The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 21, 2014


Smithsonian Extends Chance to Glimpse Rare Blue Diamond
This undated handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows The 31.06-carat "Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond" which joined the 45.52-carat "Hope Diamond" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. AP Photo/Smithsonian Institution.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is extending its exhibit of one of the most rarely seen gems in the world, the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond, to Sept. 1. Before the diamond was exhibited beginning Jan. 28, it had been out of view from the public eye for more than 50 years. It had previously been on public display at the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958.

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is in the Harry Winston Gallery in the museum, adjacent to the renowned Hope Diamond, in the Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. As a rare blue diamond from the 17th century, the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond’s properties once suggested a possible link to the same mines in India that produced the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond, the near-perfect example of a deep-blue diamond. However, this has been dispelled by Jeffrey Post, the museum’s curator of gems and minerals. “There is an uncanny resemblance, but they are different,” said Post. “They are not part of the same crystal or rough. Perhaps they are distant cousins but not brothers and sisters.”

The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond has a rich history, beginning in 1664 when Philip IV of Spain gave it to his daughter, the Infanta Margarita Teresa, on her engagement. In 1722, the diamond passed to the Wittelsbachs, members of the ruling House of Bavaria. After World War I, the crown jewels of the House of Wittelsbach were sold at Christie’s in 1931 by auction.

Inexplicably, the Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond disappeared before the auction and was replaced by a worthless glass replica. It resurfaced in Belgium in 1951 and was eventually displayed—without attribution—at the “World Exhibition” in Brussels in 1958. The diamond was correctly identified in 1962 by Joseph Komkommer, a Belgian gem expert.

In December 2008, the 35.56-carat stone was acquired by Laurence Graff, at auction in London. Graff’s expertise in gemology enabled him to see the potential in repolishing the stone. The process brought the stone to its current weight of 31.06 carats. According to the Gemological Institute of America, the diamond “… is the largest Flawless or Internally flawless, Fancy Deep Blue, Natural Color we have graded to date…”

National Museum of Natural History | Washington | Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond | Jeffrey Post |


Today's News

August 12, 2010

More than a Dozen Multi-Million Dollar Cars Lead RM's Silver Anniversary Monterey Sale

'Lucy' Species Used Stone Tools, Fossil Study by California Academy of Sciences Says

Mumbai's Taj Hotel Reopens Sunday After 2008 Attacks

MoMA Launches Free iPhone App, Now Available on App Store

Christina Aguilera Lends Her Voice to Support the Arts

Money Fair in Boston Showcases $100,000 Bills, Rare Coins

Renowned International Artists to Display New Works at Beyond/In Western New York

Fundació Antoni Tàpies Presents a New Selection of Works from the Collection

Very Original Features: Is this United Kingdom's Oldest Home?

Martin Luther has Wittenberg, Germany in a Stir 500 Years On

Smithsonian Extends Chance to Glimpse Rare Blue Diamond

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Appoints Dominic Molon as Chief Curator

Two Tableaux Vivants After Regent Portraits by Jan de Bray

Work Begins on Deluxe 17,000-Square-Foot Addition to Dan Morphy Auctions Gallery

It Bag, Watch Out: France's Duvelleroy Folding Fan is Back

Hannah Eidinow's New Street Theatre Commission for the Vauxhall Collective Comes to Edinburgh

Winslow Homer Classic Portrait Featured in American Treasures Stamp Series

SFMOMA to Present Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and The Camera Since 1870

Relic from Darwin's Epic Beagle Voyage for Sale at Bonhams

Rare Communion Silver Bought for Birmingham

Asia's Most Sought after Wine in Pristine Condition with Perfect Provenance

Artistic Explorations by 22 Artists at Benrimon Contemporary

Clare Twomey's First Solo Exhibition in the United States Will Be at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Fever mounts as stunning statues found at Alexander The Great-era tomb

2.- Hi-tech underground scans reveal vast complex of monuments at Britain's Stonehenge

3.- National Geographic Museum opens exhibition featuring shark-munching Spinosaurus

4.- First major New York City exhibition to explore Vienna Actionism opens at Hauser & Wirth

5.- Elizabeth I 'airbrushed' for 18th century make-over and a bug is found in Edward VI

6.- Award winning Swedish director Daniel Fridell to direct Kalliope Films' Vincent Van Gogh biopic

7.- Comprehensive retrospective exhibition of Joan Miró's work opens at the Albertina

8.- Synchrotron radiation technology in art conservation: Science to the rescue of art

9.- Mona Kuhn's first solo exhibition in the US opens at Edwynn Houk Gallery

10.- Sotheby's announces details of its sales series for Property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon

Related Stories



Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History to unveil largest aquamarine gem

World's Most Famous Diamond Unveiled at National Museum of Natural History

Botanical Illustration Exhibition Highlights the Art Behind Conservation

New Exhibition Hall Devoted to Human Origins to Open at Smithsonian

Famed Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond Makes First Public Appearance in 50 Years

Smithsonian Plans to Open Human Evolution Hall



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site