The diamond of Cardinal Mazarino, from the four Musketeers to Christie’s auction ♦
Cardinal Mazarino, in addition to being a character used by Alexandre Dumas in his novels with the four Musketeers, was really a great statista. Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino, born in Pescina (Abruzzo, Italy) in 1602, also known as the Franch name of Jules Raymond Mazarin, was a kind of Prime Minister of Louis XIV and, at the death of the king, became in practice the regent of France. He left as inheritance to the mortals not only an intense and important political life, but also a diamond. And now this diamond is auctioned out by Christie’s on November 14 in Geneva. The stone is called Grand Mazarin and was part of the jewelery of the Crown of France.
The name sparks the fantasy, but in any case the stone is of value: it is a fancy pink diamond of 19.07 carats. It was extracted in the now depleted mines of Golconda, India, and was part of the crown treasure. Hand by hand, in 1810 the diamond was worn by Empress Maria Luisa, mounted on a tiara on commission by Napoleon I at jeweler François Regnault Nitot. Napoleon III then handed it over to Empress Eugenia. The Grand Mazarin was auctioned in 1887 and bought by the great jeweler Frédéric Boucheron. In 1962 he came back to the fore, until he was bought by a private person in Europe. The same one that now sells the diamond from Christie’s. The estimate varies between 6 and 9 million dollars. Federico Graglia