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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Rare diamond of a Queen sells for Rs.45.50 crores !!!!

What is the costliest gift that you brought for your better-half ? – this is a post on what was auctioned for US $ 67,00,000  equivalent  to  Rs. 45,59,68,422/-

Queen dowager, is a title or status generally held by the widow of a king. In the case of the widow of an emperor, the title of empress dowager is used. A queen mother is a dowager queen who is the mother of the reigning monarch.
Pic : public domain - wikipedia

Elisabeth Farnese was Queen of Spain by marriage to King Philip V. She exerted great influence over Spain's foreign policy and was the de facto ruler of Spain from 1714 until 1746. From 1759 until 1760, she governed as regent.  Elisabeth was raised in seclusion in an apartment in the Palace in Parma. She could speak and write Latin, French, and German and was schooled in rhetoric, philosophy, geography and history.  Because of the lack of male heirs of her father, her uncle-stepfather, and her youngest uncle, who all succeeded one another, preparations were done for succession of the Duchy of Parma in the female line through her. She was therefore made many marriage proposals. On 16 September 1714 she was married by proxy at Parma to Philip V of Spain. The marriage was arranged by the ambassador of Parma, Cardinal Alberoni, with the concurrence of the Princesse des Ursins, the Camarera mayor de Palacio of the King of Spain.

Sothebys the International Auction house writes that discovering an unknown historical diamond such as the Farnese Blue happens once in a lifetime. Apart from its beauty, the stone symbolises 300 years of history. It has travelled around Europe during these three centuries. And all this time, it was hidden away in a royal jewellery box. Except for close relatives, and of course the family jewellers, no one knew about its existence.

In 1714  King of Spain married an Italian princess: Elisabeth Farnese  - both  members of illustrious European royal houses. The idea of uniting two of the most powerful states of Europe under a single king was considered too risky, so it was decided that the oldest of Louis XIV and Marie Thérèse's grandsons, Louis, Duke of Burgundy, would inherit the French Crown. The War of Spanish Succession started in 1701, and lasted  12 years. In 1713, the Utrecht Treaty acknowledged the French succession, providing that France and Spain would never be united.

The next year, Philippe V's first wife, Marie Louise of Savoia, died at the age 25. Spain needed a new queen, but for the same political reasons she had to be chosen very carefully. She could not be French, or Austrian, or even English. She had to be Catholic, and preferably a member of a minor royal house. Elisabeth Farnese was the perfect choice. The Spanish finances were in a very bad state, owing to the debts accumulated during the long years of war. In order to provide a suitable dowry for the new queen, the Spanish government sent word to the governors of all the Spanish colonies in the East and West, ordering them to send wedding gifts to Madrid. It took one year to assemble the treasures. In August 1715 the Golden Fleet sailed from Cuba: twelve ships carrying hundreds of gold bullion and a case of enormous emeralds. Unfortunately, after 10 days at sea, a hurricane destroyed most of the fleet in the Gulf of Florida, with only one ship escaping. The story goes that the emeralds were lost in one of the sunken ships. But one diamond found it’s way to Spain: a pear-shaped blue diamond offered to the new Spanish Queen by the governor of the Philippines Islands.

That provenance is mentioned on a silver plaque, which is included in the diamond's box. It reads in French: “Remarkable blue brilliant. This historical stone was offered by the Philippine Islands to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, wife of Philippe V, great grandfather of the Comte of Villafranca, current owner of that stone.”   

Such a   rare blue diamond has been sold at auction in Geneva for $6.7m (£5m) and it is reported that this  6.1 carat diamond comes from the famous Golconda mine of India.

It sold after just four minutes of bidding at Sotheby's, easily passing the auction house's estimate of $3.5m-$5m. "We were expecting a good result but we started from $3.5m and we ended up with $6.7m, so we exceeded our expectation," said Sotheby's jewellery specialist, Daniela Mascetti.  The identity of the new owner has not been revealed.

Before you close your mouth opened in awe, the  bigger story was that two colorless diamonds of more than 50 carats each; and possessing D Color, Flawless and Type IIa characteristics—making each of them the second largest of their kind ever to come to auction—surpassed the sale of the blue diamond, even with its exceptional royal provenance. It took extraordinary large and pure stones to achieve this feat.  The top lot was a 51.71-carat round diamond that fetched $9.2 million. It ranks as the second largest D Flawless brilliant-cut diamond ever to have appeared at auction.

One lingering doubt is – who buys these, for whom, what do they do if they cannot exhibit it even - It is a different league –  you only ensure that your wife does not read these news !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
16th May 2018.

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