|De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited produced a 428 carat light yellow octahedral diamond in March 1888. With a finished weight of 234.65 carats, the cushion cut "De Beers" is the seventh largest faceted diamond in the world. |
The Maharaja, Bhupinder Singh, of Patiala in the Punjab region of India, bought the gemstone in 1889. In 1925, the Maharaja commissioned Cartier to set the De Beers diamond as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that became known as the Patiala Necklace. In its original form, the necklace was 962 carats contained in 2,930 diamonds and other precious stones. It was completed in 1928 and is one of the most spectactular and expensive pieces of jewellery ever made.
|The last sighting of the complete necklace was in 1946 when it was worn by the son of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja Yadavinder Singh. Fifty two years later the necklace was discovered in a second-hand jewellery shop in London by a Cartier representative. All the big stones in the necklace, which included the De Beers diamond and the seven other big diamonds ranging from 18 to 73 carats, and the rubies had all been disposed of. The remnants of the Patiala Necklace was bought by Cartier. It took four years to restore the necklace to it's former glory.|
On May 6th, 1982 the 'De Beers' diamond came up for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva. The top bid of $3.16 million remained below the undisclosed reserve price.
| The necklace was displayed by Cartier across the world to rave reviews. The New York Times wrote gushingly “The crowds are lining up in front of Cartier on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, but they are not your average New York Christmas shoppers.|
They are passers-by staring, aghast, at a fabulous piece of antique jewelry. It’s not even for sale. Nor was it made to satisfy a beautiful woman. It is an ornament made to adorn the chest of a man”.