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Porter-Rhodes Diamond portrait stone Portuguese cut Portuguese Diamond City diamond merchant PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Porter-Rhodes diamond. Considered to be the finest African diamond found up to that time (1880), this 153.50-carat stone came from the claim of Mr. Porter-Rhodes in the Kimberley Mine. It was valued at $200,000. In 1881, Mr. Porter-Rhodes visited Osborne House in London and showed it to Queen Victoria, who exclaimed over its great purity and beauty. Empress Eugenie, who also saw the great diamond at the same time, remarked that it was "simply perfection," not knowing what to compare it with. At that time, it was the general belief that South African Diamonds were in­ferior. Victoria asked, "Is it really from the Cape?" Eugenie remarked, "Are you sure the diamond is from South Africa, and have you not had it polished a little? I have always been under the impression that Diamonds from the Cape were very yellow and worth but little." In 1926, the gem was said to have been given as a wedding gift by the Duke of Westminster to his third wife, Loelia Ponsonby; at that time, it was an old-mine-cut diamond of 73 carats. In 1928, it came into the possession of the London jewelry firm of Jer-wood & Ward, who had it recut in Amsterdam to a 56.60-carat emerald cut. In 1937, it was reported to have been sold to an East Indian. The Porter-Rhodes diamond was pur­chased in 1946 by Harry Winston from His Highness, the Maharajah of Indore. It was subsequently sold to a client in the United States.

portrait stone. A flat style of cutting that permits one to see through to any object over which it is placed.

See bevel cux lasque.

Portuguese cut. A rarely used mod­ification of the brilliant cut, having two rows of rhomboidal facets and three rows of triangular facets on both crown and pavilion. This style of cutting is used only on large stones.

Portuguese diamond. Formerly a cushion cut of 150 carats, the Por­tuguese diamond is today a 127-carat emerald cut and is on perma­nent display at the Smithsonian In­stitution, Washington, D.C. It was presented to the Museum in the early 1960's by Harry Winston, New York

City diamond merchant. The gem is fluorescent and flawless. The name is taken from the Portuguese Royal House, with which it is said to have had an earlier connection.

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