De Beers Diamond
The 228.5-carat De Beers Diamond is the world’s seventh-largest cut diamond and the second-largest faceted yellow diamond.
The pale yellow diamond was discovered in the De Beers mine in March 1888 and weighed over 400 carats in its rough form, making it the second-largest gem quality diamond ever discovered at that date. The stone was cut in a cushion shape – probably in Amsterdam– removing some 200 carats of its mass in the process.
In 1889, the diamond was displayed at the Paris Exhibition.
According to the De Beers website, it was purchased after the exhibition by the Maharajah of Patiala, a state in Punjab. In 1928, the maharajah commissioned Cartier Paris to set the diamond in a ceremonial necklace. Besides the De Beers Diamond, the finished creation featured seven diamonds ranging in size from 18 carats to 73 carats each; close to 3,000 small diamonds; and a number of Burmese rubies. The necklace disappeared after India’s independence was declared in 1947.
Years later, the remains of the diamond necklace – minus most of the important stones – were discovered in a London jewelry store.
The De Beers Diamond itself reappeared in May 1982 and was put up for auction by Sotheby’s Geneva, but failed to achieve the undisclosed reserve bid.