Rapaport Magazine

The Elites

By Ettagale Blauer
The most famous diamonds in the world carry with them a provenance that is part history and part mystery. Apart from extraordinary size or color, the great diamond treasures are renowned because of their backstories. We want to know who discovered them…who owned them…who gave them up and why.
   Some of these famous gems illustrate the tides of history, the riches and resilience of kings and kingdoms and the seismic shifts in power and influence resulting from political turmoil and palace intrigue. These elite diamonds have also played a role as spoils of war, when victors took control not only of people and territory but also the personal treasuries of the conquered. Diamonds rank very high in this category, representing the most visual — and wearable — evidence of military conquest.
   Because very large, very fine diamonds are also very rare, their travels through time and across geographic borders have been well documented, as they were passed down from generation to generation, from sultanate to king to private collector. The distinctive names acquired by these stones embrace or commemorate some aspect unique to them: their color, size or beauty, place of origin, mysterious disappearance and reappearance, famous owner or some combination of these characteristics.
   The dazzling stones depicted and described on the following pages connect today’s diamond world of auctions and celebrity with the glamour and mystique of the past. It is not always possible to be certain of the path these stones have taken on their journey to the present. History, as it is said, is written by the victor. The diamonds are shown in alphabetical order.  

Article from the Rapaport Magazine - March 2015. To subscribe click here.