Tantalizing ''Evening Star'' diamond of Indian origin!!

“The Evening Star” diamond from India’s Golconda mines is one of the finest ancient diamonds in the world. This diamond was auctioned in New York on 10  December 2009. This Pear-shaped,  39-carat, D-color Golconda diamond  was the  highlight of this auction that featured  10 exquisite jewels. Do you know how this diamond got its name? It was customary on the part of the unnamed owner to wear this sparkling diamond  to evening  parties, often as a pendant suspended from a diamond necklace that consisted of 68 graduated pear-shaped diamonds

Evening star diamond from Golconda mine. justcollecting.com

This diamond from the private collection came up for auction - “Magnificent Jewels from a Distinguished Private Collector” at the famous Christie's, a time-honoured auction house  and is well known for presenting some of the most rare and priceless jewels in its auctions, especially from the Indian subcontinent. Special attention was given to this stone - The Evening Star Diamond  because it came from the India's ancient Golconda mines, the source of many of the world's exceptional diamonds, including the Hope Diamond, Koh-i-Noor, etc.
 As expected both the “Evening Star” and the stones used in the matching earrings -Type IIa diamonds that possesses the exceptional clarity associated with Golconda diamonds took the people and the bidders by surprise at the auction. The Evening Star went under hammer for whopping $5.4 million at the auction house.   According to Christie’s  the Wittelsbach diamond (from Golconda) holds the record for a jewel sold at auction -$24.3 million at its 2008 London sale. Indeed, a mind-boggling price for a big piece of hardened carbon. What a way to establish ones status and affluence in this transient world?

In the 19th century, particularly toward the end, ‘Golconda’ (west of Hyderabad city, Telengana, India) became  associated  with diamond mines or source of exceptional wealth,  quite similar  to El Dorado.

A note on Wittelsbach Diamond:

The original Wittelsbach Diamond, originated from the Kollur mines in Guntur District, Andhra, India also goes by the name of  Der Blaue Wittelsbacher.  This  35.56-carat (7.112 g) deep, grayish-blue diamond with VS2 clarity had been part of both the Austrian and the Bavarian Crown jewels. The unique feature of this stone was  it had  82 facets arranged in an atypical pattern. Originally possessed by the King Philip IV of Spain in the 17th century finally  the Habsburg family  of Vienna became the owner. It came to Munich when, in 1722, Maria Amalia married Charles of Bavaria, a member of the Wittelsbach family.  It was Maximilian IV Joseph von Wittelsbach, the first King of Bavaria in 1806, commissioned a royal crown that prominently displayed the diamond. The jewel remained on top of the Bavarian crown until 1918. It was seen last in public at Ludwig III of Bavaria's funeral in 1921.


The Wittelsbach family made a futile attempt to sell the diamond  in 1931 during the Great Depression. Only in 1951, they could sell the stone.  In the 1960s, the Goldmuntz family owned this historical stone.  On 10 December 2008, the 35.56-carat (7.112 g) Wittelsbach Diamond was sold to London-based jeweller Laurence Graff for £16.4 million sterling, or US$23.4 million. At that time, it is believed,  the highest price ever paid at auction for a diamond. In June 2011, Graff apparently sold the diamond to the former emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, for at least US$80 million.
http://www.idexonline.com/FullArticle?Id=33207ening events and galas.