There are diamonds of many different colours that are of high value. There are diamonds as green as the Elysian Fields, as black as the night sky and as yellow as the sun’s own fire, but few are as exquisite and as rare as diamonds blessed with the hue of a deep ocean blue.
• Weight: 115.16 carats
• Dimensions: 32.89mm x 27.65mm x 12.92mm (estimated)
• Colour: blue
• Rough weight: unknown; semi-cut crystal
• Origin: Goldconda, India
• Date found: 1610
• Current location: cut into the French Blue in 1671
Also known as “D’un beau violet”, the Tavernier Blue diamond was found in India around 1610 as a rough crystal weighing slightly over 115 modern carats.
It first came to light when noted French diamond merchant Jean Baptiste Tavernier was approached in India by a slave who had an intriguing blue stone in his possession; it seemed to be a large sapphire but was, in fact, a huge blue diamond known today as the Tavernier Blue.
Legend has it the diamond came from the eye of an idol in a temple on the Coleroon River in India. If that is so, one can only assume that the eye must have a mate but the fate of the “other” eye has never come- to light.
Tavernier purchased the Tavernier Blue and took it to Paris where he later sold it – along with 24 other diamonds – to King Louis XIV in 1668 for a princely sum and a noble title.
The sale proved to be Tavernier’s final meal ticket; he retired shortly after, purchasing a great estate where he spent his remaining years with his loved and trusted son.
Interestingly, Tavernier wasn’t spared the the ill-luck that was said to pursue the famous gem merchants and purchasers of those Indian diamonds.
Although the Tavernier Blue permitted him to retire, the intrepid explorer’s son entangled his aged father in such debt that he was forced to sell the estate the diamond had helped him to buy.
At the age of 84, Tavernier ventured out once more to the East but was attacked by fever and perished before his journey could be completed.
As for the stone, the Tavernier Blue was cut in the ancient Indian style of cutting, which placed greater emphasis on size and less on symmetry and brilliance.
Resultantly, it was essentially a polished river pebble – this conflicted with the European concepts that diamonds should be both symmetrical and brilliant. King Louis had the stone recut starting in 1671.
When it was finished in 1673, it was now known as the “diamante bleu de la couronne” (blue diamond of the crown), or the French Blue.
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.