Another Famous Diamond is the “Regent” also known as the “Pitt” Diamond. It has an interesting history similar to the “Blue Hope”. (Involving murder and mayhem)
Found by a slave in 1698 in India where he was working at the Golkonda mine, this large diamond, (410 cts before it was cut) was hidden in the wrapping of a large wound in the slave’s leg, while he made off for the coast. He bartered with a sea captain for passage, offering half of the stone’s profit once they reached land.
The slave was not too lucky. Once under way the Captain murdered the slave so he could have all the profits.
This Captain managed to sell the stone to a diamond merchant for $5000.00. He did not enjoy his riches long. He squandered the money on wine, women and gambling, then fell into a deep depression and hung himself.
On the other hand, the diamond merchant sold the large stone to Governor Thomas Pitt for approx.$100,000.00.
Pitt sent the diamond on to London where he had it cut into a cushion shape brilliant, weighing 140.5 cts.
It took two years to complete the cut and cost $25,000.00. A number of smaller stones were also cut from the original, bringing in about $35,000.00. Some of these were sold to Peter the Great of Russia. The main gem has only one small imperfection and is considered one of the finest and most beautiful of all the known large diamonds.
In 1717 it was sold to Phillip II, Duke of Orleans,then Regent of France, for $650,000.00, since that time it has been known as the “Regent”.
This diamond passed down through the French Royalty till the French Revolution, when it was stolen along with the”French Blue” However the “Regent” diamond was found and returned to the government.
Napolean had it mounted in the hilt of his sword. When he was exiled, the stone made it’s way to Austria and was later returned to France, where it became part of the crown jewels.
Many of the French crown jewels were sold at auction in 1887, but the “Regent” was reserved and put on display at the Louvre among other national treasures.
When the Germans invaded Paris in 1947, the “Regent” was sent to a rural hiding place and hidden behind a stone panel in a chalet in Chambord. After the war it was returned to the Louvre where it is today.
This diamond is still considered to be the most beautiful diamond in the world.
” Colored Gemstones” by Antoinette Matlins
“Encyclopedia Of Gemstones and Minerals” by Martin Holden