Feb 11th, 2013
The Iranian Yellows is a collection of diamonds that were acquired by Nasseridin Shah on a trip to Europe in 1889. These yellow diamonds are all South African in origin, and considering the year the diamonds were purchased, may have originated in the highly productive De Beers or Kimberley mines, that started production in the mid 1860’s.
There are a number of collections of large diamonds on display in the Iranian Treasury, however due to security concerns, the largest diamond in this collection, which is a 152.16 carat stone, is not pictured here. The next largest in the collection is the 135.45 carat stone in the center of the photo. Three of the other diamonds shown here are between 114 and 120 carats each.
None of the diamonds are a saturated yellow color, but rather a light yellow. If they were graded by the Gemological Institute of American (GIA) they would probably fall in the L-M-N range of the color scale. However, due to their immense size, their yellow color is more noticeable than if they were smaller stones.
The center stone in the photo is listed in the GIA book Diamonds – Famous, Notable and Unique by GIA, as being #2 on a list of 23 diamonds known as the Iranians. The stones are numbered in order of largest to smallest. The list reads as follows:
1 — 152.16 carat; rectangular old brilliant; silver cape
2 — 135.45 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; cape
3 — 123.93 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
4 — 121.90 carat; multi-faceted octahedron; cape
5 – 114.28 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
6 — 86.61 carat; rounded triangular brilliant; cape
7 — 86.28 carat; irregular Mogul cut; silver cape
8 — 78.96 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; cape
10 — 75.00 carat (est.); pendeloque brilliant; silver cape
11 — 75.00 carat (est.); pendeloque brilliant; silver cape
12 — 72.84 carat; irregular pear shape; champagne
13 — 65.65 carat; rectangular (old) brilliant, cape
14 — 60.00 carat (est.); cushion brilliant; yellow
15 — 57.85 carat; round brilliant; silver cape
16 — 57.15 carat; cushion brilliant; silver cape
17 — 56.19 carat; cushion brilliant; silver cape
18 — 66.57 carat; cushion brilliant; silver cape
19 — 54.58 carat; irregular oval Mogul cut; colorless
20 — 54.35 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; peach
21 — 53.50 carat; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
22 — 51.90 carat; elliptical Mogul cut; colorless
23 — 38.18 carat; multi-faceted trapezoid cut; colorless.