Florence Diamond

Florence diamond is a yellow & rare diamond that weighs 137.27 carats and has 126 wigs. Maybe its origin is in India, but the diamond got its name from the city – Florence, Italy, where it was owned by Medici family between the 16th and the 18th centuries until it was moved to Austria and was one of the crown jewels of the royal family. The diamond’s exact hardships are not known and its fate also.

While there is no doubt about the origin of the diamond, there are several conjectures about the date and the location it was discovered, and several conjectures about the way the diamond did to Europe. What we know exactly is that the diamond went to Medici family in the period when Fernando I was the Duke of Tuscany, 1587 – 1609. According to one of the versions, it was the Portuguese governor of Goa who put his hand on the diamond in one of the battles against the Southern kings of India. After this battle, the diamond sent to Rome and finally bought by the duke.

After the death of the duke, the diamond owned by his son, Còsimo II, who sent it to a Venecian diamond dealer for cut & polish. There is another version for the story. According to this version, the diamond went to Europe in other way and even held by the pope, but there is no doubt that the diamond finally owned by Medici family.

The duke, Còsimo II, died in 1621 and the diamond inherited to Fernando II when he was only 10 years old. Several years later, when he celebrated his 17th birthday, he appointed to the 5th Duke of Tuscany. The famous jeweler, Tavernier, who mentioned in the stories of many other diamonds, wrote on the diamond in his diaries. He probably checked and painted the diamond when Fernando II ruled Tuscany. The books of Tavernier are the main source of information about the diamond on those years.

Florence diamond stayed under the ownership of Medici family until the death of Jean-Gaston in 1737, the last duke from Medici family. Then the diamond went to Francis I who sold it to the royal family of Austria. The value of the diamond estimated at $700,000 but at this period, it was owned by the Austrian Royal Family until World War I. After the fall of the Austrian government in the war, the royal family went into exile in Switzerland and took the diamond with them. According to the reporter, the diamond has been stolen from them by one of the family friends, with other jewels, and smuggled to South America. Some people believe Florence Diamond went to the United States in the 20’s of the 19th century, and it was sold there.


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