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Natural Gemstones


The Golden Jubilee

 

 


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The Golden Jubilee is The world's largest polished diamond, unearthed in 1985 in the Premier mine in South Africa.. Formerly called the Unnamed Brown because of its brown color, is now known as the Golden Jubilee. The fancy yellow-brown diamond weighs 545 carats and was cut from a 700 carat rough diamond. The Golden Jubilee is the largest faceted diamond in the world. The stone was designed and cut by Gabi Tolkowsky, who also cut the Centenary Diamond. . The diamond was considered as a rather ugly stone, but Gabi Tolkowsky produced with special tools and cutting methods a glittering yellow-brown beauty of a diamond. The Unnamed Brown became the Golden Jubilee when King Rama IX of Thailand (also known as King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great) was given the stone to the 50th anniversary of his coronation in 1997. Not many people in Thailand know that the Golden Jubilee is a diamond, as the government decided to tell its people that the Golden Jubilee is a large golden topaz. The economic situation in Thailand hasnít been all that good lately and the news of the purchase of a large diamond would likely irritate the citizens and would probably lower the popularity for the monarchy. The Golden Jubilee is mounted in the royal sceptre of King Rama IX. Tolkowsky 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 Cullinan I

 
The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

The best known yellow diamond the Tiffany was found in the De Beers mine at Kimberly in 1878 and weighed 287.42 carats. The following year it was bought by Charles Lewis Tiffany, the famous Fifth Avenue Jeweler, and was cut in Paris as a cushion-shaped brilliant with 90 facets, cut weight 128.51 carats. The Tiffany Yellow is one of the largest yellow diamonds in existence. Eighty years were to pass after its discovery before the beautiful orange-yellow diamond was set in a piece of jewelry. More than 25 million people are estimated to have seen the great gem in four large expositions: the Chicago Columbian Exposition in 1893, the Pan American Exposition in 1901, the Chicago Century of Progress exposition in 1933-34 and the New York World's Fair in 1939-40. In the latter, it was the highlight of the $14 million collection in the "House of Jewels."

The diamond has been on almost continuous display through the years at Tiffany's. The Tiffany Yellow diamond was mounted in a necklace and worn for the first time as a personal ornament at the Tiffany Ball in Newport, Rhode Island in 1957. The honor of this first wearing went to the Ball's chairwoman, Mrs. Sheldon Whitehouse. It was mounted for the occasion in a necklace of white diamonds. In 1971 the Tiffany returned to South Africa for the exhibition which marked the centennial celebration of the Kimberley 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 their return. The sole hiatus in the otherwise uneventful history of the Tiffany has centred on reported attempts to sell the diamond which was valued at $12,000,000 at the end of 1983.

In 1951 the new chairman of Tiffany's recommended that the gem should be sold. This decision horrified some 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 cheque in full whereas the prospective buyer wished for other financial arrangements to be made. Then in 1972 the New York Times carried an advertisement by Tiffany's, offering to sell the diamond for $5 million. However, in the circumstances it would be as well to recall the story of the eager new salesman who, when he asked what would he get if he sold the famous gem, was promptly told by the head of the firm "Fired". The Tiffany Yellow has never been sold, although for that one brief 24-hour period on November 17th, 1972, a Tiffany ad in the New York Times offered the diamond for sale at $5 million.

The 128.54-carat Tiffany Yellow remains on permanent display on the ground floor of the Tiffany & Co. store in New York City.

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The Idol's Eye

A flattened pear shaped stone the size of a bantam's egg, its polished size is 70.20 carats. Another famous diamond that was once set in the eye of an idol before it was stolen. Legend also holds that it was given as a ransom for Princess Rasheetah by the Sheik of Kashmir to the Sultan of Turkey, who had abducted her. Despite abundant unproven accounts of its early origins, the first authenticated facts of this diamond's history were associated with its appearance at a Christie's sale in London in 1865. At the sale, it was sold to a mysterious buyer later identified as the 34th Ottomon Sultan, Abd al-Hamid II. Hamid II was ultimately defeated by opposition that became known as the Young Turks. One version of events holds that in exile, he entrusted his jewels to a servant who betrayed him and sold them in Paris, including the large diamond known as the "Idol's Eye." The Idol's Eye re-emerged at the end of World War II, when it was acquired by a Dutch dealer, and subsequently by Harry Winston in 1946. Winston sold it to Mrs. May Bonfils Stanton, the daughter of the publisher and co-founder of the Denver Post. It was reported that Mrs. Stanton lived in isolation in a palatial mansion and wore the Idol's Eye to her solitary breakfast every morning. After her death, the diamond went through a succession of owners, until it was sold with two other important stones to a private buyer.

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Natural Gemstones


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