World's Famous Diamonds - The Ashberg | Jordan Bass Jewelry
The Ashberg Diamond
The Ashberg diamond is a 102.48-carat, amber-colored cushion -shaped diamond. The exact color and clarity grades of the diamond are not known. Amber color is a vague term. It's a variable color which could mean anything between yellow, orange and brown, i. e. a combination of any two of these colors. Thus the term is not suitable to describe a diamond. However going by the photographs of the diamond, the Ashberg appears to be a dark brownish yellow diamond. The Ashberg diamond gets its name from Mr. Ashberg, a leading Stockholm banker, who acquired the diamond from a Russian trade delegation that visited Sweden in 1934.
The Ashberg diamond was formerly a part of the Russian Crown Jewels, a magnificent collection of jewels and jewelry, started during the time of Emperor Peter the Great of Russia in 1719. The collection was subsequently enriched by successive Czars and Czarinas who ruled Russia until the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. The Stone seems to be of South African origin, as it bears all the characteristics of diamonds originating in South Africa. It is no doubt a stone of the Cape series of diamonds. Thus the Ashberg diamond must have been a late addition to the Russian Crown Jewels, as diamonds were first discovered in South Africa only in the mid 1860s.
In the year 1926 after the October Bolshevik revolution, the Russian Crown Jewels were catalogued and illustrated, as the new Soviet Socialist Government proposed to dispose of all the jewels in their entirety. Some of the jewels were pilfered and found their way to the London auction rooms. But, later the plan as a whole was abandoned and the treasures were transferred to the Kremlin Diamond Fund, established in 1922. In the year 1934, a Russian trade delegation to Sweden, sold the diamond to Mr. Ashberg, a leading Stockholm banker. The Stockholm firm of Bolin, former Crown Jewelers to the court of St. Petersburg, mounted the diamond as a pendant to a diamond necklace. In 1949, the Ashberg diamond was displayed mounted on a pendant to a necklace containing diamonds and other gemstones, at the Amsterdam Exhbition. Ten years later in 1959, an auction house in Stockholm, Sweden, the Bukowski auction house, put up the Ashberg diamond for sale, but had to withdraw it later, as it failed to reach it's reserve. However, the owner of the diamond succeeded in negotiating a profitable deal, with a private buyer, but the name of the buyer was not disclosed. Finally in May 1981,the Ashberg diamond came up for sale, at a Christie's auction in Geneva, where once again it failed to reach it's reserve, and was withdrawn.