The Polar Star Diamond and the Mystery of the Diamond Sunburst Tiara of Princess Yusupova:
As I was writing about the mysterious yet beautiful Chaumet Diamond Sunburst Tiara of the Princess Yusupova that might have hold the Polar Star Diamond as a central stone more and more questions raised.
The official records states that Chaumet Diamond Sunburst Tiara was left behind in Russia by the Yusupov Family during the Revolution of 1917, yet they took the Polar Star with them!
Arguably Prince Felix Yusupov and his wife Irina might have just took the large diamond with them when they fled Russia as it very easy to carry and hide it while holding an immense value. The diamond have been in the Yusupov family for a century and was previously owned by Napoleon Bonaparte's brother.
The Yusupovs eventually also took with them two other very precious historical diamonds: the Sultan of Morocco, a 35.67 carat blue and the Ram's Head, a 17.47 carat pink, amongst other jewels.
Nonetheless, "In 1924 Prince Felix embarked upon a series of negotiations with Cartier. The Polar Star was lodged, intermittently, with their London branch, being being pledged, along with other family jewels, with the London firm of T.M. Sutton, until Cartier redeemed it." (Quote from Famous Diamonds written by Ian Balfour)
In 1928, Cartier sold the famous diamond to Lady Deterning, the wife of the oil magnate who built Royal Dutch Shell. She kept the diamond until her death in 1980 when it was sold at Christie's as per her will.
A stone resembling the characteristics of the Polar star was sold at Christie's in 2008 for 6.8 million dollars!
But it doesn't explain how Princess Yusupova was photographed in typical 1920s attires in Paris while wearing what it appears to be the "lost" Chaumet Sunburst Tiara that found by the Bolsheviks in 1925 in Moscow before definitely disappearing!
Chaumet in Majesty, Jewels of Sovereigns since 1780:
Princess Yusupova Fiamond Sunburst Tiara made in 1913 by Joseph Chaumet.
Technically the tiara wasn't at the exhibition as it disappeared after 1925 but I will explain.. First, who was Princess Yusupova?
Born Princess Irina Alexandrovna Romanov, she was a niece of Czar Nicolas II. Irina was recognized across Europe as one of the great beauty of her time! So in honor of her wedding to Prince Felix Yusupov, from the richest family of Russia at the time, even over the Romanov's fortune, many stones and jewels were sent to Paris to Chaumet to build her wedding trousseau. Chaumet made the most exquisite parures for the newly married Russian Princess, including the now lost Diamond Sunburst Tiara.
In danger for their lives during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the imperial couple fled Russia, leaving behind most of her impressive jewelry collection.
It took 8 years for the army to find the treasure hidden in a wall of the Yusupov Palace, in Moscow. Like most jewelry seized by the government at the time, it was sadly lost. Either it was under for its diamonds and melted or simply stolen and our only hope is that it might reappear one day by miracle.
Chaumet archives don't specify what was the center stone on the tiara. It is believed that according to the shape and size of the mount, it could have hold the Polar Star Diamond, a historical 41.29 carat Golconda diamond. But that's a story for another time