The results of the efforts of the
cutter, however, so displeased Aurangzeb that instead if
rewarding him for his services, he fined him 10,000 rupees and would have
extracted more had the wretched man possessed it. Tavernier makes several
references to the Great Mogul. It is clear that the Great Mogul was the
leviathan of all old Indian diamonds and that it was appreciated as such.
But the mystery remains: what fate could have befallen such a great gem of
which all trace appears to have been lost. Some have suggested that it was
cut into smaller gems.
This almond-shaped stone is the
largest apple-green diamond known. Its green color is attributed to the
crystal’s close contact with a radioactive source at some point in its
lifetime. The Dresden Green, which probably originated in a rough crystal of
100 carats or more, is unique among world-famous gems for not only its
color, but also its elongated shape. The Dresden Green gets its name from
the capital of Saxony where it has been on display for more than 200 years.
Although of Indian origin, nothing was known of the diamond until Frederick
Augustus II of Saxony purchased it at the Leipzig Fair in 1743 for about
$150,000. Set in an elaborate shoulder knot, the stone was exhibited with
the other Crown Jewels of Saxony in the famous Green Vaults under the
Dresden Palace. After World War II, these gems were confiscated by the
Russians, but they were returned to Dresden in 1958, and are again on
display in the palace.
Sefadu was found in Sierra Leonne in 1970 and is
owned by American diamond company Lazare Kaplan. The uncut stone weighs 620
carats which easily makes it one of the worlds largest diamonds.
This 55 carats pear-shaped stone was first owned by Charles the Bold, duke
of Burgundy, who lost it in battle in 1477. The stone is in fact named after
a late owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late
16th century. There are numerous questions regarding how Mr. Sancy obtained
his diamond, but most likely, he acquired it on his travels in the Far East.
Nicholas de Sancy served two
French monarchs loyally: He loaned the diamond to the French
king, Henry III, who strategically placed it on his cap to
conceal his baldness. It was also pledged by Sancy for the purpose of
raising troops in Switzerland. He employed his diamond again on behalf of
his sovereign, now Henry IV, the first of the Bourbon dynasty. By 1596,
Sancy himself was in need of money and eventually sold the large diamond to
King James I of England. In 1625, Charles I disposed of other diamonds but
retained the Sancy, which was taken by Queen Henrietta Maria along with
other jewels in the Royal Treasury. It later came into the possession of
Cardinal Jules Mazirin, acting First Minister of the Crown, who bequeathed
the Sancy and another stone to the French Crown. The Sancy was disappeared
during the French Revolution. in 1782. After the French Revolution, a stone
believed to be the Sancy found its way to a Spanish nobleman, and eventually
in 1828 to Prince Nicholas Demidoff, whose family owned industries and
silver mines in Russia. The Sancy passed to his son, who gave it to his
Finnish bride. Following additional travels around the world, the Sancy was
purchased by William Waldorf Astor in the 1890s for his wife, Lady Astor.
Lady Astor, the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of
Commons, wore the Sancy set in a tiara at numerous state occasions. In 1978,
the four Viscount Astor sold the Sancy, reputedly for $1,000,000. It is now
on view at the Louvre in Paris.
The Spirit of de
The Spirit of de Grisogono at 312.24 carats is the
world's largest cut black diamond, and the world's 5th largest diamond,
period. In a white gold mouting, it is set with 702 white diamonds totalling
36.69 carats. This diamond originally had a rough weight of 587 carats and
was mined several decades ago in west Central Africa before being imported
into Switzerland. It was then cut using the Mogul diamond cutting technique.
This historic cutting method was developed centuries ago in India and can be
seen in a number of historic diamonds, such as the Orlov Diamond in the
Russian Diamond Treasury in Moscow, and several diamonds in the Crown Jewels
of Iran, among them the Taj-I-Mah Diamond.
The Great Mogul, a 279-carat diamond, is another famous Mogul cut diamond,
but sadly, its whereabouts are unknown. The more modern rose cut is a
variation on the old Mogul cut. The entire process from studying the cut
design to executing it on the de Grisogono rough involved more than a year's
work. The Spirit of de Grisogono is described in the report of the Gubelin
Gem Lab as a rare specimen for this type of diamond in view of its great
size. It is the largest natural black diamond which the GGL laboratory has
ever tested. The stone is reported to have since been sold by Fawaz Gruosi
to a private client.