Farnese Blue – the 6.16-carat pear-shaped diamond will appear on the market for the first time in history this spring, after having remained in the same family for over three centuries. Geneva–A historic blue diamond is expected to sell for between $3.7 million and $5.3 million at Sotheby’s sale of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels (15 May, Geneva).
Given to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (1692-1766), the legendary diamond has subsequently passed down through four of the most important royal families in Europe: Spain, France, Italy and Austria.
Witness to 300 years of European history, from the aftermath of the Spanish Succession War to the fall of the Habsburg Empire, the diamond has travelled across the continent for centuries. And all this time, it was kept secretly in a royal casket. Excepting close relatives, and of course the family jewellers, no one knew of its existence.
Blue has often been identified as the colour of kings and in the 17th and 18th centuries, blue diamonds were viewed as the ultimate royal gift. Like the famous Hope and Wittelsbach diamonds, the Farnese Blue was certainly found in the famed Golconda mines of India, which was the sole source of diamonds until the discoveries in Brazil in the 1720s.