The Tereschenko Diamond
The Tereschenko Diamond, also known as the Tereschenko Blue, is a 42.9 carat pear shape blue diamond. It has a slightly irregular outline, with a beautiful even saturation. It is believed to have come from India originally, as, like most blue diamonds, it is a Type IIb, suggesting that it came from the famous Golconda mines. It is the second biggest blue diamond in the world, behind the Hope Diamond.
In modern times, it was owned by the Tereschenko family, aristocratic industrialists in pre-1917 Russia.
The rough stone originally weighed 150 carats; according to legend, both the Hope and the Tereschenko diamonds were stolen from the eyes of a statue of the goddess Sita in an ancient Indian temple, and shipped to Europe. This led to a later belief that both stones were cursed; in the case of the Hope, this is widely known, as there were a number a number of unfortunate events befell its various owners over the years. In the case of the Tereschenko diamond, the family’s fortunes dipped greatly once the stone came into their possession, not least with the fall of Imperial Russia and the loss of the family fortune!
Around 1914, before the Russian Revolution, the Tereschenko Diamond was secretly taken out of Russia and placed in safe keeping in Paris. The gem was polished in 1915 by Cartier, after which it weighed 42.9 carats. They made it the centrepiece of a wonderful necklace, with forty six other diamonds, weighing from 0.1 to 2.8 carats, of all sorts of shape including round, marquise, pear and heart shape, and different colours including yellow, lemon, aqua, green, pink, and orange. Sadly, there are no images of this necklace.
Around that time, it passed into private ownership, resurfacing in 1984 at Christie’s in Geneva. It was purchased by Robert Mouawad, a Saudi diamond dealer, for ten million Swiss francs (4.6 million dollars), a new world record for the purchase price of a diamond. It is currently estimated to be worth over 20 million dollars.