Tavernier Blue

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The cubic zirconia replica of the Tavernier Blue diamond created by Scott Sucher
Tavernier's original sketch.

The Tavernier Blue was the precursor diamond to the Blue Diamond of the French Crown (aka the French Blue), and subsequently the Hope Diamond. This has been accepted by many historians and gemologists for years and was scientifically proven with 3D imaging and prototyping technology in 2005. It is a Type IIb diamond.

Weighing 112 3/16-carats (115.16 modern metric carats, erroneously reported by many others as 110+/- carats), the crudely finished gem was described by the French gem dealer, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier as a "violet", (which was in those days a synonym for blue) and of perfect clarity. The diamond was certainly Indian in origin and likely sourced by Tavernier at the Kollur mine in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Five years later the Tavernier Blue was recut by court jeweler Jean Pitau into the 68 carat French Blue.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was a French traveler and trader, returning to France from India with many of the largest gems of the era, which he primarily sold to the French royalty and aristocracy.

After being stolen from the French Crown Jewels in 1792 during the turbulence of the French Revolution, the French Blue was cut into the Hope Diamond in an attempt to prevent its proper identification.

Another blue diamond believed to have been taken from the Tavernier was originally set as a ring for Empress Maria Feodorovna, wife of Emperor Paul I. It was given to the State Diamond Fund in 1860, by her daughter-in-law, the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Later, it was mounted into a stick pin. It is preserved in the collection of the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, not far from St Petersburg.

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