Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Golconda diamond up for auction

Beau Sancy, an important diamond from the world-renowned Golconda mines, will come under the gavel at Sotheby's auction, Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, in Geneva on May 15. It was worn by Marie de Medici in her crown at her coronation as the Queen Consort of the French king Henri IV in 1610. Weighing 34.98 carats, it is expected to fetch $ 2 million to $ 4 million (approx. Rs 9.80 crore to Rs 19.60 crore).

The modified pear double rose cut diamond, named after the Lord of Sancy Nicolas de Harlay (1546-1629) who first acquired it in Constantinople sometime in mid-1500s, has been passed down through the royal families of France, England, Prussia and the House of Orange-Nassau of the Netherlands. Sharing the details about the historic diamond, Maithili Parekh, Director, Sotheby's India, said, "The Beau Sancy is one of the most fascinating and romantic gems ever to appear at an auction. It is most likely to have originated from the mines near the city of Golconda (modern day Hyderabad), the source of history's best known diamonds like the Hope, the Koh-i-Noor and the Regent."

Parekh adds that the Beau Sancy was bought for 75,000 livres by Henri IV and gifted to his wife. "The queen of France had long desired the stone, particularly after learning that Lord of Sancy had sold a larger stone, today known as the Sancy, to King James I of England. In a testament to the importance the queen placed on the diamond, the Beau Sancy was mounted atop the crown that she wore at her coronation in 1610," informs Parekh.The Beau Sancy will be showcased in Hong Kong, New York, Rome, Paris, London, Zurich and Geneva before the auction.

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