The historical Florentine yellow (Amarillo) diamond of Indian origin - Is it lost ?

The Florentine Diamond of Indian

The Florentine

Since days of  Antiquity to the 16 th Century, India was the only producer of  of quality diamonds of  exceptional beauty and color. Most of them came from the famous Kollur diamond  mines in Guntur district of present day Andhra. Many of the famous diamonds are on display either in the museum or in the private collections of the rich and famous. Because of the purported curse on them - mostly stole from  the Indian Hindu temple some wear them on occasions and put them back in the vault. Unfortunately some valuable diamonds' history is shrouded in secrecy and disappeared into the mists of time. The famous Florentine Diamond  is  such a one  and diamond experts have made a futile attempt to chase the trails of this diamond. 

 The Florentine Diamond stone, also known as the  Tuscany Diamond, the Grand Duke of Tuscany,  and the Austrian Yellow Diamond, is a big gemstone; Wt: 137.27 carat (27.454 g). Light yellow in color (Amarillo) with a  with a slight green overtone,   this nine sided 126-facet double rose cut is of Indian origin  (1610), most probably mined near in the Kollur mines of the then Golconda, kingdom, the town was close to  Hyderabad city, Andhra.
No clear information is not available, hence its origin is obscure, may be shrouded in mystery.  Its history of owners is a chequred one, and had been owned by a plethora of famous  people through centuries  since  its origin in India and it is difficult to mention every one of them.

The first European owner of this diamond who is believed to have been  Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy (1433 – 1477) who lost it when he fell  at the battle of Morat against the Swiss in 1477. After that it changed  a few hands down the line to  Pope Julius II (1443 – February 1513) and the Medici family in 16th century at Florence. Maria Theresa of Austria acquired it through her marriage (1736) to the Duke of Tuscany and it became part of Austrian Crown jewels. After the fall of Austria before the World War II, the Germans captured the stone.

Florentine yellow diamond of India origin.

The U.S. 3rd Army recovered it and returned to the Viennese by Gen. Mark Clark.  
The other more acceptable and viable story is during the  reign of  popular Vijayanagar rule in S.India, in the late 1500 CE the  Portuguese troops led by the Governor of Goa, Ludovico Castro,  Count of Montesanto  defeated the Indian ruler and  acquired the uncut diamond.

Later Jesuits of Rome kept the stone from them. Through long negotiations Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany succeeded in buying it from the Castro-Noronha family for 35,000 Portuguese scudi crocati. The Duke's son Cosimo II, had the diamond cut by a Venetian cutter of Florence.

Tavernier's drawing of  Florentine

Above image: A  few black and white photos (from prior to 1921 when the stone disappeared) exist. They were drawn by  Jean-'Baptiste Tavernier.'

Ferdinando II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (Wikimedia Commons)

The French jeweler and traveler, Jean Baptiste Tavernier recorded the possession of this stone by Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1657.  After the death of the last of the Medici's  it became part of the Hapsburg Crown Jewels in the Homburg in Vienna. After the fall of Austrian empire in World War I, the stone, it is believed, was stolen from exiled Charles -1918, but all trace of it was lost with the fall of the Habsburg Empire in 1918. In 1920 this valuable diamond reached the US where it was recut and sold. The present value may be more than  200000 British  pounds.

                                                         (Revised 9 January 2022)