Thursday 30th September 2010

Kazanjian Red Diamond on display at American Museum of Natural Histo


The Kazanjian Red Diamond has a rich history since its discovery 90 years ago. (Photo courtesy of Tino Hammid, Los Angeles)

Kazanjian Red Diamond on display at American Museum of Natural History

September 27, 2010

he Kazanjian Red Diamond, one of the few red diamonds ever discovered, has gone on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Fewer than 20 red diamonds are known to exist.


The 5.05-carat emerald cut gem was cut from a 35-carat rough stone discovered in the 1920s in Litchenburg, South Africa.
The diamond was later sent to Amsterdam to be cut and polished by the Goudiv brothers after the firm’s master cutter studied the diamond for seven months, according to a New York Times report.
The gem was twice sent to Tiffany & Co in New York, but in 1944, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, it was discovered in Arnhem and sent to Germany, where it was hidden among other confiscated gems.
After the war, diamond merchant Louis Asscher was assigned a cache of gemstones found hidden in a salt mine near Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s retreat in Bavaria.
Although the listing found with the stones stated diamonds “and one ruby,” Asscher immediately recognized it as the Red Diamond.
It was eventually sold to Sir Ernest Oppenheimer of De Beers, who sold it to the Royal Asscher Diamond Company.
For the following two decades or so, its whereabouts were unknown, but in 1970 it found its way jeweler Douglas Kazanjian, who with much research and study, was able to link together its historical origins.

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