Moon of Baroda

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A brief history

October 18, 2018: The Times of India

Moon of Baroda- a brief history
From: October 18, 2018: The Times of India

The diamond that Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe wore for the ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’, the 24.05 carat historic ‘Moon of Baroda’, will go under the hammer next month in Hong Kong. Its presale estimate is in the range of $500,000 to $750,000.

The canary yellow gem was once a prized possession of Baroda’s erstwhile royals, the Gaekwad family, for 500 years till it was sold to an undisclosed person in the 1920s. It will be auctioned at the Hong Kong autumn sale by Christie’s on November 27. The event marks a dramatic reappearance of this gem after almost three decades after Monroe wore it in the song for ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.’ The iconic photograph of Monroe wearing the famous diamond, that she autographed, will also go under the hammer alongside the Golconda gem. Monroe had scrawled on the photograph “thanks for the chance to wear the Moon of Baroda’’. The photograph of Monroe is expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000.

The diamond’s origin has now been established to be from the 3,000-year-old Golconda mine that also produced the ‘Koh-i-Noor’ and the ‘Nizam’. Christie’s had the diamond authenticated from Gemological Institute of America. “After 28 years, it (diamond) has once again reappeared at Christie’s. Only this time, it is classified as a historical diamond from the esteemed Golconda mine,” a note shared by the auction house with TOI stated. The Golconda mine is the first-ever diamond mine to be discovered in the world, making these diamonds exceptionally rare and most sought-after.

“The existence of the Moon of Baroda was first documented in the 15th century among the vast collection of the Gaekwads of Baroda, princes of one of India’s most ancient and powerful ruling families (and one of the world’s richest),” the auction house said. Beyond these nuggets, the unique diamond has little recorded history though its legend includes popular myths and mysterious buyers.

Christie’s had auctioned the Moon of Baroda in New York in 1990 to an unknown buyer who purchased it at $297,000, more than double its pre-sale estimate of $120,000.

See also

Diamond market in India

Kohinoor/ Koh-i-Noor

Moon of Baroda

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