Wednesday, February 20, 2013

German Royal Jewels: Hat Ornament with Dresden Green Diamond

This beautiful diamond hat ornament contains one of the most exquisite diamonds known - the pear-shaped Dresden Green Diamond, a stone of exceptional quality weighing 40.7 carats. It is the largest and finest natural green diamond ever found. The diamond derives its name from Dresden, the capital city of Saxony in Germany: Frederick Augustus II of Saxony bought the diamond in 1741 and the stone remained in Dresden for most of its history.
Diamond Hat Ornament with Dresden Green Diamond
The first setting of the Dresden Green was as part of the decorations on the Order of the Golden Fleece. It lasted only four years before Frederick Augusts ordered his court jewellers to create a new setting for the Order, this time incorporating another fabulous diamond in his collection – the Dresden White (a cushion-shaped 49.7 carat diamond).

That one didn't last long either and in 1768, Frederick Augustus ordered to remove the stone from the Order of the Golden Fleece ornament and create a new setting for it. The task was entrusted to jeweller Diessbach who set the diamond on hat clasp – a magnificent jewel that survives to this day. It could also be worn as a brooch, although no lady has ever been lucky enough to do that.
The second Golden Fleece setting of the stone with the Dresden White diamond on top
During World War II, the diamond was stored in Koningstein and escaped unscathed. However, the Soviet Trophies Commission took it, along with rest of the Crown Jewels, to Moscow as spoils of war. The Dresden Green Diamond remained in the Soviet Union until 1958, when the Soviets gave the Saxonian Crown Jewels back to Germany.

The Dresden Green Diamond in its hat ornament setting has been displayed in Dresden ever since. The only exception is the period between October 2000 and January 2001, when it was displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in the Harry Winston Gallery, alongside the equally (or possibly even more) famous and historical diamond, the Hope.
The Dresden Green Diamond
This diamond and the hat ornament are absolutely fantastic: I have never seen a stone of quite the same hue as the stone, and the hat ornament setting is beautiful beyond words. I am now eager to visit Dresden just to visit the Green Vault and see the diamond in person!

This post gives a brief history and description of the hat ornament the famous Dresden Green Diamond is mounted into. If you want to read detailed account of the gem's fascinating history, you can have a look at this post - The Dresden Green Diamond

1 comment:

  1. wow, gorgeous..i'd love to see that in person ;-)