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Home Famous Diamonds in the World The Beau Sancy Diamond

The Beau Sancy Diamond

Origin of name

The Beau Sancy Diamond

The Beau Sancy diamond gets its name from Nicholas Harlay de Sancy the financier and diplomat of 16th-17th century France, who was also a collector, connoisseur and dealer of diamonds. The Great Beau Sancy became one of the the most celebrated, historic and famous diamonds in the world.


Weight : 34.5 carats
Dimensions : 22.4 x 19.5 x 11.5 mm
Color : Colorless
Origin : India
Current Location : Private ownership, Europe

Characteristics of the stone

The "Beau Sancy" diamond is a perfect, colorless, rounded pear-shaped diamond of 34 carats. The accurate color and clearness ratings of the diamond are not famous, as the diamond possibly has not been experienced in a recent laboratory. But, the diamond emerges to be D-color and internally unblemished. Considering the stage in which the diamond first showed, the late 16th century, it must have created in the diamond mines of Southern India, well-known for manufacturing colorless diamonds of excellent clarity.

History of the diamond

Early History

Beau Sancy diamond illustration

The diamond without any doubt is of Indian basis, as the initial real record of its life is in the late 16th century, when the diamond came into the control of Nicholas Harlay de Sancy, representative and financier directly connected with the royal family of France. India was the only known basis of diamonds in this period. The first name used for the pear-shaped, 34-carat, pale diamond prior to it came into Sancy's hands is not identified. But, it is thought that the stone was part of the jewels that fit in to Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, who also hold the other Sancy diamond, the Great Sancy, which he used to take into his fights, in the faith that it brings good luck. Charles the Bold was the final of the big dukes of Burgundy, who ruled among 1467 and 1477. Charles the Bold, is said to have propelled three diamonds in 1475 to the well-known diamond cutter Louis de Berquem of Bruges-who is said to be the inventor of the recent art of diamond faceting-for cutting and cleaning. One of these diamonds is said to be the "Beau Sancy". The second diamond was offered to Pope Sixtus IV and the third diamond to King Louis XI of France. The outcome of the Beau Sancy following Charles the Bold's death in 1477 is not known.

Nicholas Harlay de Sancy was a man of great wealth, He was a member of the economic council of both Henry III and Henry IV. He was also a collector and authority of diamonds. He looks to have obtained the Sancy and the Beau Sancy also when he was helping as an ambassador in Constantinople, Turkey in 1570s. Nicholas Harlay de Sancy was an enthusiastic monarchist and in 1589 he is supposed to have hocked his diamonds to assist Henry III to lift a mercenary army, in the French civil war between the Protestants (Huguenots) and the Catholics. Nicholas Sancy was in intricate financial straits and was enforced to sell some of his diamonds.

In 1604 he put up for sale the Great Sancy diamond to King James I, the heir to the childless Queen Elizabeth I and the first Stuart King of England. Facts of the ride of the Sancy diamond in history, that has passed through more countries and affected more royal families than any other diamond in history.

The smaller diamond the Beau Sancy was put up for sale in the same year 1604, to Marie de Medicis, the Queen of King Henry IV of France. Marie de Medicis got the Beau Sancy diamond raised on the crown which she dresses in for her coronation in 1610. But, unfortunately her husband King Henry IV was killed in the same year, and was succeeded by her son King Louis XIII, who was just nine years old. Marie de Medicis acted as regent awaiting Louis XIII came of age, and dedicated herself to the dealings of the state. In 1617, Louis XIII offended at being barred from power, got his mother deported to Blois with the help of his contiguous counselor Charles d'Albert, who soon turned into the main figure in the government. Richelieu finally fell out with Marie de Medicis over his strategy of refusing the Franco-Spanish alliance, and as an alternative behind the Protestant powers. In February 1631, Marie de Meidicis was banished for the second time to Compiegne, from wherever she escaped to Brussels in Spanish Netherlands (presently Belgium) and never goes back to France. She died in 1642.

While in Brussels she was in terrible financial straits and sold the majority of her belongings. She also sold the Beau Sancy diamond to Prince Frederick Henry, the Prince of Orange, for 80,000 florins. Prince Frederick Henry (1584-1647), was the youngest son of William the Silent, Stadholder of the United regions of the Netherlands and the chief leader of the Dutch move violently for independence from Spain. Behind the murder of William the Silent his son Maurice of Nassau and Prince of Orange, thrived the father as Stadholder.

Modern History

After the death of Maurice's in 1625, Frederick Henry, the Prince of Orange, turned into Stadholder of Spanish Netherlands. Frederick Henry was a luminous soldier and military strategist; thus the borderline between the current kingdoms of Belgium (Spanish Netherlands) and the Netherlands approached to be strained mostly according to Fredrick Henry's victory and failures. Frederick Henry's son and inheritor, William II, married Mary Stuart, the eldest daughter of Charles I of Great Britain.

William II succeeded his father Frederick Henry as the Stadholder of the United Provinces of Netherlands, following his death in 1647. He also understood the workplaces of Captain General and Admiral General of the Union and the heading of Prince of Orange. William II passed away on November 6, 1650, after constricting small pox. William II's wife Mary Stuart provided birth to an infant boy eight days after his death. This boy, who was the grandson of Prince Frederick Henry, grows up to become William III (1672-1702), the Prince of Orange and Stadholder of the United provinces of the Netherlands, after the Act of privacy, that debarred the House of Orange from power, was cancelled.

In 1677 William III married his cousin Mary, daughter of James, the duke of York, who then became King James II of England. This marriage to the heiress of the British Throne, eminent to William's status, who was til now the fourth in the English sequence. After his father-in Law, King James II a Roman Catholic, had provoked his subjects by his autocratic and romanizing policies, William of Orange, the Stadholder of Netherlands was demanded to interfere. He gratified and attacked England on 15th November 1688. James II run away to France and King William III and Queen Mary II were fitted as combined rulers of Great Britain. William III innated the Beau Sancy and offered it to his spouse Queen Mary II, as a wedding gift. The couples were childless and the diamond came into the control of a new grandson of Prince Frederick Henry, Frederick III, voter Prince of Brandenburg, who was in 1701, became the King of Prussia, in the name of Frederick I. The Beau Sancy became the most significant stone in the crown jewels of Prussia and was placed in the royal crown. In an account of the crown jewels in 1913, the Beau Sancy featured as the pendant to a necklace finished of 22 diamonds.

Currently, The Beau Sancy is in the control of the head of the house of Hohenzollern, Prince Louis-Ferdinand of Prussia, grandson of Kaiser William II, the preceding emperor of Germany.


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