The story of The Star of the South begins in the mines of Estrela du sol (a municipality in Brazil which is also a name by which the stone is known) where it was discovered by a woman who was a slave to the miner.
(Star of the South; image courtesy of Pinterest)
This find was rewarded with freedom and an income that was apparently enough to last her a lifetime. This diamond in the rough (uncut) passed through a few hands that didn’t quite recognize it for its actual worth; until it was in the possession of Costers of Amsterdam and was cut to a 128.48-carat stone in the shape of a cushion; which also means that it lost more than half of its original weight. The stone was graded as VS-2 in clarity and is also famous for its faint pinkish-brown hue.
The diamond then made its way into the hands of Halphen & Associates where it was actually christened Star of the South. They displayed it in London and Paris over a period of years which led to its increased fame.
Eventually the Diamond was bought by Malhar Rao Gaekwad; the then ruler of Baroda, for a price that was around £80,000.
(Maharani Sita Devi in the diamond necklace that had the English Dresden and the Star of the South; image courtesy of Pinterest)
Malhar Rao Gaekwad acquired another famed diamond called the English Dresden Diamond. He had both; the English Dresden and its sister stone – The Star of the South, set in a breath-taking beautiful diamond necklace. Maharani Sita Devi Sahib is seen wearing the gorgeous diamond necklace in a photograph taken on her husband’s birthday in 1948.
(The Diamond Necklace; image courtesy of Pinterest)
The necklace was purchased by Cartier (a French luxury goods conglomerate company) from Rustomjee Jamsetjee (Baronet) of Mumbai in 2002; which is when it was last seen on Indian shores.