The ‘Beau Sancy’ is a 400-year old diamond, one of the oldest and most storied jewels that is held by a private owner. It is now going up for sale at Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva, where those who have had to enjoy it from afar will finally get their chance to add it to their own collections and add themselves to a long line of high profile owners.
The Beau Sancy weighs in at 34.98 carats and is a rare pear cut diamond that is expected to sell for more than $4 million. At the moment, the Beau Sancy is being displayed in Paris, and it will then be taken to London and Zurich. Eventually it will be taken to Geneva to be auctioned off on May 14, which is only a few weeks away.
This is a jewel that has a history which can only be admired, and it is surprising that it is now up for sale. The sale will in all likelihood be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, explaining the buzz surrounding the diamond.
It was made during the 16th century, at a time when the pear cut was seen as new and very bold. This made it the era’s most sought-after jewel, as before the Beau Sancy, all diamonds were cut in a basic shape.
The diamond was so famous that in 1604 it caught the attention of the French King Henri IV, who purchased the Beau Sancy from its first owner the Lord of Sancy. It was bought as a gift for the King’s glamorous wife, Marie de Medici, who herself was one of the richest women in Europe.
King Henri VI was murdered, which left his wife facing poverty, and she sold the diamond to escape the hardship she was dealing with at the time. The jewel was cut from the famous gem mines of Golconda, part of the Eastern Deccan region of India.
House of Orange
This is a place associated with diamonds, as during the time when the Beau Sancy was cut, India was the only place in the world where diamonds were thought to exist. In fact, Golcanda only produced a few notable diamonds, but it was the hub of diamond trade.
The Beau Sancy has been traced back to four royal European families after it was sold by Marie de Medici, and one of the owners even included England’s House of Orange. Some of the most recent keepers of the diamond have been the descendants of the last emperor of Germany.