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Precious stones
Semi-precious stones
Technical information
History of the stones
History of the stones
The Cullinan
Cullinan 1 Cullinan is the largest diamond ever found (3106 carats: size of a fist). It was discovered in Premier Mine in South Africa in 1905, mine belonging to Thomas Cullinan. Its sending in London in 1907 is rather unexpected: a lure was set up (ship with a strongly armed convoy) whereas diamond was quite simply sent by the post office out of ordinary package! In Amsterdan, Joseph Asscher was charged to cut the diamond. After having lengthily studied diamond, it began its cut on February 10, 1908: with the first blow, it was the steel knife which broke into two! But he managed with the second knife to cleave diamond in three parts: the two larger pieces gave Cullinan I (photograph) and Cullinan II. Its task finished on October 13, 1908. The total production was 9 principal stones (Cullinan I to IX), 96 glares and several carats of rough ends.

The Sancy
Sancy The Sancy, diamond of 55 carats originating in the Indies, was, known as the legend, found on Charles the Bold one at the time of its death. It was then the property of Nicolas Harlay de Sancy (minister of Henri IV), who gave him his name, then it was sold to Jacques 1st of England, then returned in Mazarin which bequeathed it to the crown of France. It was stolen with the revolution, then it reappeared about 1828 in a Russian family. It was repurchased at the beginning of the century by the Astor family of London, then by the Museum of Louvre in 1976 !

The Hope
Hope In the same way, The Hope, blue diamond of 44.5 carats originating in the Indies, having belonged to Louis XIV, were stolen with the revolution in the National Furniture Depository. He was recut, then sold to sir Hope, banker in London, who gave him its name. Repurchased by Cartier, then sold to Mrs Mac Lean, who sold it to Harry Winston, who made of it gift in Smithsonian Institute of Washington where it is always exhibited !