The Case Of The Florentine Diamond

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The Florentine Diamond, one of the most legendary yellow diamonds in history and one of the most mysterious.  The stone has been around since the 1400s but there has been no official sighting of it since the end of World War I.

The diamond was thought to have been light yellow with a greenish tone, had nine sides with a double-rose cut and weighing in at 137.27 carats.

The most popular theory of the diamond’s origin is that it was cut for Charles the Bold, Duke of Normandy in the 1400s.   He was wearing it in battle (probably during the Battle of Morat) when he fell.   Either a peasant or foot soldier found it and sold it for a gold coin known as a Florin.

The diamond was then sold numerous times over the next 200 years finally coming into the possession of the Medici Family, one of the most powerful European families of the time.

Famed gem hunter and traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier saw the diamond in 1657 as part of the possessions of  Ferdinando II de’ Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany.   When the last of the Medici family died in the 1730s, the Florentine Diamond passed on to the Habsburg Monarchy who had the stone placed in the Habsburg Crown Jewels in Vienna, Austria where it stayed for over 150 years.

After the fall of Austria in World War I, Charles I, the last of the Habsburg-Lorraine monarch took the diamond with him in exile to Switzerland.  The diamond was then apparently stolen sometime after 1918 and taken to South America where it may have been recut and sold.

Unfortunately, this is where the story of the Florentine Diamond ends.   No one can confirm officially how it has been recut or who has ownership of the stone.   Suffice to say, this rare nine-sided diamond looks like it has been lost to history.

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