Excelsior Diamond, Eugenie Blue Diamond, Eureka Diamond, Earth Star Diamond

Excelsior Diamond

Excelsior Diamond

A famous bluish-white diamond found in 1893 at Jagersfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa.
It was the largest known diamond until the Cullinan diamond was found in 1905. It weighed rough 995.20 carats, but was cut in 1903 by I . J . Asscher into 21 brilliant cut stones (10 of which weighed from 69.68 to 13.86 carats), totalling 373.79 carats, a loss in weight of 62.44%, due to the irregular shape of the stone.
The cut stones were all sold separately, many through Tiffany & Co., but the present owners are unknown.

Eugenie Blue Diamond

Eugenie DiamondA heart-shaped, bright-blue, faceted diamond, weighing 31 carats, said to have once belonged to the Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III. It was acquired by Harry Winston, who sold it to Mrs Marjorie Merriweather Post, by whom it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. It is now mounted in a finger ring within a border of small white diamonds.

Eugenie Diamond

An oval brilliant, weighing 51 carats, that was worn by Catherine the Great at her coronation in 1762 and was given by her, c. 1787, to her then favourite, Grigori Potemkin (hence it is sometimes called the ‘Potemkin Diamond’). Later it was purchased from the grand-niece of Potemkin by Napoleon III as a wedding gift for his wife, Empress Eugenie (1826-1920), and was set in a diamond necklace.

After the collapse of the Second Empire in 1870, the diamond was sold to Mulhar Rao, Gaekwar of Baroda. It was later reported as owned by Mrs N.J. Dady of Bombay, but its whereabouts since her death is unknown.

Eureka Diamond

Eureka DiamondFamed as the first diamond to have been found in South Africa. It was found along the Orange River in 1866 by Erasmus Jacobs, a young son of a Boer farmer, and was regarded as a pebble and given away.

Before being identified as a diamond, it came into the possession of John O’Reilly, a travelling trader (hence it is still sometimes called the ‘O’Reilly Diamond’), who sold it to the Governor of Cape Colony, Sir Philip Wodehouse. It was shown at the Paris Exposition of 1867.

In 1946 it was bought at Christie’s, London, by Peter Locan, a London collector, who had it cut from 21.50 carats rough to a 10.73-carat brilliant. It was bought in 1966 by De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd, and was presented by the company to the Parliament of South Africa at Cape Town.

Earth Star Diamond

Earth Star DiamondA diamond of pendeloque shape and cut, noted for its very unusual coffee-brown colour. It weighs 111 .59 carats (cut from a 248.9-carat stone) and is said to be the largest known diamond of such colour. It was reported in October 1979 to be owned by Baumgold Bros, Inc., New York City.