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Dresden Green Diamond


(L to R: Replica of the Dresden Green, the Dresden Green in its hat clasp setting; image courtesy of Pinterest.)

The earliest mention of this particular jewel was somewhere in the 1700s. The discovery of the rare green diamond took place in the mines of Kollur, Andhra Pradesh. It got its name; the Dresden Green from the place of the same name. Dresden is the Capital of Saxony, a state in Germany. The diamond is said to have been on display in Dresden for about two centuries. Mentions of the diamond have been made in articles and letters that were written or published in the 18th century.

The Dresden Green is a 41 carats (8.2 g) diamond that is naturally green. On being studied by the Gemmological Institute of America, it was found to be of a superior quality, not to be found as often amongst its kind. IIa type which is classified as a percentage short of a completely natural diamond devoid of impurities and such diamonds are usually colourless which makes the Dresden Green all the more special. Long exposure to beta and gamma radiation (we’re talking about years) is what causes the entire stone to turn green colour; also known as the irradiation of diamonds.


(The Dresden Green accompanied by the Dresden White in its hat clasp design; image courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

The Dresden Green has since been a part of the contents housed by the Green Vault that was created at the behest of Frederick Augustus I. After the originally designed ornament featuring the jewel came apart, Frederick Augustus II had the court jeweller design a second ornament; the Decoration of The Golden Fleece which held both, the Dresden Green and the Dresden White. In the 1970s this ornament too fell apart and the Dresden Green was finally incorporated into a beautiful hat clasp design.


The Archduke Joseph Diamond


(The Archduke Joseph August; image courtesy of Wikimedia.)

Archduke Joseph August (who reigned from 1872 to 1962), a prince of the Hapsburg Dynasty was the first recorded owner of the diamond which is why the diamond got this name. Originally the diamond weighed 78.54 carats but was later cut down and now weighs 76.45 carats. It is a colourless diamond with a high internal clarity cut in a rectangular cushion shape that comes from the Kollur mines, Andhra Pradesh.


(The Archduke Joseph Diamond; image courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

The diamond was eventually passed down to his son, years later it was safely locked away in a vault during the Second World War. It resurfaced at Christie’s during an auction in Geneva, 1993 and then again in another auction by the same Auction house in 2012 where it was sold for a world record price; more than three times the price of $6.5m which is what it was sold for in 1993.

It is now in the care of Molina Fine Jewellers owned by Alfredo J. Molina.


The Florentine Diamond


(Replica of the Florentine diamond by Scott Sucher who is a stone cutter and an expert in faceting replicas of famous diamonds; image courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

This diamond was known by a host of names, some of which are the Tuscan, the Tuscany Diamond, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Austrian Diamond and the Austrian Yellow Diamond. It was however, famous as the Florentine diamond. The jewel was a complex and irregular, nine-sided, 126-faceted double rose cut yellow diamond that weighed 137.27 carats (27.454 g).

(L to R: Drawing of the Florentine diamond by Tavernier, drawings of the Florentine diamond by  Max Bauer from his 1904 book – Precious Stones; images courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

The history of this diamond is disputed but as per records found in the writings of Jean Baptiste Tavernier who was a French jeweller and traveller. According to Tavernier’s notes, the jewel was one among many possessions of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1657. It made its way into the collection of the Habsburg Crown Jewels in the Hofburg in Vienna during the early 1900s. The stone is said to have been stolen from Charles I of Austria at some point and was apparently brought to the United States in the 1920s where it was re-cut and sold.

At present there isn’t any knowledge of the Florentine Diamond’s whereabouts.