The Sancy Diamond

The Sancy Diamond weighs 55.23 carat. The diamond is light pale yellow, and at certain angles, the stone is almost colorless with a very faint greenish-yellow tint. It has a Modified Brilliant Cut, its face-up profile is shield shape comprising two back-to-back crowns with no pavilion.

This type of old cut indicates that this was of Indian origin. As this stone made its first appearance in the 14th century, this diamond may have originated from the Sambalpur mines by the banks of the Mahanadi River, as the Golconda mines were not discovered yet.

The Sancy Diamond has a long recorded history since its purported discovery before 1570.

The Sancy diamond was named after its first French owner, Nicolas de Harlay, seigneur de Sancy. There are two hypothesis on how Nicolas Sancy possess this diamond.

Numerous sources mentioned that the original diamond belonged to Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. When he died the stone was passed onto his cousin, King Manuel I of Portugal. Then the Prior of Crato, D Antonio fled the country and ran away with the bulk of the crown jewels when Portugal was threatened with by Spain. Antonio then sold the stone of de Sancy.

Another hypothesis was the de Sancy purchased the stone in Constantinople. De Sancy was very popular in the French Court. He was also a gem connoisseur and had vast knowledge of diamonds during his time. Hence, he recognized a highly value gem when he saw one.

Then the stone was sold by Sancy to the British royalty, which later was re-sold to Cardinal Mazarin of France. The cardinal bequeathed the diamond to the King of France upon his death. The diamond disappeared during the French Revolution. When it reappeared again, the diamond again changed hands to a Russian family and subsequently to an Indian Prince.

Later the diamond was bought by William Waldorf Astor, when in 1978 the Astor family sold the diamond to Louvre for a purported sum of $1,000,000.

To this day, the Sancy sits pretty and fair at the Apollo Gallery, the Louvre, together with other fabulous diamond for public viewing.


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