Sunday, 7 July 2013

Famous Diamonds II

The "Taylor-Burton" is a pear-shaped 69.42 carat diamond, sold at auction in 1969 with the understanding that it could be named by the buyer. Cartier of New York successfully bid for it and immediately christened it "Cartier." However, the next day Richard Burton bought the stone for Elizabeth Taylor for an undisclosed sum, renaming it the "Taylor-Burton." In June 1979, it was sold for nearly $3 million and was last reported to be in Saudi Arabia.
The Hortensia is a peach colored stone of 20 carats and was named after Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, who was Josephine's daughter and the stepdaughter of Napoleon Bonaparte. The Hortensia had been part of the French Crown Jewels since Louis XIV bought it. Along with the Regent, it is now on display at the Louvre, Paris.
"The Regent" was discovered in 1701 by an Indian slave near Golconda. It weighed 410 carats in the rough. It was cut into a cushion shaped brilliant of 140.50 carats and was eventually set in the crown Louis XV wore at his coronation. After the French revolution, it was owned by Napoleon Bonaparte who set it in the hilt of his sword. It is now on display in the Louvre.
"The Orloff" is thought to have weighed about 300 carats when it was found. It is now held in the Diamond Treasury of the former Soviet Union in Moscow. One tale told is that the Orloff was set as the eye of a god in the temple of Sri Rangen and was stolen by a French soldier disguised as a Hindu.
The "Koh-i-Noor" ("Mountain of Light") was first mentioned in 1304. It weighed 186 carats and was an oval cut stone. It is believed to have once been set in the famous peacock throne of Shah Jehan as one of the peacock's eyes. Recut in the reign of Queen Victoria, it is among the British Crown Jewels and now weighs 108.93 carats.