Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Patiala Necklace


DeBeers Consolidated Mines Limited produced a 428 carat light yellow octahedral diamond in March 1888. With a finished weight of 234.65 carats, the cushion cut "De Beers" is the seventh largest faceted diamond in the world.

The Maharaja, Bhupinder Singh, of Patiala in the Punjab region of India, bought the gemstone in 1889. In 1925, the Maharaja commissioned Cartier to set the De Beers diamond as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that became known as the Patiala Necklace. In its original form, the necklace was 962 carats contained in 2,930 diamonds and other precious stones. It was completed in 1928 and is one of the most spectacular and expensive pieces of jewellery ever made.
The last sighting of the complete necklace was in 1946 when it was worn by the son of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, Maharaja Yadavinder Singh. Fifty two years later the necklace was discovered in a second-hand jewellery shop in London by a Cartier representative. The De Beers diamond and the other large stones were gone. The remnants of the Patiala Necklace was bought by Cartier. It took four years to restore the necklace to it's former glory.

On May 6th, 1982 the 'DeBeers' came up for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva. The top bid of $3.16 million remained below the undisclosed reserve price.