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Friday, 14 September 2007
briolette (bre-oh-let"). A pear- or drop-shaped stone with a circular cross section, entirely covered with triangular facets. This form of cutting is very rarely encountered. Briolette of India diamond. The Briolette of India is a legendary diamond of 90.38 carats, which, if the tales about it are true, may be the oldest diamond on record, perhaps older than the Koh-i-Noor. Briolette Reportedly, in the 12th century, Eleanor of Aquitaine, the first Queen of France and later Queen of Eng¬land, brought the stone to England. Her son, Richard the Lionhearted, is said to have taken it on the Third Crusade. It next appeared in the 16th century when Henry II of France gave it to his blonde mistress, Diane de Poitiers. It was shown in one of the many portraits of her while at Fontainebleau. After disappearing for four centuries, the stone surfaced again in 1950, when the jeweler, Harry Winston of New York, bought it from an Indian Maharajah. It was resold to Mrs. I. W. Killam and bought back by Mr. Winston follow¬ing her death about 10 years later. In 1970, Mr. Winston showed the stone at the Diamond Premier for Ameri¬can Fashion Editors. The Briolette of India was sold again in Europe in 1971.
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