Regent Diamond
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 29 October 2007

Regent diamond. Originally known as the Pitt diamond, this 410-carat diamond was one of the last large stones found in India; it is said to have come from the Parteal Mines on the Kristna River about 1701. It was sold to Governor Thomas Pitt, of Ft. George, Madras, who was the great grandfather of William Pitt of American Revolutionary fame, for approximately $100,000. He sent it lo England and had it cut into a 140.50-carat cushion-shaped brilliant that measured 1-1/16 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 3A inch deep. The stone, which has but one very small imperfection, is today considered one of the finest and most brilliant of (he known large Diamonds. In 1717, it was sold to the Duke of Orleans, then Regent of France, for about $500,000; since it has been known as the Regent diamond. It was set in the crown of Louis XV, and Marie Antoinette is said to have worn it in a large black-velvet hat. It disappeared in the French jewel rob­bery of 1792 but was found again in a Paris garret and was pledged for money that helped Napoleon in his rise to power. He had it mounted in the hilt of the sword that he carried that time, at his coronation. When Napoleon went into exile, Marie Louise, his second wife, carried the Regent to the Chateau de Blois. Later, however, her father, the Emperor of Austria, re­turned it to France and it again be­came part of the French Crown Jewels; many of these were sold at auction in 1887, but the Regent was reserved. In 1940, when the Ger­mans invaded Paris, it was again sent to the chateau country, this time to Chambord, where it was secreted behind a stone panel. After the War, it was returned to Paris and placed on display in the Apollon Gallery of the Louvre Museum. Also sometimes known as the Millionaire diamond.