The rarity of certain precious stones and their heroic stories has resulted in some diamonds gaining a mythical status. One such stone is the Sancy Diamond, a diamond of no fewer than 55.23 carats and with a unique pale-yellow appearance. The diamond, which is one of the most beautiful diamonds in the world, has a turbulent history but it is now back in safe hands in France. What is the story behind the Sancy Diamond?

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The history of the Sancy Diamond

The Sancy Diamond was first mentioned in books in the year 1477. Charles the Bold lost the Battle of Nancy. He fled and was found dead two days later; he had fallen off his horse. He was succeeded by his daughter Mary of Burgundy (who was later at the cradle of the diamond engagement ring).  The diamond probably fell prey to the Portuguese during the battle, because the Sancy Diamond first appeared in Portugal.
The stone stayed in Portuguese hands for almost a century before continuing its journey
James I of England - James I of England possessed the diamond for some time.
In 1570, the property owner of Sancy, Nicolas de Harlay, bought the precious stone to add to his collection of precious stones. De Harley clearly estimated its value because he decided not to sell the diamond. He lent the diamond to the French Court where pomp and circumstance were always in style. Until 1596, the Sancy was part of the French Court's jewellery collection, albeit as a borrowed object.

De Harley didn't want to sell the diamond, but he was forced to take measures in 1596 to save his financial situation. He decided to sell the diamond, but not to the French Court. James I of England made the winning bid and the diamond would then stay out of France for almost a century.

James II lost the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, fled to France and sold the diamond to Louis XIV, the Sun King. The Sancy remained at the French Court, but things went wrong during the riots of the French Revolution. Various rare diamonds were stolen, including the Sancy and The Blue Hope Diamond.
The precious stone reappeared in 1828 and the Russian Prince Anatoly Demidov bought the diamond. In 1865, the prince sold the Sancy to a French jeweller, after which William Waldorf Astor bought the stone in 1906 and gave it to his daughter-in-law as a wedding present.

How did the Sancy Diamond get its name?

James I of England gave the Sancy its name. He christened the diamond as the Sancy Diamond because he bought it from Nicolas de Harlay, property owner of Sancy. In the Tower of London, where it stayed for a while, the diamond had a plaque stating: 'bought of Sauncy'.

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The value of the Sancy Diamond

An etching of the Sancy diamond - An etching of the Sancy diamond
The Sancy is really unique, especially its colour. We can evaluate the French diamond on the basis of the 4 Cs:

  • Carat: 55.23
  • Colour: pale yellow
  • Cut: a symmetrical shield-shape with two identical surfaces
  • Clarity: unknown


The value of the diamond has never been calculated because its value is also in its amazing history. The diamond is currently estimated at just over six million euro. It is one of the most famous diamonds in the world.

Where can you admire the Sancy Diamond?

The son of the Astors inherited the Sancy diamond and sold it to the Louvre. It can still be admired there today, alongside other French Crown Jewels. After over half a millennium of exciting history, it is definitely worth visiting the Louvre to see the Sancy Diamond.

Why buy diamonds from BAUNAT?

So, why buy diamond jewellery from BAUNAT? We also offer a customised service from a budget of €4,000. Working with our experts you can design diamond jewellery entirely how you want it. If you have any questions about our jewellery or about certain styles and trends, our experts are always on hand to provide advice.

The diamonds and other precious stones from BAUNAT are of course of the highest possible quality. BAUNAT buys its diamonds directly from the source, eliminating intermediaries and enabling us to offer jewellery online 30% to 50% cheaper. Moreover, we only work with high-quality materials. For the precious metals, this is 18 carat gold and 950 platinum.

Find out about the most famous diamonds in the world

With its rich history, the Sancy Diamond has become one of the most valuable diamonds in the world. Read more about other valuable diamonds.
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