Sancy Diamond

The Sancy diamond is a yellow diamond that weighs 55.23 carat. Some say it’s the first stone that was cut with symmetrical faces. True or not, there’s no doubt the stone is unique due to its very special structure, one that does not include a pavilion but two opposite crowns. There are different and contradictory versions of this diamond’s history, here is one of them. Apparently, thanks to the examination of the diamond’s qualities and the era it arrived at the west, this is a diamond originated in the Golkonda mines in India. If it sounds familiar, it’s because of the Hope Diamond and many other that originated there. The story of this diamond, as far as known, starts in 1570, when the stone was purchased by the French ambassador in Constantinople, Nicolas Harley Sancy. Sancy purchased the diamond for the French king Henry the 3rd. It is not known how it reached Turkey, but we know that Turkey was at that time a big trading center, and many western merchants who did not want to go as far as India for their diamond search would go there, as well as many diamonds from Persia, Afghanistan and India were sent there to find a buyer. At the time, the French king was known for his sensitivity to his baldness, and he made an effort to hide it. In addition, the king was known for his fondness to precious diamonds. Maybe, as a result, the Sancy diamond was embedded in a special hat the king wore to hide his baldness.At the time, Sancy was an important character in the king’s court, and when Henry the 4th began ruling, Sancy was in charge of the money. When King Henry the 4th needed a loan to pay for soldiers he used the diamond as a deposit. A special messenger left with the diamond but never reached his destination. It is suggested that thieves followed him and killed him. As he did not reach his destination, Sancy began searching for him and found the messenger’s body. Sancy ordered the body to be dismembered and they found the diamond in his stomach. According to one of the versions, after King Henry, the 4th was murdered his wife fled to the Netherlands and sold the diamond. As said before, there are differents versions of the story, but what is sure – the diamond started migrating between royal people in Europe.
Eventually, the diamond reached the King of England, James the 1st and the Sancy diamond became one of the crown’s jewels that were held in the London Bridge. The diamond stayed in England until James the 2nd was exiled and fled the country due to the Protestant fighting the Catholic. James the 2nd found a shelter in France and stayed as a guest at Louis the 14th. James sold the diamond he took to the King of France while exiled.During the French Revolution, the diamond was stolen and only showed up in 1828, when a French merchant offered it to the Russian prince, Anatoly Demidov. The prince held the diamond in possession until 1865 and then sold it to an anonymous buyer. Two years later, the diamond appeared in an auction in France, where it was placed for sale for a million Frank. The diamond was purchased by William Waldorf Astor (1906) and was presented publicly in 1962. It was in an exhibition in the Louvre museum. Today the diamond is in possession of the National Bank of France and is presented at the Louvre.


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