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The Excelsior

The fates were aligned the day the Excelsior was discovered, aligned to ensure no one bar a handful of people knew of its existence. On the day Excelsior was found, the contract between the mining company and the syndicate of firms in London that purchased its diamonds expired. This state of legal limbo meant that there was almost no press coverage of the huge diamond’s discovery.

In 1903, ten years into the diamond’s stay in a vault in London, Asscher Diamond Company was commissioned to cut the colossal stone into smaller diamonds. This required precise handling and cutting due primarily to black inclusions, preventing it from being polished as a single stone.

Though the final diamonds from the Excelsior suite yielded huge diamonds by any standard, then and now, Asscher Diamond Company had the skill to cut and cleave the stone into larger pieces, had there been a customer interested in such a large diamond. As there wasn’t, eleven beautiful fancy shape diamonds were cut and polished to the highest standards, the Asscher standard.

Of the final suite, Tiffany & Co. purchased three of the Excelsior diamonds for their flagship store in New York City. What happened to the rest of the diamonds remains largely unknown, with rumors of some of the diamonds being recut into smaller diamonds.

Excelsior I: 69.68 carats pear shape

Excelsior II: 47.03 carats pear shape

Excelsior III: 46.90 carats marquise shape

Excelsior IV: 40.23 carats pear shape

Excelsior V: 34.91 carats marquise 

Excelsior VI: 28.61 carats marquise

Excelsior VII: 26.30 carats pear shape

Excelsior VIII: 24.31 carats pear shape

Excelsior IX: 16.78 carats pear shape

Excelsior X: 13.86 carats pear shape

Excelsior XI: 9.82 carats pear shape‍


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