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THE WITTELSBACH-GRAFF AND HOPE DIAMONDS

THE WITTELSBACH-GRAFF AND HOPE DIAMONDS

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Estudo sobre estes dois diamantes históricos, publicado na revista Gems & Gemology em 2010.
Estudo sobre estes dois diamantes históricos, publicado na revista Gems & Gemology em 2010.

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Published by: hbraga_sruival on Jul 25, 2013
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Adornment (
Toison d’Or de la Parure de Couleur
) in1749, but was stolen in 1792 during the FrenchRevolution. Twenty years later, a 45.52 ct blue dia-mond appeared for sale in London and eventuallybecame part of the collection of Henry Philip Hope.Recent computer modeling studies have establishedthat the Hope diamond was cut from the FrenchBlue, presumably to disguise its identity after thetheft (Attaway, 2005; Farges et al., 2009; Sucher etal., 2010). For a thorough look at the history of theHope diamond, see Patch (1976), Morel (1988), andKurin (2006), along with the references cited above.The first reliable record of the Wittelsbach Bluediamond dates to 1673 in Vienna, when it was list-ed as part of the estate of Empress Margarita Teresaof Austria. As with the Hope diamond, its exactsource in India is unknown, though the Kollur minehas been mentioned (e.g., Balfour, 2009). The stonepassed from the Hapsburg court to the BavarianWittelsbach family in 1722 as part of a dowry, and itremained in the Bavarian crown jewels until the
T
HE
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ITTELSBACH
-G
RAFFAND
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OPE
D
IAMONDS
:N
OT
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UT FROMTHE
S
AME
R
OUGH
Eloïse Gaillou, Wuyi Wang, Jeffrey E. Post, John M. King, James E. Butler,Alan T. Collins, and Thomas M. Moses
 See end of article for About the Authors and Acknowledgments.G
EMS
& G
EMOLOGY
, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 80–88.© 2010 Gemological Institute of America
Two historic blue diamonds, the Hope and the Wittelsbach-Graff, appeared together for the firsttime at the Smithsonian Institution in 2010. Both diamonds were apparently purchased in India inthe 17th century and later belonged to European royalty. In addition to the parallels in their histo-ries, their comparable color and bright, long-lasting orange-red phosphorescence have led tospeculation that these two diamonds might have come from the same piece of rough. Althoughthe diamonds are similar spectroscopically, their dislocation patterns observed with theDiamondView differ in scale and texture, and they do not show the same internal strain features.The results indicate that the two diamonds did not originate from the same crystal, though theylikely experienced similar geologic histories.
80
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ITTELSBACH
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OPE
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2010
he earliest records of the famous Hope andWittelsbach-Graff diamonds (figure 1) showthem in the possession of prominentEuropean royal families in the mid-17th century.They were undoubtedly mined in India, the world’sonly commercial source of diamonds at that time.The original ancestor of the Hope diamond wasan approximately 115 ct stone (the Tavernier Blue)that Jean-Baptiste Tavernier sold to Louis XIV ofFrance in 1668. Tavernier purchased the diamond inIndia, possibly at the Kollur mine, but its exactsource is not known. Louis XIV had Tavernier’sstone recut into the ~69 ct diamond called the
Diamant Bleu de la Couronne
(Blue Diamond of theCrown), later known as the French Blue. The dia-mond was set into the Golden Fleece of the Colored
T
 
creation of the German republic after World War I.To support the former Bavarian royal family, theWittelsbach diamond was put up for auction in1931 with other royal jewels. When the bidding wastoo low, it went back to a government safe for thenext 20 years until it was secretly sold. It brieflyreappeared, anonymously, during the 1958 WorldExhibition in Brussels.In 1962, the Wittelsbach Blue was recognized bya Belgian diamond dealer who had been asked torecut it; he refused and bought the stone instead.The gem was then sold to a private owner andremained out of the public eye until a Christie’sauction on December 10, 2008. London jewelerLaurence Graff purchased the 35.56 ct stone for justover $24.3 million. Graff decided to have the dia-mond recut to remove numerous chips around thegirdle, enhance its color grade (from Fancy Deepgrayish blue to Fancy Deep blue), and reduce thesize of its large culet, while attempting to preservethe original shape. The renamed Wittelsbach-Graffdiamond now weighs 31.06 ct. The reader is referredto Dröschel et al. (2008) for a comprehensive reviewof the Wittelsbach’s history.The Wittelsbach-Graff diamond was placed onpublic display near the Hope diamond at theSmithsonian Institution’s National Museum ofNatural History from January 28 to September 1,2010. This marked the first time the two great bluediamonds were brought together. Because of the rar-ity of large blue diamonds and the historical paral-lels between the Hope and the Wittelsbach Blue,there has been considerable speculation over theyears as to whether they might have been cut fromthe same piece of rough or from stones that wereonce part of the same parent crystal (e.g., Balfour,2009). This speculation is supported by the fact thatthe Wittelsbach-Graff, like the Hope, exhibits a rarelong-lasting orange-red phosphorescence. The exhi-bition of the two diamonds at the SmithsonianInstitution provided an unprecedented opportunityto conduct a side-by-side study. In addition toaddressing the question of a common pedigree, thiswas a rare occasion to gain additional insight intonatural blue diamonds by studying two of thelargest and finest examples known. All the experi-ments were conducted during a single night, justbefore the Wittelsbach-Graff was mounted into itsbracket to go on exhibition and while the Hope wasunmounted from its necklace.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Both diamonds were graded by GIA prior to thisstudy. The 31.06 ct Wittelsbach-Graff is a FancyDeep blue, internally flawless, cushion modifiedbrilliant cut. The 45.52 ct Hope is a Fancy Deepgrayish blue, very slightly included (VS
1
), antiquecushion cut (Crowningshield, 1989). Both stoneshave relatively large culets (though the Wittelsbach-Graff’s culet is significantly larger; again, see figure1), which enabled us to perform spectroscopythrough the parallel table and culet facets.As our testing had to be conducted in a vault atthe National Museum of Natural History for securi-ty reasons, portable equipment was necessary.Infrared (IR) spectra were acquired using a ThermoiS10 Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer(2 cm
1
resolution). Mirrors were used as beam con-densers (figure 2), enabling us to focus the beamthrough the table and culet of each stone. No purge
W
ITTELSBACH
-G
RAFF AND
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OPE
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IAMONDS
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EMS
& G
EMOLOGY
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UMMER
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81
Figure 1. In late January 2010, the 31.06 ctWittelsbach-Graff diamond (left) joined the45.52 ct Hope diamond(right) for a seven-monthdisplay at the SmithsonianInstitution’s NationalMuseum of NaturalHistory. Photo by ChipClark.
 
system was used during data collection.UV fluorescence was tested with a Super Brightlong- and short-wave UV lamp (365 and 254 nm,respectively).Phosphorescence spectra were collected usingthe portable spectrometer described previously byEaton-Magaña et al. (2008). The stones were excitedwith an Ocean Optics DH-2000 deuterium UVlamp (which emits in the 215–400 nm range), andthe signal was acquired with an Ocean Opticscharge-coupled device (CCD) spectrometer (USB2000) through a fiber-optic bundle. In this bundle,the UV radiation was transferred through six opticalfibers (600
μ
m diameter each); a seventh fiber in thecore of the bundle collected the emitted light fromthe diamond and delivered it to the entrance aper-ture of the CCD spectrometer. The tip of the fiber-optic bundle was placed in contact with the dia-mond’s surface, which made it possible to illumi-nate and measure approximately equivalent vol-umes for each sample. The phosphorescence spectrawere collected after 20 seconds of UV exposure.During decay, the spectra were integrated andrecorded at intervals of 0.5, 1, and 2 seconds.Luminescence imaging under ultra-short-waveUV radiation (~225 nm) was performed with aDiamond Trading Company DiamondView instru-ment (Welbourn et al., 1996). High-intensity short-wave UV close to the diamond absorption edge wasused to excite the fluorescence and phosphores-cence so that only the outermost layer of the dia-mond was excited, yielding sharp and clear fluores-cence images. Birefringence resulting from internalstrain was examined in transmitted light betweencrossed polarizers through a Nikon SMZ1500microscope.Attempts were made to acquire UV-visible spec-tra with a portable spectrometer, but the equipmentwas not configured for such large stones, so themeasurements are not reported here.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Results for both diamonds are summarized in table1. Based on previous color grading of the two dia-monds, we expected their appearances to be quitesimilar when observed side by side. Diamonds grad-ed by GIA as Fancy Deep are medium to dark in
82
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ITTELSBACH
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RAFFAND
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OPE
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IAMONDS
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& G
EMOLOGY
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UMMER
2010
Figure 2. The portable FTIR equipment was mounted with a mirror beam condenser. The photo on the leftshows the general apparatus, in which the Hope diamond is set. On the right, the mirrors focus the beamthrough the table and culet of the Wittelsbach-Graff. Photos by J. Post (left) and Chip Clark (right).
NEED TO KNOW
• The Wittelsbach-Graff and the Hope, two of theworld’s most famous blue diamonds, share simi-larities in history, color, and phosphorescence.Slight differences in phosphorescence and dis-tinct differences in luminescence emission andinternal strain patterns demonstrate that the dia-monds did not originate from the same crystal.The two diamonds’ overall resemblance andcommon origin (India) suggest that they formedin similar geologic settings.

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