The famous English Dresden Diamond and India connection

The English Dresden.

Diamonds are fascinating precious stones and since centuries the demand for diamonds has not declined. Diamond jewelry is part of some rich families' jewelry collections world over. Curiosity never declines when it comes to  historical, old and famous diamonds.

The English Dresden is different from Dresden Green. The English Dresden rough diamond -119 carat  of Brazilian origin,first found in 1857 was purchased by an English diamond merchant Edward Dresden, the 19th century jeweler and diamond dealer of London  It was later cut  by  Messrs. Coster's of Amsterdam. The company already got a name when they undertook the delicate task of re-cutting of the most famous of all historic diamonds, the Koh-i-Noor, in 1852.

Though it was judged to be superior than the Koh-I-Noor diamond, this resplendent polished diamond weighing 76.50 carat, pear-shaped with remarkable diamond clarity and exceptional diamond color, unfortunately had no taker. European, Indian diamond merchants (1863) and nobles did not take any interest. Somehow, for unknown reason they were not much impressed by the asking price. The price was declining due to lack of demand.

Maharaja PratapGaekwad of Barod ,son Princy and wife Maharani Sita Devi

 Dresden with the help of an English merchant working out of Bombay, India, sold it to a cotton merchant who had made a small fortune  on account of  rise of cotton price caused by the American Civil War (between the Union and the Confederates). After a long spell, at last, the English Dresden was sold for $32,000.00 pounds. As ill luck would have it, the cotton prices declined  drastically  and  the  new owner  incurred heavy loss. Terribly shaken-up, the new owner died with unsettled estate. This time, the diamond was  purchased by Malhār Rāo, the Gaekwad  of the princely state of Baroda, in India. In 1880 the Indian Maharajah Gaekwad had the diamond set in a necklace along with its sister stone the Star of the South, which he had also purchased. In 1948, the necklace underwent some alteration and more diamonds were added to the necklace to make it more impressive.  

An Old & Rare Photo of Maharani Sita Devi of Baroda
 Above image: Maharani Sita Devi, Maharajah Gaekwad's wife was photographed, wearing it at her husband's birthday party....

The English Dresden  in  1934 changed  hands and the new owner was  Cursetjee Fardoonji. Regarding its whereabouts, it is a controversial  matter.
Maharani Sita Devi, Baroda wearing English Dresden./