Sotheby’s to auction The Beau Sancy diamond in Geneva

Sotheby’s Geneva announce that its sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels on 15 May 2012 will be led by the Beau Sancy, one of the most important historic diamonds ever to come to auction. Passed down through the Royal Families of France, England, Prussia and the House of Orange, the celebrated diamond has been the privileged witness of 400 years of European history. Weighing 34.98 carats, the modified pear double rose cut diamond comes to the market with an estimate of $2-4 million*.

Acquired by Nicolas de Harlay, Lord of Sancy (1546-1629), in Constantinople in the mid to late 1500’s, the Beau Sancy is most likely to have originated from the mines in southcentral India near the city of Golconda, the source of history’s best-known diamonds, including the Hope, the Koh-i-Noor and the Regent. In 1604, the Beau Sancy was bought for 75 000 livres (25 000 écus) by Henri IV and gifted to his wife, Marie de Medici. The Queen of France had long desired the stone, particularly after learning that de Sancy had sold a larger stone, today known as the “Sancy”, to King James I of England1. Testament to the importance her Majesty placed on the diamond, the Beau Sancy was mounted atop the crown she wore at her coronation in 1610, as shown in a magnificent portrait by Frans II Pourbus, the Younger, now in the Louvre.

The Beau Sancy will be showcased in an international tour before its auction in Geneva on 15 May 2012. Public exhibition: Hong Kong 30 March – 2 April 2012 New York 14-16 April 2012 Rome 19 April 2012 Paris 24-25 April 2012 London 27-30 April 2012 Zurich 2-3 May 2012 Geneva 11-15 May 2012
* Pre-sale estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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