A Touch of Dutch Sparkle

The following article appears courtesy of Israeli Diamond Industry Blog

Author: Roe Kalb

The history of one of the most famous diamonds once part of the Dutch Crown Jewels is somewhat ambiguous: the diamond in question – dubbed the “Queen of Holland”, after Queen Wilhelmina, who ruled between 1890 and 1948 – was a 135.92-carat cushion-cut diamond owned by Dutch firm F. Friedman & Company, which cut it in 1904 and named it “in memory of one of the greatest rulers of modern Netherlands.”

The exquisite gem was featured in the 1925 Paris Exhibition of Arts and Industry.

As for the origin of the royal stunner, it is believed it was mined in South Africa, but no one really knows how it came to arrive in Amsterdam. The common theory is that it made its way roughly at the same time as numerous other South African diamonds arrived at the Netherlands.

Nevertheless, some industry experts think the Queen of Holland is a Golconda stone. Although white, the diamond has a definite blue tint and the Gemological Institute of America graded it a D color, internally flawless diamond – one of the largest of that quality known.

Golconda possibilities aside, the diamond has clear Indian lineage: in 1930, the diamond attracted the attention of Shri Kumar Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, the Maharaja of Nawanagar. He purchased the Queen of Holland and asked jewelry giant Cartier to set it as the centerpiece in the magnificent Ceremonial Necklace of the Prince.

Cartier ended up buying the necklace back from the maharaja’s family in 1960. In 1978 the diamond was re-cut, with minor alterations, from 136.25 carats to its present weight. The gem is now owned by Robert Mouawad Private Museum. 

 

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