Thursday, December 20, 2012

The DeBeers Diamond

The DeBeers diamond is a light yellow diamond, which was discovered in the famous De Beers mines of South Africa in March 1888. As a raw uncut diamond, the DeBeers diamond weighed a massive 428.5 carats.

Light-yellow DeBeers diamond

It was taken for cutting to Amsterdam (the diamond capital), and lost about 200 carats during the cutting stage, to weigh 234 carats. Today, the DeBeers diamond is the world’s seventh-largest cut diamond. Almost immediately after it was cut, the DeBeers diamond was purchased by the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, who was known for his extravagant lifestyle.

After buying the DeBeers diamond, the Maharaja of Patiala asked renowned jeweller Cartier to set it in a majestic piece of jewellery, befitting of a Maharaja. In 1928, Cartier set the DeBeers diamond in a beautiful ceremonial necklace for the Maharaja of Patiala. This necklace had 2,930 diamonds, weighing a total of 962.25 carats. It later began to be known as the Patiala necklace.

Photo of the restored Patiala Necklace, with a replica of the yellow DeBeers diamond

When India gained Independence from British colonial rule in 1947, the Patiala necklace simply disappeared. It is believed that one of the family members or friends of the Maharaja, took the Patiala necklace with its many jewels, including the light yellow DeBeers diamond, and sold it individually. It was later found in a pawn shop with most of its jewels missing, and was bought by Cartier, who restored it with similar-looking precious stones.

The De Beers diamond was not heard of again, until May 1982, when it was suddenly put up for sale at a Sotheby's auction in Geneva, Switzerland. Here, it was purchased for an astounding $3.16 million.

Other than being the seventh-largest faceted diamond in the globe, the DeBeers diamond is also the second largest faceted yellow diamond, and the biggest yellow diamond in a cushion-cut shape.

What do you think of the light-yellow DeBeers diamond?

Other Large Diamonds Of The World:

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