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Wittelsbach Diamond

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(The Wittelsbach-Graff; image courtesy of Wikimedia.)

Also known as the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, this jewel was discovered in the Kollur Mines of the Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh in India. It presently weighs 31.06 carats (6.212 g) and is a gorgeous deep blue in colour. The original diamond is said to have been 35.56 carats (7.112 g) and was known as Der Blaue Wittelsbacher. The 1700s make mention of the diamond in Munich when Archduchess of Austria Maria Amalia married Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.

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(The Bavarian crown that held the Wittelsbach; image courtesy of Luxuries.com)

The Wittelsbach Diamond first graced the Order of the Golden Fleece belonging to the Bavarian Elector in 1945.  Maximilian IV Joseph von Wittelsbach took the throne as King of Bavaria in 1806 and he had a crown designed specifically to hold the diamond. The diamond stayed atop the crown until 1921 which is where it was last seen publicly. The World Expo was held in Brussels in 1958 and the diamond was put on exhibit. In 2008 the diamond was sold to jeweller Laurence Graff. In 2010 Graff had the stone recut (a decision that was met with a lot of heavy criticism) and it lost 4.45 carats (890 mg). It was renamed the Wittelsbach-Graff diamond.

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(The Wittelsbach-Graff diamond in the hands of Laurence Graff; image courtesy of Smithsonian Mag.)

Re-evaluation of the jewel by the Gemmological Institute of America revealed its colour grade “fancy deep blue”. The clarity of the diamond was upgraded to “internally flawless” (IF).

Taj-i-Mah

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(Lower left corner: The Taj-i-Mah; image courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

Taj-i-Mah means the Crown of the Moon. It is a colourless diamond weighing 115.06 carats (23.012 g), Mughal cut and not mounted. British diplomat Sir John Malcolm has made note of the Taj-i-Mah alongside the Darya-i-noor during his visit to the Iranian capital during the 19th century; saying The Crown of the Moon weighed 146 carats and that it was part of a bracelet. It is possible that the diamond was recut at some point of time in its past after the Diplomat’s visit to Persia.

It is currently a part of the collection of the Crown Jewels of Iran, Tehran.

Briolette of India

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(The Briolette of India; image courtesy of Famous Diamonds.)

This particular diamond was discovered in the Kollur mines of the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh, India. It weighs 90.38 carats (18.076 g) and is a colourless type IIa diamond in a briolette cut (pear shaped with facets). Historians believe that it is the oldest recorded diamond in the world; reports say that the queen consort of King Louis VII of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine, brought the diamond to England in the 12th century.

Historian Hans Nadelhoffer says the Briolette was cut into its shape in Paris after which it was sold to Cartier, who in turn sold it to American financier George Blumenthal in the form of a brooch with two 22-carat emeralds and a 126 grain pearl. It resurfaced in 1950 in the hands of jeweller Harry Winston who sold it to the wife of a Canadian millionaire from whose estate he purchased the diamond again after her death. Harry Winston then exhibited the diamond in 1970 after which he sold it to an unknown European individual.

The diamond is said to be in the possession of a European family presently.

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