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Blog - Grand Auctions

The Jubilee Diamond

Jubilee diamond

The seventh largest diamond in the world again comes from South Africa. In 1895 a rough stone shaped as an irregular octahedron and weighing 650.80 carats was unearthed in the Jagersfontein mine. The following year it was sent to Amsterdam for cutting.

Dom Carlos I of Portugal

At first a 40 carat piece of the diamond was cleaved off which in turn yielded a fine, clean, pear shaped stone of 13.34 carats. This was bought by Dom Carlos I of Portugal as a present for his wife. The remaining piece of diamond was then polished into the Jubilee and weighed 245.35 carats.

Queen Victoria's Jubilee

It was originally planned to present the stone to Queen Victoria who would be celebrating her Diamond Jubilee the following year. In the end, this never came about and the stone remained with its owners, a consortium of London diamond merchants comprising the firms of Wernher, Beit & Co., Barnato Bros. and Mosenthal Sons & Co. They had named the stone, the Reitz, in honour of Francis William Reitz, then president of the Orange Free State in which the Jagersfontein Mine is located. To mark Queen Victoria’s 60th anniversary on the throne however, the stone’s name was changed to, the Jubilee.

Paris Exhibition

In 1900 the consortium who owned the Jubilee displayed it at the Paris Exhibition where it was valued at 7 million Francs. Shortly afterwards Sir Dorabji Jamsetji Tata, the Indian philanthropist and industrialist, bought the diamond. A few years after his death in 1932, Tata’s heirs sent the jewel to Cartier to sell. In 1937 it was purchased by M. Paul-Louis Weiller, the Paris industrialist and patron of the arts. The diamond was set into a brooch along with a number of diamond baguettes to resemble a six pointed star or a stylised turtle.

Mouawad Group

The diamond has subsequently been bought by the Mouawad Group, a privately held multinational jewellery and timepiece company. It has been graded as E colour, one grade away from completely colourless, and VVS2 clarity, only a few grades away from flawless.

Find out about the world's 6th largest diamond.  

If you have any diamonds that you wish to have valued then please contact Simon Rufus at Grand Auctions in Folkestone, Kent for a free auction valuation

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