The Dresden Green
«On Tuesday last, in the afternoon, one Mr. Marcus Moses, lately arrived from India, had the honor to wait on his Majesty with his large green diamond…»
That’s how the story of The Dresden Green – the largest green diamond in the world – started.
Discovered in India, the diamond was bought in 1741 by Friedrich Augustus II — the elector of Saxony, king of Poland, and grand duke of Lithuania. According to the rumours, he spent 400,000 thaler on this 41ct gem – at the time, this enormous sum of money would have been worth about four tons of gold!
A year later Augustus II commissioned the court jeweler to incorporate the Diamond into a badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece (the most important chivalric order in Europe). However, some years later Augustus II incorporated the Dresden Green into a different setting. This time it was the second badge of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The young grandson of Augustus II decided to transform the Diamond into a more fashionable piece. So his jeweler, Franz Michael Diespach, slightly changed the appearance of the Golden Fleece and used the Green Diamond as the dominant component of a complex hat ornament.
Diespach’s hat ornament, in which the Green Diamond remains today, is part of the “Brilliant Garniture,” one of the two largest diamond garnitures in the Saxon collection.
By the way, the GIA examined the Dresden Green in 1988: it has a weight of 40.70 carat, the perfect color distribution throughout the whole diamond and the VS1 clarity. The Dresden Green is a gemstone of exceptional quality, rarity and beauty.