The Ashes

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August 10, 2009

Victoria Transvaal Diamond – The Third Largest Red Diamond In The World!

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Filed under : General

The Victoria Transvaal is a 67.89-carat, brownish-yellow pear shaped stone. It was cut from a 240-carat crystal that was found in the Transvaal, South Africa.

Victoria Transvaal Diamond

The first cutting produced a 75-carat 116-facet stone that measured 1 x 1³/8 inches; a recutting retained the same length and width, but reduced the depth to better proportions, making it more brilliant. The diamond has been featured in several Hollywood films, including a Tarzan episode from 1952 titled Tarzan’s Savage Fury, and in leading exhibitions in the United States and Canada.

The necklace was designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc, and consists of a yellow gold chain with 66 round brilliant-cut diamonds, fringed with ten drop motifs, each set with two marquise-cut diamonds, a pear-shaped diamond, and a small round brilliant-cut diamond (the total weight of the 106 diamonds is about 45 carats). The configuration of these stones makes them look like small angels! The necklace was donated by Leonard and Victoria Wilkinson in 1977 to the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.

Other colored diamonds in the Smithsonian Collection include the 8.30-carat Shepard Diamond. This stone is from South Africa, and was acquired by the Smithsonian Museum in exchange for a collection of small diamonds that had been seized as smuggled goods by the United States Customs Service. The diamond is named for the Smithsonian employee who helped facilitate the transaction.

An extremely rare red diamond resides at the Smithsonian as well. This is the De Young Red, a 5.03-carat, brilliant cut red diamond. The main kite-shaped facets on the crown are divided in two, giving the stone more brilliance than a standard round brilliant cut. The stone is not pure red but has a slight brown hue, which makes it appear like a fine red garnet and indeed, it was once purchased as such at an estate sale.

Victoria Transvaal is the third largest red diamond in the world, after the Moussaieff Red (5.11 carats) and the Red Diamond (5.05 carats).

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