Lessons 1-7

Lessons 1-7 - D iamond Encrustations Perhaps some of the...

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Diamond Encrustations Perhaps some of the most well-known and iconic diamonds familiar to the Western world are those of the British Crown Jewels, which, not surprisingly, have been incrementally accumulated over many centuries. The Crown Jewels are also home to faceted pieces of the largest diamond rough ever found - The Cullinan Diamond. The original weight of the Cullinan rough was 3106 carats and yielded nine significant stones, 96 smaller stones and some extra 'bits and pieces'. The nine significant stones were given the names Cullinan I through IX and reside with the British Royal Family and Crown Jewels. The Cullinan I (530.2 carats), also known as the Star of Africa, is mounted in the Royal Scepter and the Cullinan II (317.40 carats) is mounted in the Imperial State Crown. The "smaller" Cullinan III and IV, 94 and 64 carats respectively, are set together in a single brooch. We'll read about the Cullinan Diamonds in a later section. Another famous diamond is the Hope Diamond. This stone is most remarkable because of its deep blue colouration and lack of internal flaws – something that rarely comes together in such a great size! It weighs 45.52 carats, shows VS1 clarity, and its cut is described as a Cushion Antique Brilliant. It was most likely mined in India from the Golconda region and was first sold to King Louis XIV in 1668 by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier. It has changed hands a number of times but currently sits in the Smithsonian Institution's National Gem Collection . Because of its remarkable nature and long history, there are more than 5 books devoted to it and many articles on the topic. Our textbook also includes details of this infamous 9 gram stone. Diamonds like the Hope, Koh-I-Noor and Cullinans are hard to value – how exactly do you put a price on the Queen Mother's centerpiece stone? And what scenario would unfold that prompts the British Crown to sell such iconic pieces? To approximate the value of these stones we could look at some of the most expensive stones ever sold, but even then, it is not a true comparison. The historic blue Wittlesbach Diamond has a history stretching back to the 17 th century and has been passed through many royal families. It weighs 35.56 carats and is the current record holder for the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction (held in December of 2008). Christie's is the proud auctioneer of this gem, and the reported total price for this stone came to $24.3 million USD, which translates to ~$680,000 per carat. The previous largest price for a diamond was a 100.10 carat stone (D colour, IF, pear shape) that sold for $16.5 million USD in 1995. The highest price per carat for an unset stone is likely the
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0.95 carat Hancock Red Diamond that sold for ~$925,000 USD per carat. If we use $680,000 USD per carat as a gauge for other infamous stones, then the Cullinan I has an estimated minimum value of $360 million USD. Top Ten Diamonds By Size
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Lessons 1-7 - D iamond Encrustations Perhaps some of the...

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