French Blue: World Famous Diamonds




Between 1671 and 1673, well before it became the Hope diamond, the brilliant-blue French Blue diamond was cut from the Tavernier Blue diamond.

Fact Sheet

• Weight: 68.9 carats
• Dimensions: 31.00mm x 24.81mm x 12.78mm (estimated)
• Colour: blue
• Rough weight: cut from the Tavernier Blue
• Origin: the Tavernier Blue diamond
• Date found: cut in 1671
• Current location: cut into the Hope diamond
 


Under orders from King Louis XIV of France, the gem was cut into a shield-shaped stone weighing almost 69 carats, which was then known as the “Diamante bleu de la Couronne” (Blue Diamond of the Crown), or the French Blue.

It became a part of the French crown jewels and was incorporated into the Order of the Golden Fleece, an ornament containing the French Blue, the 32.62 carat Bazu diamond, several large white brilliant diamonds, and several hundred 0.1-carat diamonds in 1749.

The Golden Fleece was considered the most elegant and valuable piece of jewellery in all of Europe.

It was stolen in 1792, along with many of the French crown jewels, apparently broken up and the French Blue disappeared; however, in 1812, another blue diamond of 44.5 (old) carats surfaced in London. This stone later became known as the Hope diamond as was identified to have been cut from the French Blue.

The legends of ill-fortune following the possessor of this blue beauty are many. From the start Louis XIV was tremendously (and perhaps deservedly) unlucky. The king gave the diamond to Madame de Montespan, but she soon went into royal discard.

Then came a day when a great festival was given in Louis XIV’s honour. Nicolas Fouquet, French director of finance, had planned well for the occasion.

Fouquet borrowed the diamond, hoping to impress the court with his good taste, but it didn’t work out that way.

After the party, Louis XIV had Fouquet arrested for embezzlement, regained the diamond, and Fouquet was made a “quest” of the Crown at the Fortress of Pignerol where he died 15 years later.

Other wearers of the jewel at the Court of France might well have given credence to the legendary curse. Princess de Lamballie, and Marie Antoinette whole followed, both were guillotined during the French Revolution.
 

WATCH VIDEO

 

ABOUT SCOTT SUCHER

When one thinks of diamonds, Tijeras, New Mexico is not the first place that springs to mind, but it’s home to Scott Sucher, the Master behind the research and replicas that form the World Famous Diamonds.

Scott Sucher’s lifelong interest in geology commenced when a local museum hosted an exhibition of famous diamonds made of quartz when he was just a young boy. Whenever he could find time in his busy life, he published a collection of internet articles and lectures.

After retirement, Sucher returned to stone cutting with renewed vigour when a Discovery Channel producer requested help for a program on famous diamonds. The 14-month collaboration resulted in Unsolved History: the Hope Diamond, which first aired in February 2005.

The program gave Sucher the chance to handle the unset Hope diamond, the 31-carat Blue Heart diamond and Napoleon’s necklace – a 234-diamond necklace that Napoleon gave to his second wife Marie-Louise.

Sucher then worked with the Natural History Museum in London to recreate a replica of the historic Koh-i-noor. The entire process took 12 months – photo analysis took four months alone – and concluded in July 2007. The cutting alone took 46 hours, and Sucher likened it to “brain surgery, as one mistake can be non-recoverable.”

Sucher continues his work in partnership with many other experts and museums in the field. If anyone knows anything about the world’s most famous diamonds, it’s Scott Sucher.

To follow his ongoing works click here.





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