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Famous diamonds & some of their history


Blue Heart | Blue Hope | Centenary | Chrysanthemum | Cullinan's | De Beers | De Beers Millennium Star | Dresden Green | Great Star of Africa | Hortensia | Idol's Eye | Koh-i-Noor | Orloff | Portuguese | Premier Rose | Regent | Sancy | Taylor-Burton | Tiffany | Vargas |

SansyThis 55 carats pear-shaped stone was first owned by Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, who lost it in battle in 1477.

The stone is in fact named after a late owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late 16th century.

There are numerous questions regarding how Mr. Sancy obtained his diamond, but most likely, he acquired it on his travels in the Far East.

Nicholas de Sancy served two French monarchs loyally: He loaned the diamond to the French king, Henry III, who strategically placed it on his cap to conceal his baldness.

It was also pledged by Sancy for the purpose of raising troops in Switzerland. He employed his diamond again on behalf of his sovereign, now Henry IV, the first of the Bourbon dynasty.

By 1596, Sancy himself was in need of money and eventually sold the large diamond to King James I of England.

In 1625, Charles I disposed of other diamonds but retained the Sancy, which was taken by Queen Henrietta Maria along with other jewels in the Royal Treasury.

It later came into the possession of Cardinal Jules Mazirin, acting First Minister of the Crown, who bequeathed the Sancy and another stone to the French Crown.

The Sancy was disappeared during the French Revolution. in 1782.

After the French Revolution, a stone believed to be the Sancy found its way to a Spanish nobleman, and eventually in 1828 to Prince Nicholas Demidoff, whose family owned industries and silver mines in Russia. The Sancy passed to his son, who gave it to his Finnish bride.

Following additional travels around the world, the Sancy was purchased by William Waldorf Astor in the 1890s for his wife, Lady Astor. Lady Astor, the first woman to sit as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, wore the Sancy set in a tiara at numerous state occasions.

In 1978, the four Viscount Astor sold the Sancy, reputedly for $1,000,000. It is now on view at the Louvre in Paris.

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