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History of the Dresden Green Diamond

Dresden Green Diamond

The rough stone from which the now world-famous Dresden Green Diamond was cut is believed to have originated at the Kollur mine near Golconda in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southern India.

Discovered in 1722, it is thought that the rough stone may have weighed as much as 100 (old) carats.  The Dresden was most likely cut before 1741 and has a green body color which is the result of exposure to naturally-occurring radioactive materials.  In fact, the green color is considered to be distributed throughout the stone instead of being limited to the outer layers as a coating or confined to certain regions as patches. 

The Dresden Green Diamond is deemed to be not only superior in quality, but also classified as a Type IIa diamond - chemically pure and internally flawless. It is unique and very rare, much like the blue Hope Diamond.

The Dresden Green Diamond has a history dating back to 1722, when a London news-sheet “Post Boy” reported in its 25 - 27 October 1722 edition that Marcus Moses, a diamond merchant, had bought it to sell to King George I (1714-27) for 10,000 pounds.  It never happened and the stone was finally acquired by Augustus III of Poland (1733-1763) from a Dutch merchant named “Delles” in 1742 at the Leipzig Fair. 

Augustus III of Poland

In 1768, a Prague jeweler, by the name of “Diessbach” created an extremely valuable hat ornament into which he incorporated the Dresden Green surrounding it with two large and 411 medium-sized and small diamonds. The flowery bottom portion of the hat ornament was originally created by Geneva jeweler Andre Jacques Pallard in 1746 as a section of a badge of the “Order of the Golden Fleece.”  The Dresden Green to this day, resides in this setting.

Dresden Green Hat Ornament

Frederick Augustus I (1694-1753), the grandson of Augustus III, set aside a group of rooms in Dresden Castle to house his collection of jewels including the DresdenGreen in its Order of the Golden Fleece setting, and named the rooms the ''Green Vault.''   

During the Seven Years War (1756-1763) and then again right before the bombing of Dresden towards the end of WWII, the jewels in the Green Vault, including the Dresden Green, were moved to the fortress of Königstein located in southeast Dresden by the Elba River for safe-keeping. Today, the contents of the Green Vault are housed in the contemporary Albertinium Museum built on the site of the original castle that was destroyed during WWII.

Fortress of Koningstein


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