiffany Yellow took place before accurate records of the discovery of large diamonds from South Africa were kept. However, the clue to its location has been supplied by one writer who has stated it was found in the mines of the French Company. This was the colloquial name for the Compagnie Franglais de Diamant du Cap, an important mining concern, the existence of which sparked off the most momentous financial struggle which the diamond industry has witnessed.


Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffanys.

In the belief that the only solution to the problems posed by the inefficient and haphazard mining methods employed by the Kimberly deposits lay in the amalgamation of the multitude of claims into one unit, by 1887 Cecil Rhodes and his colleagues had succeeded in making the De Beers Mining Company, which was then headed by the flamboyant Barney Barnaul.

Born Barnett Isaac in 1852, the son of a small shopkeeper off Petticoat Lane, one of the best-known streets in London's East End, Barnaul was in every respect the complete antithesis of Rhodes. Barnaul was an extrovert, imbued with Jewish-Cockney wit and humor. After leaving school at fourteen, he obtained a number of odd jobs including being a 'bouncer' at a public house and appearing on stage at a music hall. Several of his relatives left for South Africa after hearing of the discovery of diamonds there, so Barney eventually followed them. His only capital on arrival at the diamond fields consisted of a box of cigars - of doubtful quality - which he hoped to sell to the diggers. He became an itinerant buyer of diamonds, his genial personality proving a useful asset. In time, he bought for claims in the center of the Kimberly Mine and prospered so that he was able to form the Barnato Diamond Mining Company. Like Rhodes, Barnaul kept on buying up claims. In 1885 Barnato merged his company with that of Baring-Gold's Kimberly Central Mining Company, thus giving him a strong hold in the Kimberly Mine as that of Rhodes in the De Beers Mine.

Since his company was going so well, Barnaul saw no reason at all why he should join any scheme of Rhodes for amalgamation. However, one obstacle lay in the path of the Kimberly Central, namely the Companion Franglais de Diamante du Cap. By virtue of its position within the Kimberly Mine and the policy it pursued, the French Company impeded any success of future operations by Barnabe's company. Consequently Barnaul made proposals to the French: but Rhodes had already done likewise and had succeeded in raising the finance necessary for the purchase of the French Company in Paris. Rhodes then laid a trap for his rival. He told Barnaul that he could acquire the French Company if he wanted it and would not ask for cash in payment, only the equivalent of the price paid in Kimberly Central's recently issued new shares. By this means Rhodes was able to secure a useful foothold in the form of one-fifth of Kimberly Central's issued capital; all the time this had been his real objective, not the control of the French Company. Barnaul acquiesced in his plan, falling right into the trap Rhodes had set for him.

The stage was now set for a titanic battle for the remainder of the Kimberly Central's issued capital. Both Rhodes and Barnaul bought recklessly, and at a time when the price of diamonds barely covered the cost of production, the company's shares soared from £14 to £49 within a few months. Eventually Rhodes and his associates could claim to own three-fifths of Kimberly Central's issued capital and Barnaul realized he had been beaten. He surrendered in March of 1888, accepting the terms which gave Rhodes the control he had sought. On March 12th, De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited was formerly incorporated. The new company took over assets which represented the whole of the De Beers Mine, three-quarters of the Kimberly Mine and a controlling interest in the Bloemfontein and Dutoitspan Mines. Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnaul were appointed among the company's first Life Governors.

Sine if the Kimberly Central's shareholders, however, disapproved of Barnaul selling out to Cecil Rhodes and challenged the merger in the Courts. It was the judge who told them that if Barnaul agreed to put Kimberly Central into voluntary liquidation, De Beers could simply purchase its assets. Accordingly this is what the company did: Rhodes wrote out a check for £5,338,650 for the assets of Kimberly Central, which, in those days, was the largest sum of money ever covered in a single check.

Further evidence that the Tiffany Yellow Diamond must have originated in the claims of the historically important French Company is show by the fact that the gen was shipped to Paris. Experts there studied it for one year before it was cut under the supervision of the distinguished gemologist George F. Kudzu in 1878. It yielded a cushion-cut brilliant of 128.54 metric carats, measuring 27 mm wide, 28.25 mm long and 22.2 mm deep. It was given a total of 90 facets: 48 on the pavilion, 40 on the crown, plus the table and cutlet. The extra facets were cut not to give the diamond more sparkle, rather to make it smolder as if it were lit by fire. The gem is high in fluorescence and retains this rich color in artificial light, but is even more beautiful by day.

The head of Tiffany's office in Paris, Mr. Gideon Reed, bought the Tiffany Yellow for $18,000, on behalf of the firm, whence it was imported into the United States in 1879. Initially, little publicity attended the diamond after its arrival there, a deliberate policy which has been ascribed by Charles Tiffany's fears that, as yellowish diamonds were being produced in South Africa in greater quantities than every before, this particular diamond might merely be one of many such stones. However, it is important to draw a distinction between light yellow and yellowish diamonds and those of the rare deeper canary yellow; the Tiffany Yellow remains one of the finest examples of the latter of the three.

It was not long before the existence of the Tiffany Yellow did become widely known. In 1896 one of the triumvirate who ruled China, the Viceroy Li Hung-Chang - about whom President Grant is said to have remarked, 'There are three great men in the world, Gladstone, Bismarck and Chang, but the greatest of these is Chang' - visited New York. He announced that the one thing he wished to see was the Tiffany Yellow Diamond, a request that was duly met by the firm.


The Tiffany Yellow, set in Jean Schlesinger's "Bird on the Rock" brooch.

Since being viewed by this distinguished visitor, the Tiffany Yellow has been seen by millions of others in almost seventy years of continuous display in Tiffany's store. It has also been shown at numerous exhibitions: they include the Chicago Colombian in 1893, the Pan-American in 1901, the Chicago Century of Progress in 1933-34 and the New York World's Fair in 1939. The first occasion on which the diamond was worn was in 1957 at the Tiffany Ball held in Newport, Rhodes Island, when the chairwoman of the ball, Mrs. Sheldon White house, had the honor of wearing it, mounted for the occasion in a necklace of white diamonds. In 1971 the Tiffany Yellow returned to South Africa for the exhibition which marked the centennial celebrations of the Kimberly Mine. After an absence of forty years from London, Tiffany's re-opened their branch in Old Bond Street in 1986, and displayed the diamond to herald its return.


The best glimpse of the stone's pavilion

The sole disturbance in the otherwise uneventful history of the Tiffany Yellow concerns reported attempts to sell the stone, which was valued at $12,000,000 at the end of 1983. In 1951 the new chairman of Tiffany's recommended that the gem be sold, a decision which not surprisingly horrified certain members of the old Board. A buyer agreed to pay $500,000 for the stone but the deal fell through because the chairman wanted a check in full whereas the prospective buyer wished for other financial arrangements to be made. Then on November 17th, 1972 the New York Times carried an advertisement by Tiffany offering to sell the diamond for $5,000,000. However, in the circumstances it would be as well to recall the story of the eager new salesman who, when asked what he would get if he sold the famous gem, was promptly told by the head of the firm 'Fired!'



Tiffany Yellow, from NW Diamonds & Gems. The stone measures 28.11 × 28.23 × 15.51.




Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Golden Jubilee Diamond

History of The Golden Jubilee Diamond

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The Golden Jubilee Diamond

The Golden Jubilee is currently the largest faceted diamond in the world. Since 1908, Cullin an I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, had held the title, which changed following the 1985 discovery of a large brown diamond of 755.5 carats (151 g) in the prolific blue ground of the Premier mine in South Africa; the diamond would later be cut to a weight of 545.67 carats .

The Premier mine was also the origin of the Cullin an diamonds in 1905, as well as other notables such as the Taylor-Burton in 1966 and the Centenary in 1986.


The "Unnamed Brown", as the Golden Jubilee was first known, was considered something of an ugly duckling by most. It was given to Gabriel Tsiolkovsky by De Beers for the purpose of testing special tools and cutting methods which had been developed for intended use on the flawless D-color Centenary. These tools and methods had never been tested before, and the "Unnamed Brown" seemed the perfect guinea pig; it would be of no great loss should something go amiss.

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The Golden Jubilee

To the surprise of all concerned, what resulted was a yellow-brown diamond in a fire rose cushion cut, outweighing Cullin an I by 15.37 carats. The stone remained largely unknown to the outside world, as the Golden Jubilee's sister, the Centenary, had already been selected and promoted to herald De Beer's centennial celebrations in 1988.

The unnamed diamond had earlier been brought to Thailand by the Thai Diamond Manufacturers Association to be exhibited in the Thai Board of Investment Exhibition in Lame Chabang. There was a mile-long queue to see the diamond, which outshone all other exhibits.

While the current whereabouts of the Centenary are unknown, the Golden Jubilee is known to have been purchased from De Beers by a group led by Henry Ho of Thailand in 1995. The diamond was brought to Pope John Paul II in the Vatican to receive the papal blessing. It was also blessed by the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch and the Supreme Imam in Thailand. The Golden Jubilee Diamond (Thai: เพชรกาญจนาภิเษก) was named by King Humboldt Adulyadej and given to him in honor of his 50th coronation anniversary. It was initially planned to mount the Golden Jubilee in the royal scepter. A subsequent plan was to have it mounted in a royal seal.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond has been exhibited at Henry Ho's 59-story Jewelry Trade Center in Bangkok, the Central Department Store in Lard Prao, Thailand, and internationally in Basel (Switzerland), Bolshevism in Omaha, USA . It is now located in the Royal Thai Palace as part of the crown jewels.

The Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II

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The Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II

The Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II was the international celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the thrones of seven countries. It was marked with large-scale events throughout London in June 2002, which were book ended by events in the other Commonwealth realms. Despite the death of the Queen's sister and mother Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; over twelve months, the royal couple journeyed to the Caribbean, Australia, New Zea land, then around the United Kingdom, and wrapped up the jubilee year in Canada. in February and March, respectively, of that same year, Elizabeth attended all of the official events as scheduled, along with her husband,

Predictions were made in the media that the anniversary would be a non-event, and would fail to ignite much response from the public. However, the events proved popular in all the countries in which they took place; even New York City paid tribute to the sovereign on her anniversary. Numerous landmarks, parks, buildings, and the like, were also named in honor of the golden jubilee, official portraits of the Queen were created in Canada and the UK, and a life size, bronze equestrian statue of Elizabeth was unveiled on the grounds of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. As well, commemorative coins and stamps were issued in some of Elizabeth's realms.

The Golden Jubilee is the largest faceted diamond in the world, weighing 545.67 carats. The stone was designed by Gabi Tolkien, who also designed the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond, which is the largest D-Flawless diamond in the world. The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown.

Tsiolkovsky describes the Golden Jubilee's cut as a "fire rose cushion cut." The color has been graded as "fancy yellow-brown", even though the above photo makes it look almost dark orange. It is only 15.37 carats larger than the Cullin an I, also known as the Star of Africa.


photo of the Golden Jubilee

Trivia Tidbit: The government of Thailand reported the stone as being a large golden topaz so as not to irritate the citizens -- Thailand has been in financial trouble for some years now, and the news of the purchase of the massive diamond would only make the popularity of the government drop.


A photo of the Golden Jubilee sitting on a cushion

The Taylor-Burton Diamond

The Taylor-Burton Diamond

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The Taylor-Burton diamond

Diamonds have no mercy... "They will show up the wearer if they can," says one character in The Sandcastle, an early novel by the famous British author, Iris Murdoch. Now this may be true of some women - usually wearing an outrageously large item of jewelry which imparts a degree of unwholesome vulgarity to themselves - but is it applicable to Elizabeth Taylor? Those well-publicized gifts which she received from her fifth husband, the late Richard Burton, certainly enhance her appearance and do not look out of place on her. A compatibility is established between the jewel and its wearer.

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Taylor-Burton Diamond

Richard Burton's first jewelry purchase for Elizabeth Taylor was the 33.19-carat Assayer-cut Krupp Diamond, in 1968. This had formerly been part of the estate of Vera Krupp, second wife of the steel magnate Alfred Krupp. Miss Taylor wears this stone in a ring. She has worn it in a number of her post-1968 films. Next came the La Peregrina Pearl for which Burton paid £15,000. The stone has a long and complex history. For Elizabeth's 40th birthday in 1972 Richard Burton gave her a heart-shaped diamond known as the Taj-Mahal. The stone is fairly large and flat, with an Arabic inscription on either side. It is set with rubies and diamonds in a yellow gold rope-pattern necklace. "I would have liked to buy her the Taj-Mahal," he remarked, "but it would cost too much to transport. This diamond has so many carats, its almost a turnip." Then he added, "Diamonds are an investment. When people no longer want to see Liz and I on the screen, then we can sell off a few baubles."

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The Taylor-Burton Diamond

By the far the best known of Richard Burton's purchases was the 69.42-carat pear-shape, later to be called the Taylor-Burton Diamond. It was cut from a rough stone weighing 240.80 carats found in the Premier Mine in 1966 and subsequently bought by Harry Winston. Here there is a coincidence: Eight years before, another cleavage of almost identical weight 240.74 carats had been found in the Premier. Harry Winston bought this stone too, commenting at the time, "I don't think there have been half a dozen stones in the world of this quality." This wouldn't be the first time the Premier Mine would have the last word because the 69.42-carat gem cut from the later discovery is a D-color Flawless stone.

After the rough piece of 240.80 carats arrived in New York, Harry Winston and his cleaver, Pastor Colon Jr. studied it for six months. Markings were made, erased and redrawn to show where the stone could be cleaved. There came the day appointed for the cleaving, and in this instance the usual tension that surrounds such an operation was increased by the heat and glare of the television lights that had been allowed into the workroom. After he had cleaved the stone, the 50-year-old cleaver said nothing -- he reached across the workbench for the piece of diamond that had seperated from it and looked at it through his horn-rimmed glasses for a fraction of a second before exclaiming "Beautiful!" This piece of rough weighed 78 carats was expected to yield a stone of about 24 carats, while the large piece, weighing 162 carats, was destined to produce a pear shape whose weight had originally been expected to be about 75 carats.


Elizabeth Taylor wearing the Taylor-Burton Diamond in a necklace

The stone's first owner after Harry Winston wasn't actually Elizabeth Taylor. In 1967 Winston sold the pear shape to Mrs. Harriet Ehrenberg Ames, the sister of Walter Ehrenberg, the American ambassador in London during the Richard Nixon administration. Two years later, she sent the diamond to Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York to be auctioned explaining her decision with this statement: "I found myself positively cringing and keeping my gloves on for fear it would have been seen, I have always been an extremely gregarious person and I did not enjoy that feeling. It sat in a bank vault for years. It seemed foolish to keep it if one could not use it. As things are in New York one could not possibly wear it publicly." One might argue the stone was too large to be worn in a ring, let alone in public.

The diamond was put up for auction on October 23rd, 1969, on the understanding that it could be named by the buyer. Before the sale speculation was prevailing as to who was going to bid for the gem, with the usual international names being kicked around by the columnists. Elizabeth Taylor was one name among them and she did indeed have a preview of the diamond when it was flown to Switzerland for her to have a look at, then back to NYC under precautions described as "unusual".


The Taylor-Burton set in a necklace

The auctioneer began the bidding by asking if anyone would offer $200,000, at which the crowded room erupted with a simultaneous "Yes". Bidding began to climb, and with nine bidders active, rushed to $500,000. At $500,000 the individual bids increased in $10,000 increments. At $650,000 only two bidders remained. When the bidding reached $1,000,000, Al Juggler of Frank Pollack, who was representing Richard Burton, dropped out. Pandemonium broke out when the hammer fell and everyone in the room stood up, resulting in the auctioneer not being able to identify who won, and he had to call for order. The winner was Robert Kenmore, the Chairman of the Board of Kenmore Corporation, the owners of Cartier Inc., who paid the record price of $1,050,000 for the gem, which he promptly named the 'Cartier'. The previous record for a jewel had been $305,000 for a diamond necklace from the Rovensky estate in 1957. A diamond, known as the Rovensky (actually thought to possibly be the Excelsior III Diamond), attached to the necklace weighed approximately 46.50 carats. It appeared in an article about diamonds in the April 1958 issue of National Geographic magazine, along with the Niarchos,Tiffany Yellow. Nepal, and


Harry Winston

As well as Richard Burton, Harry Winston had also been an under-bidder at the sale. But Burton was not finished yet and was determined to acquire the diamond. So, speaking from a pay-phone of a well-known hotel in southern England, he spoke to Mr. Kenmore's agent. Sandwiched between the lounge bar and the saloon, Burton negotiated for the gem while continually dropping coins into the phone. Patrons quietly sipping their drinks would have heard the actor's loud tones exclaiming "I don't care how much it is; go and buy it." In the end Robert Kenmore agreed to sell it, but on the condition that Cartier was able to display it, by now named the Taylor-Burton, in New York and Chicago.


The Taylor-Burton, with a label of 'the Cartier Diamond', being
displayed at one of the Cartier stores
,

More than 6000 people a day flocked to Carter's New York store to see the Taylor-Burton, the crowds stretching down the block. But an article in the New York Times was distinctly sour on the subject. Under the headline of 'The Million Dollar Diamond' appeared the following comment:

Shortly afterward on November 12th, Miss Taylor wore the Taylor-Burton in public for the first time when she attended Princess Grace's 40th birthday party in Monaco. It was flown from New York to Nice, Italy in the company of two armed guards hired by Burton and Cartier. In 1978, following her divorce from Richard Burton, Miss Taylor announced that she was putting the diamond up for sale and was planning to use part of the proceeds to build a hospital in Botswana. In June of 1979 Henry Lambert, the New York jeweler, stated that he had bought the Taylor-Burton Diamond for $5,000,000.

By December he had sold the stone to its present owner, Robert Mouawad. Soon after, Mr. Mouawad had the stone slightly recut and it now weighs 68.09 carats. Before the recutting, the curved half of the stone's girdle had a very round outline, it is now a little more straight at that end. It also had a small culet, which was made even smaller after the recut.

The Steinmetz Pink

The Steinmetz Pink

The Steinmetz Pink is a diamond weighing 59.60 carats, rated in color as Fancy Vivid Pink by the Gemological Institute of America. The Steinmetz Pink is the largest known diamond having been rated Vivid Pink. As a result of this exceptional rarity, the Steinmetz Group took a cautious 20 months to cut the Pink. It was unveiled in Monaco on May 29 2003, in a public ceremony.



First unveiled in Monaco in May 2003, and briefly worn around the neck of supermodel Helena Christensen, the Steinmetz Pink was discovered in southern Africa and is the largest Fancy Vivid pink diamond known in the world. Pink diamonds are extremely rare and usually found in much smaller sizes. The Steinmetz Pink weighs 59.60 carats. It has been assessed as Internally Flawless, an extremely rare and coveted clarity grade. Given its extraordinary importance, the Steinmetz Group took approximately 20 months to cut the diamond.

Remarking on the size and weight of this extraordinary diamond, TV's "Dharma and Greg" star Jenna Elfman said, "I can feel the beauty on my chest. You can feel the physical vibrations."

worlds famous diamonds
Actress Jenna Elfman


The Steinmetz Pink is probably the finest pink diamond in the world presently. It was first unveiled in Monaco in May, 2003, and briefly worn around the neck of supermodel Helena Christensen, the gem was discovered in southern Africa and is the largest Fancy Vivid Pink diamond known in the world. Pink diamonds are extremely rare and usually found in much, much smaller sizes. The Steinmetz Pink weighs 59.60 carats and has been graded as Internally Flawless, an extremely rare and coveted clarity grade. Given its extraordinary importance, the Steinmetz Group took approximately 20 months to cut the diamond. A team of eight people worked on fashioning the gem from the 100-carat rough stone. Fifty models were worked on before the cutting even began. One wrong move and the priceless diamond would have shattered. The gem's facet pattern is very unique: it is an oval mixed cut with a step-cut crown and a brilliant cut pavilion.


Actress Jenna Elfman wearing the Steinmetz Pink, set in a pendant.

In the summer of 2003 the stone featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC titled The Splendor of Diamonds, which also included the Millennium Star, the Heart of Eternity, the Allnatt, the Pumpkin, the Moussaieff Red and the Ocean Dream. Remarking on the size and weight of this extraordinary diamond, TV star Jenna Elfman said, "I can feel the beauty on my chest. You can feel the physical vibrations."


Actress Jenna Elfman opens the Splendour of Diamonds Exhibit at the Smithsonian,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Star Diamond of South

History of the Star Diamond Of The South.

Lying west of the mountains of San do Espinoza is a vast plain. Here the river Velma has its source, and the New World's largest diamond its origin. It was picked up in July, 1853, by a Negress at work in the mines of the province of Mines-Geraes, Brazil.

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Star Diamond of South Africa

The diamond, when found, presented the general form of a rhombic dodecahedron with very obtuse angles, and twenty-four natural facets, besides certain faint streaks, pointing at a possible octahedral cleavage. In one of the facets there appeared a somewhat deep depression, in which was formerly inserted an octahedral crystal, which from other symptoms, was evidently a true diamond. On the lower surface were two other indentations of a similar character, but not so deep, one of which revealed traces of from three to four different crystals. On the same side was a flat space, where it had probably been removed from the matrix by alluvial action. There were also perceptible a few black specks, due apparently to the presence of titanic iron or volcanic sand. All these circumstances showed plainly enough that it originally formed one of a group of adamant crystals, fixed in the crevices of certain metamorphic rocks, characteristic of the Brazilian mountain systems.

Such, at least, is the commonly accepted view. But it is unhesitatingly rejected by Bar bot, who has made a special study of this gem, and whose opinion is certainly entitled to consideration. "We are certain," he writes, "that this large hollow was merely a solution of continuity in the crystalline layers, and that the other depressions of a slighter character are due to the same cause. The flat part, which seems and really is cleaved by an accidental cause, formed the point of contact with the matrix." The late M. Dufrenoy supposed that this diamond must have formed part of a group of diamantiferous crystals. In this he was mistaken, for diamonds are produced isolated, in the various parts of the matrix, rarely agglomerated or superimposed, nor grafted one on the other, like the pyrites and crystals of spar and quartz.

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Star Diamond PostStamp

This stone which, according to the usual method of valuation, ought to be worth nearly pound 44,000, was sold in the rough for pound 35,000 and reduced by cutting from 254 1/2 to 125 carats, at an expenditure of close upon pound 500. In the process it assumed an elegant oval form, in which the light is well refracted. It is of unusual length, 35 millimeters by 29 millimeters broad, and 19 in thickness. These measurements, as Bar bot remarks, might seem to imply a magnitude superior even to that of the "Regent." Yet this gem is really 13 carats lighter, a fact explained by the perfect harmony of proportions exhibited by the "Regent," and which are missing in the "Star of the South." Nevertheless, it is a pure stone and has, on the whole, been handled with great judgment, although the best possible advantage has not perhaps, been taken of its natural forms. The cutter was Orangery, of Mr. Cortes's establishment at Amsterdam, and in his hands the diamond lost rather more than half of its original weight. The reflected light is perfectly white, but, strange to say, it assumes by refraction a decided rose tint, very agreeable to the eye. This probably unique phenomenon is due, no doubt, to the peculiar prismatic form imparted to the crystal, perhaps unconsciously, by the cutter.

After its latent beauties were thus revealed to the world, this superb gem was purchased by Mess rs. Halphen, and a few other merchants in Paris, who had constituted themselves a syndicate for the purpose. By them it was named the "Estrella do Sud," or "Star of the South." Before reaching them, it had passed in its rough state through several hands, all of whom were more or less benefited by its possession. Thus, the Negress, by whom it was discovered in 1853, was rewarded, according to the usual practice in Brazil, with her freedom, and to this was afterward added the further boon of a pension for life, in recognition of the exceptional size and value of her "find." Yet her master, Casimiro de Tal, was at first so little conscious of its true value, that he was induced to part with it for the relatively nominal sum of pound 3,000. The purchaser deposited it in the Bank of Rio de Janeiro, receiving an advance of no less than pound 30,000 on its security alone.

The stone ultimately reached the above-mentioned Paris Syndicate, by whom it was shown in the Dutch department of the London Exhibition of 1862, and in that of Paris in 1867. On both occasions it attracted great attention, and its fame reached the remotest corners of the globe. It was soon afterwards forwarded to India, where a bid of pound 110,000 was made for it by a large house on behalf of a native rajah. After considerable negotiation, the parties being unable to agree on the terms, the transaction fell through, and the stone was returned to Messrs. Halphen, who acted throughout in the name of the Syndicate, and not on their own account as is usually supposed.

During the exhibition of the gem in India, glowing accounts of its rare size and beauty had reached the late ex-Gaikwar of Baroda, next to the eccentric Charles, Duke of Brunswick, the greatest diamond fancier of modern times. This prince gave a commission, which was ultimately entrusted to Mr. E. Dresden, of London and Paris, to buy the Star of the South for eight lachs of rupees, or pound 80,000, Mr. Dresden, thereupon, applied through Mr. Halphen, to the Syndicate, who, although they had already declined pound 110,000, after some poulterers were induced to accept the Gaikwar's offer. On this subject we were favored on June 14, 1881, with a communication from Mr. Dresden, the subjoined extract from which will be found peculiarly interesting:

"A few years after the death of the late Emperor Napoleon, his Empress sold through Smith, Fleming and Co., her famous collection of diamonds (amongst which were a pair of splendid drops), to that same ruler of Baroda, so that he now possesses a matchless quantity of diamonds, including the Star of the South, which I had the commission to buy, and for which I paid Halphen in Paris two million francs (pound 80,000), inclusive, of course, of the mountings, &c., which were very costly."

I Having tried a similar expedient to get rid of the British resident, Colonel Phayre, whose presence in Baroda acted as an inconvenient check on his sanguinary propensities, the Gaikwar was arraigned before a specially constituted tribunal, found guilty, and deposed from the throne of his ancestors by a mandate from the beneficent lady paramount of India.



The Star of the South


Star of The South Diamond

The 128.48-carat Star of the South is one of the world's most famous diamonds. Discovered in 1853, it became the first Brazilian diamond to receive international acclaim. The stone was graded as VS-2 in clarity and Fancy Light Pinkish-Brown in color. It was also determined to be a type IIa diamond.

It was the custom in the Bagagem Diamond Mines in Brazil for a slave worker who found a stone of mentionable size to be rewarded with his freedom which offered him the opportunity to work for a salary. In addition he might be given clothes, tools and in some cases a procession in his honor and during the ceremony might be crowned with flowers. All depending on the value of the stone found. This was done to encourage honesty amoung the workers. There were also several punishments established for those who were caught smuggling diamonds out.

In 1853 a slave woman while working in the mine discovered a 261.88-carat diamond. For this she was reward not only her freedom but in addition a life income. Yet apparently not aware of its true value, her master was induced to sell it for the modest sum of £3000, after which the purchaser disposed of it in Rio de Janeiro for $30,000.

The rough stone passed through many hands before it was sold to Costers of Amsterdam for $35,000 and cut to a 128.48-carat stone losing over half its original weight. The cutting cost was $2500. It was cut into a cushion-shaped stone with a faint pinkish-brown hue.

It was purchased by Halphen & Associates of Paris and was given the name the Star of the South. They displayed the stone at the London Exhibition in 1862, and in Paris in 1867 making it quite famous. At this time, the syndicate was offered £110,000 by an unknown Indian rajah, but the offer was declined. Later, for reasons not divulged, it was sold to Mulhar Rao, the Gaekwar of Baroda, for £80,000, or about $400,000.


in 1948, Sita Devi, the Maharani wearing a star diamond of south neckless

The Gaekwar gave the commission for this transaction to E.H. Dresden, who made the original purchase of the well-known English Dresden Diamond. In 1934, the potentate's son told Robert M. Shipley, the American gemologist, that both the Star of the South and the English Dresden were mounted in a necklace among his family's jewels.


Khande Roe, Gaekwar of Baroda, had this necklace made to display both the
Star of the South and the 78.5-carat English Dresden below it.


The Shah Diamond

Shah Diamond

History

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Akber/Jehangir's Shah Diamssond/Neckless

The Akbar Shah diamond is a historic diamond of the early 17th century associated with the great Mogul Emperor Akbar the Great and his successors Jehangir Shah and Shah Jehan. The diamond gets its name from Emperor Akbar (1556-1605), whose name is inscribed on the diamond in Arabic. The English translation of this inscription reads as follows :- Shah Akbar, Shah of the world, 1028 A.H.

akbar-the-great-emperor-of-india

Akbar the great King of Sub continent

Characteristics of the diamond

"The Great Diamonds of the World," in which the diamond is said to have weighed 120 Arabic carats or 116 English carats. It is also said to have adorned one of the eyes of the peacock in the renowned peacock throne of Shah Jehan. Besides this nothing is said about the color, clarity or the shape/cut of the diamond. Being a diamond of Indian origin we may assume the color of the stone to be white or colorless, one of the commonest colors of most of the historic Indian diamonds, that originated in the diamond mines of the Southern India, including the famous Golconda diamonds.

Jahangir Shah Mogul Emperor

Jahangir Shah Mogul King

Earlier Details

In every respect a very remarkable stone the "Akbar Shah" entirely disappeared about the close of the seventeenth century, but it has again recently come to light. Thanks to information courteously communicated to us by Messrs George Blogg & Co. of London, we are enabled to trace its history back to the famous Mogul Emperor Akbar Shah, apparently its first owner. It remained in the Mogul's treasury till the time of Shah Jehan, by whom it was beautifully engraved in Arabic characters on both sides. After its long disappearance it suddenly came to light again a few years ago in Turkey, where it was known by the name of "Shepherd Stone." But the two inscriptions left no doubt as to its true origin. Mr. George Blogg who purchased it at Constantinople, in February 1866, was told at the time that according to the tradition, it formed one of the eyes of the Peacock Throne, destroyed by Nadir Shah. By him it was brought to London, where it was re-cut to a drop as the most advantageous form by the late Mr. L. M. Auerhaan. It was then sold by Messrs Blogg to the notorious Gaekwar of Baroda, in 1867 for 3 ½ lacs of rupees (£35,000), and now lies hidden away with the other treasures accumulated by that prince during his oppressive reign.

The stone weighed originally 120 Arabic or 116 English carats. But in the hands of the cutter it was reduced to about 71 or 72 carats, and during the process the two inscriptions were totally destroyed. Facsimile copies however were first taken and are here appended with the English Translations :-

1) Shah Akbar -Shah of the world - 1028 A. H.

2) To the Lord of the Two Worlds - 1039 A. H. - Shah Jahan

The date on No 1, 1028 A. H. corresponds to 1650 A. D. But Akbar who succeeded Humayun in 1556, died in 1605. Hence the Inscription could not have been engraved by Akbar himself. The date obviously indicates the year when Shah Jahaan caused it to be made, while the terms of the inscription record the fact that the stone had belonged to Akbar. The second inscription was evidently added eleven years later on, also by Shah Jehan, the then owner who reigned from 1627 to 1666, his reign thus covering both dates.

The year 1028 A. H. he says corresponds to 1650 A. D. which is not correct. It actually corresponds to 1619 A. D.

He says that Shah Jehan reigned from 1627 to 1666, which is also incorrect. Shah Jehan's period of rule is actually from 1627 to 1658.

The period of reign of the Mogul Emperors involved according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica are as follows :-

1) Akbar Shah or Emperor Akbar the Great :- 1556 -1605

2) Jahangir Shah or Emperor Jahangir :- 1605 - 1627

3) Emperor Shah Jahaan :- 1627 - 1658

Thus the year 1028 A. H. in the first inscription which is equivalent to 1619 A. D. actually corresponds with the period of rule of Jahangir Shah, 14 years after the death of Akbar the Great. Thus the first inscription must have been engraved under the instructions of Jahangir Shah, who perhaps would have been keen in perpetuating the memory of his great father.

The year 1039 A. H. in the second inscription is equivalent to 1630 A. D. This corresponds with the period of rule of Emperor Shah Jahaan, just three years after he ascended the throne. Shah Jahaan had a penchant for inscribing his name on diamonds, and his name appears on two other famous diamonds of the Mogul period, the Shah diamond, and the Taj Mahal diamond.

The next question is how the diamond belonging to the Mogul Emperors eventfully reached the west. If as stated in Edwin Streeter's account the Akbar Shah diamond formed one of the eyes of the renowned Peacock Throne of Shah Jahaan which was dismantled by Nadir Shah of Persia, then after Shah Jahan, the diamond must have descended down the line of the following Mogul Emperors, until it reached Muhammad Shah in 1719.

1) Emperor Aurangzeb - 1658 to 1707.

2) Bahadur Shah - 1707 to 1712.

3) Jahandar Shah - 1712 to 1713.

4) Farruk Siyar - 1713 to 1719.

5) Muhammad Shah - 1719 to 1748.

It was during the reign of Muhammad Shah in February 1739, that Nadir Shah, the ruler and conqueror of neighboring Persia, who was successful in creating a vast empire that stretched from the Indus river to the Caucasus mountains, invaded Northern India and captured Delhi and Agra after defeating the forces of Muhammad Shah. Nadir Shah's forces sacked Delhi and Agra, and eventually when his army left in May 1739, carried with them a booty estimated at 70 crores (700 million rupees), which helped him to exempt all Iranians from taxes for the next three years. His plunder included most of the crown jewels of the Mogul Emperors which consisted of the Koh-i-Noor, the Darya-i-Noor, Nur-ul-Ain, and the renowned Peacock Throne of Shah Jahaan.

Modern Details

After Nadir Shah's assassination in 1749. most of his treasures were stolen by his close associates and commanders. Some of them were lost forever, but some were recovered later by the founder of the Qajar dynasty Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar. The Peacock throne was also dismantled after Nadir Shah's death and the jewels in the throne were stolen. The Akbar Shah diamond which was mounted on the throne was also lost in the process.

Nadir Shah

Nadir Shah

The diamond that was stolen in the 1740s eventually appeared in Istanbul in Turkey in 1866, and was purchased by Mr. George Blogg of London, who got the stone re-cut into a drop-shaped diamond of 71 to 72 carats, which also unfortunately erased the two inscriptions on the diamond. The diamond was later sold to Mulhar Rao, the Gaekwar of Baroda, and had remained in the Gaekwar family until as recently as 1988, when Fatehsinhrao Gaekwad and his wife Shantadevi had declared the diamond together with the Star of the South diamond, and Empress Eugenie, as part of their valuables in the wealth tax returns for 1988.

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Nader Shah's Diamond
Other Details

The Diamond Shah is 88,7 carat 3 cm long, yellow diamond, extremely clear. This diamond was found in Central India, probably in 1450.

It was rendered to the shah court in Ahmad nagar. In 1591, Shah Nizam ordered carving on one of the facts of the diamond: Burhan-Nizam-Shah Second. Year 1000.

In the same 1591, the ruler of the Northern India, the Great Mogul Akbar, occupied Ahmad nagar and seized the diamond. After Akbar grandson, Shah Jehan came to the throne of Great Moguls, he commanded to carve another inscription: "The son of Jehangir-Shah Jehan-Shah. Year 1051". By the modern calendar, it was 1641. The son of Jehan-shah Aureng-Zeb hung the diamond above his throne and encircled it with rubies and emeralds. Till 1738, the diamond Shah was kept in Delhi.

In 1738, Nadir Shah attacked India, seized the diamond, and took it to Persia. In 1824, the third inscription appeared on the third facet: "The ruler of the Kadgar-Fath ali-shah Sultan. Year 1242".

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Shah's Diamond

In 1829, Russian diplomat and writer Alexandr Griboyedov was murdered in the capital of Persia, Tehran. The Russian government demanded severe punishment of those responsible. In fear, the court of Shah Fath Ali Shah sent the Shah's son Hosrov-Mirza to Saint Petersburg, where he gave the Shah diamond to the Russian Tsar as a present. Thus, the Shah diamond came to the Kremlin Diamond Fund, where it is exhibited as one of Seven Historical Gems.



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