|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 19 September 2007|
Florentine diamond. Once the great yellow diamond of the Medici Family, this historic Indian stone is actually light greenish yellow in color and is fashioned in the form of an irregular, nine-sided, 126-facet double rose cut. It weighs 137.27 carats. Legends surrounding the stone date as far back as 1467, when Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, is said to have been wearing it when he fell in battle. A peasant or foot soldier found it on the Duke's person and sold it for a florin, thinking it was glass, after which it changed hands innumerable times for small sums of money. Pope Julius II is named as
one of the owners. Authentic history begins when Tavernier, the famous French jeweler and traveler, saw the stone among the treasures of the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1657. When the last of the Medici's died, it passed to Vienna through the marriage of Francis Stephan of Lorraine (who later became the Grand Duke of Tuscany) to Empress Maria Theresa and was placed in the Hapsburg Crown. Later, it was displayed in a brooch among the Austrian Crown Jewels in the Hofburg, Vienna; at that time, it was valued at $750,000. After the fall of the Austrian Empire, during World War I, the Florentine was taken by the Imperial Family
into exile in Switzerland. Later, it was thought to have been stolen by a person close to the Family and taken to South America with other gems from the Crown Jewels. After this, it was rumored that the great diamond was brought into the United States in the 1920's and was recut and sold.
As a matter of record, it must be listed with other "lost" renowned Diamonds of the world. Officials at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, where the Florentine was on display prior to 1918 in a hat ornament, stated to the Gemological Institute of America in 1964 that they have no knowledge of the stone's present location. Alternate names are the Tuscan, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Austrian Diamond, the Austrian Yellow Brilliant, and the Austrian Yellow.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 September 2007 )|
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