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Cullinan I Cullinan II Koh-I-Noor Blue Hope Millenium star Excelsior Centenary Orloff Idol's eye Mogul Premier rose SefaduRegent Golden jubilee Hortensia Tiffany yellow Sancy Taylor - BurtonDresden green Grisogono Cullinan III-IX
Natural Gemstones

The Centenary

The Centenary Diamond was found on July 17th, 1986 at the Premier Mine by the electric X-ray recovery system . The diamond weighed 599.10 carats in the rough. Its discovery was announced on the eve of De Beers one-hundredth anniversary. Master-cutter Gabi Tolkowsky took almost three years to complete its transformation into the world's largest, modern-cut flawless diamond. The Centenary has 75 facets on top, 89 on the bottom and 83 on the girdle, for a total of 247 facets. It weighs 273.85 carats and now forms part of the British Crown Jewels.

At the centenary celebrations of De Beers on March 11th, 1988 in Kimberly an audience of four hundred people listened to the welcoming speech of the chairman, Julian Oglivie Thompson, totally unprepared for his final sentence: “We have recovered at the Premier Mine a diamond of 599 carats which is perfect in color - indeed it is one of the largest top-color diamonds ever found. Naturally it will be called the Centenary Diamond."



Blue Hope


The Blue Hope is a deep steel blue diamond weighing 45,52 carats and was found in the Kollur mine in Golconda, India. The rough crystal weighted 112 carats. Currently the diamond is housed in the Smithsonian Institution.

1668 the French traveller Jean Baptiste Tavernier sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France. The court jeweler Sieur Pitau cut the diamond into a triangular-pear-shaped stone weighing 67.50 carats: The French Blue or the Tavernier Blue. Set in gold the diamond suspended on a neck ribbon for the King to wear on ceremonial occasions. September 11, 1792, during the french revolution, the diamond was stolen. It was taken to Le Havre and then brought to London, where it should be sold but disappeared. In 1824 the diamond appeared in the gem collection of Henry Philip Hope. When Henry Philip Hope died there was a fight for the diamond between three of his nephews. Henry Hope acquired the Hope Diamond and it was displayed in the Great Exhibition of London in 1851 and Paris Exhibition Universelle in 1855. Usually it was kept in a bank vault.

The next owners were:

His wife Adele until March 31 1884.

Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton, who went bankrott. In 1901 he sold the Hope diamond for £29.000 to the London jewel merchant Adolf Weil.

Adolf Weil sold it to Simon Frankel, an diamond dealer who took the diamond to New York, where it was evaluated worth $141.032 (equal to £28.206 at the time).

Frankel sold the diamond to Salomon Habib in Paris for $400.000 in 1908.

Habib sold the Diamond to the jewel merchant Rosenau for equal to $80.000.

1910 Rosenau sold it to Pierre Cartier for 550.000 francs.

1911 Cartier sold it to Evalyn Walsh MacLean. 1947 she died and in 1949 the trustees sold the Blue Hope to the New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

Harry Winston exhibited The Blue Hope in his Court of Jewels. This was a tour of jewels around USA. In August 1958 the diamond was exhibited in the Canadian National Exhibition. The bottom facet was cut to increase the diamond’s brilliance. November 7, 1958 the Blue Hope was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. 1978 Harry Winston died of heart attack.

Now the Diamond belongs to the National Gem Collection in the Smithsonian Institution. 1962 it was exhibited in Paris and 1965 in South Africa. The diamond was shown with a weight of 45,52 carats in the recent exhibitions. The color description of The Hope Diamond is “Fancy dark grayish-blue”: The Blue Hope.




The Orloff

There are so many historical episodes involving the Orloff. First, it may have been set at one time as the diamond eye of Vishnu's idol (one of the Hindu Gods) in the innermost sanctuary temple in Sriangam, before being stolen in the 1700s by a French deserter. However, the deserter just dug one eye from its socket, because he was terror-stricken at the thought of retribution, so he couldn't take the other. He went to Madras, and sold the stone quickly to an English sea-captain for 2,000 pounds.

The time passed, the stone arrived at Amsterdam where the Russian count Grigori Orloff, an ex-lover of Empress Catherine the Great was residing. He heard about rumors of the stone, and he bought the diamond for 90,000 pounds and took it back to Russia for Catherine's favor. The stone has been called the Orloff since then. Catherine received his gift and had it mounted in the Imperial Sceptre. She gave a marble palace to Grigori in exchange for the Orloff. However, Grigori couldn't get Catherine's love. Grigori Orloff passed away at the nadir of disappointment in 1783.

In 1812 the Russians, fearing that Napoleon with his Grand Army was about to enter Moscow, hid the Orloff in a priest's tomb. Napoleon supposedly discovered the Orloff's location and went to claim it. However, as a solider of the Army was about to touch the Orloff, a priest's ghost appeared and pronounced a terrible curse upon the Army. The Emperor, Napoleon scampered away without the Orloff.


Natural Gemstones