The Alnatt is a 102 carat cushion cut diamond, named after its first known owner, Major Alfred Alnatt. It probably originated from South Africa, as most of the important yellow diamonds in the world come from there.
Major Alnatt was a soldier, benefactor, sportsman and patron of the arts. He paid what was then a world record price for Rubens’ The Adoration of the Magi in 1959, to prevent it leaving the country. He then gifted it to King’s College in Cambridge, as an altarpiece for its chapel. He also was an avid fan of horse racing; when he bought eleven yearlings from the Aga Khan he commented that “All I know about horses is that they are nice things to amble about on”. Perhaps he was being too modest, as he won the Gold Cup in 1943, and had a horse come third in the English Derby in 1942!
The diamond was purchased in the early 1950s, and Alnatt had it set by Cartier into a platinum flower brooch with five petals, a stem and two leaves, all set with brilliant cut diamonds.
It was auctioned again in 1996 by Christies, fetching a little over 3 million dollars.
The new owners had the diamond slightly recut, improving the colour grade from Fancy Intense Yellow to Fancy Vivid Yellow. After cutting, the weight of the stone decreased to 101.29 carats, with the loss of only 0.78 carats.
The diamond was exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute’s “The Splendor of Diamonds” exhibition. The Exhibition featured the Millennium Star (the world’s second largest D colour Flawless diamond), the Steinmetz Pink, the Pumpkin, the Heart of Eternity (the inspiration for the diamond in the motion picture Titanic), the Ocean Dream, and the Moussaieff Red. In 2005, the Allnatt was part of the “Diamonds” exhibition held between July 8, 2005, and February 26, 2006, that featured the De Beers Millennium Star, the Steinmetz Pink, the Incomparable, the Ocean Dream, the Allnatt, the Moussaieff Red, the Heart of Eternity, the 616 diamond, the Eureka, the Shah Jahan, and the famous Aurora collection of 296 natural fancy coloured diamonds.