- 400-year-old diamond
The 34.98 carat diamond is currently on display in Paris, and it will move to London and Zurich before it lands in Geneva, where the May 14th auction will be held.
The “Beau Sancy” 400-year-old diamond got its name from Nicholas Harlay de Sancy, A French financier and diplomat who was a collector and dealer of rare diamonds.
The “Beau Sancy” diamond is a perfect, colorless, pear-shaped diamond of just over 34 carats. Given that the diamond was first showed in the late 16th century, it must have been created in the diamond mines of Southern India, which were well-known for producing colorless diamonds of superior clarity.
The 400-year-old diamond has traded many hands throughout its long and storied history.
In 1604, French King Henri IV purchased it from the first owner, the Lord of Sancy, as a gift for his glamorous wife, Marie de Medici, then one of Europe’s wealthiest women.
Following the king’s murder, she fell into poverty and was forced to sell it.
The Beau Sancy is believed to have once belonged to The Lord Sancy, Charles the Bold, King Henri IV of France, Marie de Medicis, and Prince Frederick Henry The Beau Sancy went on to become the centerpiece in the royal crown of Prussia.The jewel is currently owned by the descendants of the last emperor of Germany.
David Bennett, Sotheby’s jewelry chairman, said, “It has a fascinating history, and really is a once-in-a-lifetime sale. When it was made in the 16th century, the pear cut was new, bold, and so it became the most sought-after jewel of its era. Before the ‘Beau Sancy’ all diamonds were rudimentary.”
Now the ‘Beau Sancy’ - one of the world’s oldest, most famous and sought after diamonds in private hands - is about to go up for sale.
Weighing in at 34.98 carats, the sparkling gem with a rare pear cut is expected to fetch up to £2.5million when auctioned at Sotheby’s.‘When it was made in the 16th century, the pear cut was new, bold, and so it became the most sought-after jewel of its era. Before the 'Beau Sancy' all diamonds were rudimentary.’
Such was the diamond's fame that in 1604, French King Henri IV purchased it from the first owner, the Lord of Sancy, as a gift for his glamorous wife, Marie de Medici, one of Europe's richest women.
Following the king's murder, she fell into poverty and was forced to sell the jewel, which was cut from the famous gem mines in the Indian city of Golconda.The diamond eventually made its way through four royal European families, including England's House of Orange. Its most recent owners are the descendants of the last emperor of Germany.
One of the most striking features of the diamond at its 110 identical and symmetrical facets, including the two small table facets.
It was cut using a technique invented by the 'father of modern diamond cutting' Louis de Berquem, who is credited with creating the method of making perfectly symmetrical faces.
Th Beau Sancy diamond is thought to be the first Indian diamond in Europe - originating from one of the diamond mines of the Eastern Deccan region of the country