A gorgeous piece of history is about to go on Sotheby’s auction block, where it is expected to sell for as much as $4 million. “Beau Sancy,” is a 400-year-old diamond, making it one of the world’s oldest diamonds that is privately owned, according to the AP. It is a pear cut, almost-35-carat rock that is currently on display in Paris, then will travel to London and then Zurich before it will be auctioned off in Geneva on May 14.
David Bennett, Sotheby’s jewelry chairman, tells its story. “It has a fascinating history, and really is a once-in-a-lifetime sale. When it was made in the 16th century, the pear cut was new, bold, and so it became the most sought-after jewel of its era. Before the ‘Beau Sancy’ all diamonds were rudimentary.”
French King Henri IV purchased the diamond, so named for the original owner Lord of Sancy, as a gift for his wife Marie de Medici of the Italian de Medici family. When the king was murdered, Marie fell into hard financial times and sold the jewel.
Marie de Medici’s daughter Henrietta went on to become Queen of England in the mid-1600s and Prince William is a direct descendant (though not through Prince Charles, as one might assume, but through his mother, Diana Spencer). So maybe William should pick that sucker up for his one-year anniversary with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.