#10 - The Sancy Diamond

Posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2018 at 8:01 pm by Stephanie

A shield shaped modified brilliant cut of old mine style cutting. Old mine cutting is a term for stones believed to be cut from the earliest known mines of India or Brazil. The pale yellow diamond weighs 55.23 ct. Believed to be of Indian origin and owned at one time by the Mungels of antiquity, the stone's history can be traced back to 1490, owned by the Duke of Burgundy and passed to Manual I of Portugal. It was taken out of the country when threatened by Spanish rule. The stone was purchased in 1570 by Nicholas de Harlay, Seigneur de Sancy. It was purchased by de Sancy in Constantinople from Antonio prior to Creato of Portugal. de Sancy, popular in the French courts, loaned the diamond to King Henry III and IV. It was used as security to finance armies.

The legend is, the stone was being carried by a messenger who was robbed, but the loyal messenger swallowed the stone before it could be taken. He was killed and later de Sancy found his body in the spot where he was robbed and found the diamond in his stomach. de Sancy sold the diamond to James I of England in 1605. James I set the stone into the mirror of great Britain, a large brooch. The stone passed through Charles I and to his son James II who was defeated in war took sanctuary wiht King Louie XIV of France. James II sold the stone to Cardinal Mazarin in 1657. He then gave it to King Louie XIV upon his death in 1661. The stone was taken from the Monarchy during the French Revolution in approximately the 1790's. It had passed through many Russian families over the next hundred years and was sold to William Waldorf Astor in 1906. The Astor family owned the stone for 72 years and sold it for $1,000,000 to the Louvre in Paris in 1978. It now rests in the Galerie d'Apollon with other famous diamonds including the 140 cts. Regent diamond and the 20ct Hortensia diamond.

Written by Daniel J. LaLonde

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