Famous Diamonds

By: Jonathan Blocker

A Diamond appraisal is basically a clinical process that is 75% objective and scientific, and 25% subjective, being based on personal judgment. That is because 75% of the criteria used by diamond dealers to evaluate stones prior to purchasing from diamond wholesalers are based on measurements; carat, or mass and weight, color and clarity, whereas the fourth criterion is cut. This is important; certified loose diamonds that are cut properly are worth far more than those that are not.

In short, diamond appraisal is a somewhat dry and academic exercise in which a dollar value is placed on a stone that throughout history has been surrounded by fabulous legends and to which has been attributed mystical and even supernatural qualities. When dealing with diamond wholesalers, it is good to know the business end of matters and know that what you are purchasing are certified loose diamonds that have been subject to a thorough diamond appraisal; however, one should not lose sight of the romance and mystery that surrounds these rare and valuable gems.

The Most Famous of Them All

When it comes to mystery and legend, the Hope Diamond tops them all. It is not the largest diamond ever cut, but has had one of the most convoluted and lengthy histories of any diamond in existence.

Like most certified loose diamonds, the Hope Diamond was cut from a larger crystal, which in this case was the Tavenier Blue, a crudely-cut stone that was allegedly mined in the legendary Golconda region of India and stolen from a statue of the Hindu goddess Seeta.

The Tavenier Blue came into possession of a French traveler by the same name in 1660, and eventually became part of the French Crown Jewels. This diamond was stolen during the French Revolution in 1792. The Hope Diamond, which was cut from the Tavenier Blue, surfaced in England in 1812. It eventually wound up in the collection of one Henry Philip Hope in 1824. The diamond came to the U.S. when a Hope descendant, Francis Hope, married an American actress named May Yohe in 1894. It changed hands several times over the next sixty years before New York diamond dealer Henry Winston donated it to the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains on display.

A diamond appraisal and analysis in 2005 confirmed that the Hope Diamond was indeed a piece of the Tavernier Blue; although it has been said to have a 'death curse,' the fact is that most people who have had possession of the Hope Diamond died of natural causes at advanced ages.

Other Gems of Fame

Other famous diamonds include the Taylor-Burton, tribute to a tragic couple who could live neither together nor apart; at over 68 carats, it fetched $5 million at auction in 1979. Most recently in 2002, the 'Incomparable Diamond' - a huge stone of 407.48 carats - made an appearance on the Internet auction site Ebay. At a reserve price of ?15 million UK pounds - over $30 million US dollars and most likely determined by a diamond appraisal - it is small wonder that the gem has remained unsold.

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