The Iranian Yellows

These African diamonds were acquired by Nasseridin Shah on his third trip to Europe in 1889, and are collectively known as the Iranian Yellows. 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. This is rather amazing, considering the Regent Diamond, one of the world's most famous, weighs 140.50 carats. Three of the other diamonds shown here are between 114 and 120 carats each.

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 carats; rectangular old brilliant; silver cape
2 135.45 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; cape
3 123.93 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
4 121.90 carats; multi-faceted octahedron; cape
5 - 114.28 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
6 86.61 carats; rounded triangular brilliant; cape
7 86.28 carats; irregular Mogul cut; silver cape
8 78.96 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; cape
10 75.00 carats (est.); pendeloque brilliant; silver cape
11 75.00 carats (est.); pendeloque brilliant; silver cape
12 72.84 carats; irregular pear shape; champagne
13 65.65 carats; rectangular (old) brilliant, cape
14 60.00 carats (est.); cushion brilliant; yellow
15 57.85 carats; round brilliant; silver cape
16 57.15 carats; cushion brilliant; silver cape
17 56.19 carats; cushion brilliant; silver cape
18 66.57 carats; cushion brilliant; silver cape
19 54.58 carats; irregular oval Mogul cut; colorless
20 54.35 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; peach
21 53.50 carats; high (old) cushion brilliant; silver cape
22 51.90 carats; elliptical Mogul cut; colorless
23 38.18 carats; multi-faceted trapezoid cut; colorless.

None of the diamonds are a saturated yellow color, but rather a light yellow. If they were graded by 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 noticable than if they were smaller stones.

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