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The World's Famous and Historic Diamonds Capture the Imagination

Aug 16, 2008
People have long sought after diamonds. Ever since man first discovered how to cut and polish gemstones they found or dug from the earth, diamonds have been considered highly valued. According to most historians, the first diamonds were discovered near India, which has a long and rich history with precious stones and jewelry. Here is a brief look at some of the more famous - and infamous--diamonds.

Archduke Joseph Diamond

The Archduke Joseph Diamond is one of the Golconda diamonds, produced from the ancient Indian mine. What makes it unique is the color and clarity. Measuring 74.65 carats and rated a flawless D, the diamond is a family heirloom of the Hasburg Family from Hugary. Originally the property of Joseph of Alcsut the Archduke, Joseph was a part of the Hungarian Government. During World War II, the diamond was put into hiding in France. Its whereabouts remained unknown until 1961 when it went on acution and sold for 6.4 million dollars. Today, it is set in a remarkable necklace and is often lent to celebrities for special functions. In 2002, Celine Dion wore the necklace on her return performance on CBS.

Allnat Diamond

Currently in the "Splendor of Diamonds" collection at the Smithsonian Museum, the Allnat Diamond is a cushion cut fancy vivid yellow diamond. Prior to 1950 there is not recorded history for this diamond. Experts guess it came from the premier diamond mine in South Africa. In 1950 Major Allnat commissioned Cartier to make a setting for the diamond. It sold at auction for more than 3 million dollars in 1996. The stone was re-cut from 102.07 carats to 101.29 carats.

Hope Diamond

The previous record holder for being the largest faceted diamond, the Hope Diamond is perhaps the most well known of all diamonds. It was originally known as the Tavernier Blue which was a crudely cut triangular diamond. According to legend, the Hope Diamond was stolen from the Indian statue of Sita and purchased by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier around 1660. It is said to have been cursed by the Hindu god because financial ruin or sudden death occurred to many who owned it.

The diamond has passed through the hands of King Louis XIV, who presented it to Marie Antoinette; Henry Philip Hope whose family faced financial troubles; and the family of Evelyn Walsh McLean, who also sold the diamond to settle outstanding debts. The stone was eventually sold to legendary jeweler Harry Winston who had the lower portion of the stone cut to increase its brilliance. After including the diamond in his traveling exhibit, Winston donated the diamond to the Smithsonian Institute where he sent it through the U.S. postal service in plain brown wrapper. In 2005, new computer research proved that the Hope Diamond was indeed the French Blue that was stolen from the jewelry collection of Marie Antoinette.

Koh-i-Noor Diamond

The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was originally the largest cut diamond in the world. It passed through the hands of both Indian and Persian rulers and was eventually seized by the United Kingdom when the country took control of the region. Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli sent the diamond as a gift to Queen Victoria. The stone was set into the Crown of the Queens Consort and was first worn by Queen Alexandra, then Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. The diamond is currently part of the collection of Crown Jewels.

Tiffany Diamond

One of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered, the Tiffany Diamond was discovered at the Kimberlite mine in South Africa in 1878. Originally 287 carats, the diamond was cut and polished into a cushion shape and classified as a fancy yellow. Part of the collection at the Smithsonian Museum, the Tiffany Diamond is also part of the promotion material for the film Breakfast at Tiffany's featuring Audrey Hepburn.

The Pandora Jewelry collection of charm bracelets and complementing jewelry makes a woman feel as if she's wearing her own priceless treasure. Women can create their own look and style with more than 600 beads, charms, cultured pearls, and semiprecious stones. Each item in the Pandora collection is a handmade Danish design in 14K gold or sterling silver.

The company is also famous for its philanthropy through its sponsorship of two major organizations, The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Mississippi Hurricane Recovery Fund. They designed a bead especially for each foundation. A portion of the profits from the sale of each custom bead is donated to the foundation. Pandora Jewelry has donated more $50,000 to our sponsored organizations.
About the Author
Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora bracelets, Pandora charms and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, Lewis Jewelers, 2000 West Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 877-88-LEWIS or visit the website.
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