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Dresden White Diamond: Golconda Diamond

The Golden fleece ornament, Dresden White (on top) and the Dresden Green (in the middle).
Dresden White diamond is a 49.71-carat, colorless, cushion-cut diamond with an unknown clarity grade but was undoubtedly of the "finest water" or "purest water" (descriptive terms used in the past to refer to colorless, D color diamonds) Frederick Augustus I paid around a million dollars to acquire it way back in the 17th century.

Its a Type IIa diamond free of nitrogen and other impurities, and having a perfectly formed crystal structure free of any impurities and distortions. Diamonds with these properties constitute only 1-2 % of all naturally occurring diamonds & are considered as rare as real, natural Rubies.

Dresden White diamond was one of a magnificent collection of jewels and jewelry put together by Frederick Augustus I, also known as Augustus the Strong, the King of Poland between 1694 and 1733, who was noted for his extravagant and luxurious tastes.

The King of Poland ordered a Golden Fleece ornament, know known to the world as Pallard's Golden Fleece ornament, created by the artiste' the court of the time, Pallard of Vienna in 1746. Pallard's Golden Fleece is made of three sections. Dresden White diamond is incorporated in the top section, surrounded by several smaller white diamonds. The more famous 40.70-carat, pear-shaped, Dresden Green diamond is set as the centerpiece of the middle section of the fleece. Dresden Green is also surrounded by smaller white diamonds. The lower section which carries the golden fleece has another large unnamed cushion-shaped white diamond as its centerpiece.

The diamond being a late 17th century or early 18th century stone, is undoubtedly of Indian origin,  and possibly originated in the famous Golconda mines of Southern India, noted for producing diamonds of the "purest water", sometimes referred to as "whiter than white" diamonds.

When the diamond was shown to Frederick Augustus I he was mesmerized by the exceptional size, cut, clarity and color of the diamond.  He is reported to have paid between $ 750,000 and $ 1,000,000 for the diamond, about 150,000-200,000 $/ct. perhaps a record price per carat paid for any colorless diamond at that time. The diamond came to be known as the Dresden White or Saxon White diamond, and was second in importance only to the celebrated Dresden Green diamond, in the valuable collection of jewels in the Green Vault in Dresden.

Frederick Augustus I, the King of Poland
Frederick Augustus I (1694-1733) was a monarch of extravagant and luxurious tastes. He was also a collector and connoisseur of jewels, art and jewelry, and put together an extravagant collection of the finest high-end jewels & jewelry of his time. His collection of paintings included important renaissance and baroque works by Italian, Dutch, and Flemish masters. Raphael's "Cistine Madonna" was prominent among this collection. In order to house his enormous collection of paintings, sculptures, jewels and other treasures he set up a "Green Vault" in Dresden Castle.

The invaluable treasures of the "Green Vault" was put on public display after World War I and remained so until the beginning of World War II. At the height of the war in 1942, the treasures were moved again to the safety of the Konigstein fortress, and thus escaped the shattering aerial bombardment by the allied forces which completely destroyed the city of Dresden, one of the most beautiful cities in the world until then.

The Soviet Trophies Commission which was in the city at that time of the devastating bombing raid of 1945, took the contents of the "Green Vault" to Moscow, but returned them safely in 1958. The contents are now on display in the Albertinium Museum in Dresden, which was built on the same site as the former Dresden Castle.

Check out the similar Dresden Green Diamond, world's largest Green Diamond!

What do you think about the magnificent Dresden White?


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