The De Beers Diamond
The De Beers
Weight: 234.65 carats
The De Beers diamond was found in theKimberly
mines in 1888, not long after the formation of the De Beers Consolidated Mines
Limited. The rough stone, a light yellow octahedral crystal, weighed 428.50 old
carats (pre 1913 non-metric carat) and measured 47.6 mm through its longest
axis and 38.1 mm square. The De Beers is the 8th largest faceted diamond in the
After its display in Paris the
Maharaja of Patiala bought the De Beers. In 1928 Cartier of Paris set it as the
centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that came to be known as the Patiala Necklace.
The necklace originally contained about 2,930 diamonds weighing about 962.25
carats. At the end of the Maharadja’s, the Patiala Necklace disappeared. In
1998, a person found the remnants of it in a secondhand jewelry shop in London.
All the big stones, including the De Beers were gone. Cartier bought the
remains of the necklace and spent 4 years restoring it. They tried to recreate
the original look by replacing the missing diamonds with topazes and white
sapphires, with disappointing results. They finally decided to replace them
with cubic zirconia.
On May 6th, 1982, the De Beers diamond reappeared and was offered for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva. It didn’t reach its undisclosed reserve and was sold in private treaty. The current owner is unknown.
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