A 17th century Mughal Mirror diamond and emerald necklace on a silk cord, priced at $20 million, is being offered for private sale at Bonhams. Mughal Mirror Diamond necklace is an extraordinary example of the colourless, rough diamonds discovered in the ancient Golconda mines in India during the height of the Mughal empire across the Indian Subcontinent in the 16th and 17th centuries, which were reserved for royalty.
We are honored to offer the Mughal Mirror Diamond necklace for private sale, Matthew Girling, Bonhams CEO and international head of jewelry, said in a statement. Having worked in the jewelry business for over 30 years, I have rarely come across such a masterpiece in terms of craftsmanship and survival.
This one of the most significant piece of Mughal jewellery, features five diamonds ranging from 16 to 28 carats, all documented by Bonham’s authorities as the largest set of matching flat diamonds from seventeenth century India. The largest diamond at the centre of the necklace, which measures 24.3 mm across and weighs 28 carats, is the largest mirror or table-cut diamond known to survive. The diamond cutting techniques visible on the gems of the necklace, which is believed to have belonged to a Mughal emperorare, said to be extremely rare. The 18th century Columbian emerald fluted drops were added later and are each topped with a gold cap.
The presentation of the Mughal Mirror Diamond necklace, containing five extraordinarily well matched mirror diamonds, is causing great excitement in the world of jewellery scholars as well as potential buyers, Matthew Girling said.
In the time of the Mughal emperors, table-cut diamonds, especially, were valued more for their size and clarity. Gem-cutters only sought to remove areas with cracks and inclusions, so the shape of the rough gem determined the final outline of the polished stone. And, the result were asymmetrical and irregular forms, as the cutter was striving for the maximum size possible.
Weighing approximately 96 carats in total, the skilfully rendered table-cut diamonds were designed to emphasise the remarkable nature beauty of the nacklace, without necessarily compromising its size. [Bonham’s]