Briolette diamond of India origin fetched $ 7.1 million at Christie's Dubai auction (2023) of Heidi-Horten collection!!

Briolette of India /

Eleanor of

   Diane de Poitiers one time owner of the stone
The Briolette of India,

The India origin diamond got the highest price at Christie's April-May 2023 auction in Dubai  for several reasons:

01. It is believed to be the oldest diamond (12th century CE) in the world and the first one to arrive in Europe.
02. Its peculiar briolette cut  that makes the gemstone dazzle.

03. The diamond was set in a platinum necklace  by the American Jeweler Harry Winston to make it more attractive.

04. Christie's publicity bonanza created a huge impact on the rich clientele as the auction House was  entrusted to auction the entire jewelry collections of Vienna based Heidi - Horten  Trust.

05. The vast collection numbering about 700 items put up for sale was a rare opportunity and the buyers had countless choices to pick the items they like most. 

06. invariably most of them on sale at the auction house were not only exotic, but also were known for their  distinctive style, workmanship,  antique value  and rich quality all combined together.

07.  As for the purported curse of the diamond, it was in the Heidi collections for 52 long years after 1970  when Winston sold it to  Mr. Horten.  The Horten family never experienced any misfortunes. Nor the American Jeweler Harry Winston  who primarily made the diamond more appealing. As for the misfortunes of the European royal families which owned it, it was purely accidental. They expedited a blend of bad and good luck as normal families would experience in their lives.

Considered as the oldest diamond in recorded history (12th century CE), first mentioned in the 12th century how  the Briolette di diamond  landed in Europe is a debatable one. However, The stunning 90 carat Briolette of India was owned by the  Indian Maharajah of Punjab province  centuries ago.  It is believed that it was  a big rough diamond and in the 12th century the diamond did not have a cut in the fashion of a briolette. It could have been a non-faceted Polki cut. Much emphasis was given to polishing to improve the  visual look and luster of the gem stone.  The briolette of India has a long 900 year old history owned by Medieval kings and Maharajas of Europe and India. 

Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine - first European owner of the briolette of India  gifted to by her husband King Louis VII of France, both of whom were traveling with the crusading soldiers. There are no records as to how King Louis VII got the diamond. Positively, it was not purchased by the ruler. After the annulment of the marriage in 1152 for some reasons over a long period, Eleanor  married Henry the second of France. In the late 16th century after a long gap the gem stone reappeared and Henry  presented it to his mistress, Diane de Poitier.  Upon Henry's death his queen consort, Catherine de Medicis, forced Diane de Poitiers to surrender the jewels. The surrounded jewels may have included the Briolette of India. It is believed that after the death of  King Henry  the stone became a part of the French Crown Jewels. It meant it was either stolen in 1792 or sold off in 1887.  The diamond then mysteriously reappears once again in 1908 when it was recut from what was referred to as a “double rose cut” into a more pure briolette cut and sold to Cartier. It was set as a pendant with a large pearl, and then a year later, it was paired with a pair of 22 carat emeralds and sold to American Financier, George  Blumenthal’s wife (1910), Florence Meyer. After   George Blumenthal’s death, the stone was acquired by Harry Winston (1946) who sold it  with a reasonable mark-up to  an Indian Maharajah.

D color Briolette of India
After along journey the gen stone was re acquired from the Indian rule  by Harry Winston in 1956. The Briolette of India  was set in platinum necklace designed by Harry Winston  in 1971.After making some additions Winston  sold it to Austrian Billionaire Horten who bought it for his wife Heide.  
It was added to one of the finest jewelry collection of Heidi- Horten in the world.  After publicity and special announcement the famous Auction House Christies auctioned the Heidi collections and at the auction held in April -May 2023 and  Briolette India  was one among them Ahead of the sale, the Christie's branch in the Dubai International Financial Centre  displayed the jewelry along with 700 others for three days from April 28 for promotion purposes.

Late Viennese philanthropist Heidi Horten  after 1970  had collected exotic and rare jewelry from  many of the world’s finest jewelry  houses such as Boivin, Bulgari, Cartier, Kochert, Tiffany, Harry Winston, and Van  Cleef & Arpels. Her collections included some of the best quality colored gemstone Jadeite and diamonds, some were of India origin.   Upon Heidi’s death in 2022, the 90.38ct D color, Type II a “Briolette of India” was sold by Christie’s Auction House. It is said to have been  the most important but   controversial jewelry sale in modern history. An unknown buyer bought for a huge sum of  $7.1million. The famous diamond was with the Heidi collections for more than 50 years.

Inclusive of \the rest of Heidi's collection, the jewelry  auction sale in 2023 at Dubai touched a new dizzy height, a  whopping  $202 million, making it the most expensive private jewelry collection of all time, thus surpassing the  previous record of  $137.2 million held by the collection of Elizabeth Taylor in 201. The money from the auctioned collections was set aside for charity purposes by the Heidi-Horten Trust.