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Victoria-Transvaal Diamond

Photograph of the Victoria-Transvaal diamond necklace (NMNH G7101)
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G7101-00
Locality Premier Mine, South Africa
Weight 67.89 ct

Gift of Leonard and Victoria Wilkinson in 1977.

The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond was cut from a 240ct rough stone found at the Premier Mine in Transvaal, South Africa, in 1951. Originally known as the Transvaal Diamond, the fancy “champagne-colored” diamond was originally cut to 75ct but then later recut to 67.89ct for better proportions. In 1997, the diamond was graded by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and given a color grade of natural fancy brown-yellow with a clarity grade of VS-2 (very slightly included). The Victoria-Transvaal Diamond is a pear-shaped brilliant cut and has 116 facets. The yellow gold necklace was designed by Baumgold Brothers, Inc., and consists of 66 round brilliant cut diamonds, fringed with 10 drop motifs, each set with two marquise-cut diamonds, a pear-shaped diamond, and a small round brilliant cut diamond. Total weight of the 106 diamonds in the necklace is approximately 45ct. The Victoria-Transvaal diamond was worn in the 1952 movie “Tarzan’s Savage Fury.” In 1976, Leonard E. and Victoria Wilkinson bought the Transvaal Diamond necklace from the Desert Auction Galleries of Palm Springs, California for $430,000. In 1977, the diamond was donated to the Smithsonian by the Wilkinsons, along with several other gems and jewelry pieces. At Mr. Wilkinson’s request the diamond was renamed the Victoria-Transvaal Diamond in honor of his wife.


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