March 29, 2022
4 min read

The moon of Baroda diamond

The moon of Baroda diamond
The moon of Baroda diamond

The diamond worn by Maharajas and Marilyn Monroe.

“It’s gorgeous!” – Monroe exclaimed when saw the Moon of Baroda for the first time. It happened in 1953. It was the largest diamond she ever wore. The 24.04 ct pear-shaped fancy yellow diamond was a centerpiece of a promotion campaign of the Howard Hawks film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Marylin Monroe wore it while singing the signature song Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend. 

However, the Moon of Baroda has a much longer story. 

The GIA determined that the stone was mined in the legendary and rich Golconda mines in India. It happened presumably between the 15th and 17th centuries. Initially weighing 25.95 ct, the stone traveled to the western city of Baroda. There it was transformed into an antique pear shape that suited perfectly for “pagri” – the headgear of Indian royalty. At one time, this diamond was part of the Gaekwads of Baroda collection – one of the wealthiest and most powerful ruling families in India. The stone remained in their possession for over two centuries. 

Later the Moon of Baroda made another impressive journey – this time in Austria. It was gifted to Empress Marie Therese – the only female monarch of the Habsburg Dynasty and the mother of Marie Antoinette. However, the Empress died shortly after receiving the stone. So the belief was born that the diamond is cursed.

“If the gem ever crosses a sea or ocean, it will bring bad luck to its owner”, – a bad omen sayes. 

After the Empress passed, the diamond was returned to the Gaekwad family. In 1860, it was mounted into a pendant, remaining in India for several decades. 

In 1944 the Moon of Baroda was acquired by Samuel H. Deutsch – the president of a firm of diamond cutters in Cleveland, Ohio. Later – in 1953 – he sold the stone to Meyer Rosenbaum, president of Meyer Jewelry Company in Detroit, Michigan. 

It was Meyer Rosenbaum who proposed to Marylin Monroe wear this yellow diamond on a simple leather cord during the Gentlemen Prefer Blondes press conference and promotional tour. Once Marylin even signed a photograph of her: “To Meyer, thanks for the chance to wear The Moon of Baroda”. 

In 1990 the Moon of Baroda was exhibited at Christie’s in New York for $297,000. Then, in 2008, it was shown at the Antwerp Diamond Divas exhibition. At auction in 2018 the diamond’s story stops – it was acquired by an anonymous buyer. 

Why is this diamond so special? 

The Moon of Baroda is “one of the most brilliant examples of diamond-cutting in diamond history. It is canary yellow and very clean, and its pear-shaped design is well adapted for the royal headgear of Indian nobility”, – claims the American newspaper in 1966.

This diamond is truly unique, and its cut is admired even today. It is so skillful and refined that the stone barely lost weight in the process of acquiring a pear shape. Its rare and rich color, collected in such a complex shape, only adds to its attractiveness.

Inspired by a legend

Iconic jewels are made to inspire!

Truly perfect stones do not need extra elements – they are independent and collect all the attention. 

Pear shape is eye-catching: due to its elongated form, such a diamond boasts larger surface and looks more impressive. What is more, the pear shape has a refined and versatile style, being great for vintage, classic and even modern looks. 

Yellow diamonds are the trendiest among all the fancy colored gems – their fancy intense or fancy vivid yellow shades are especially appreciated. 

Subscribe to discover the world of diamonds and gems. If you have any questions, please let us know.

Other news

View all

Bonhams Fancy and Brilliant online auction features 23 beautiful lots each of which is unique and special in its own way. We invite…

June 08, 2024

A 53.04-carat D-color, internally perfect diamond is expected to fetch up to $5 million at the June 7 Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels sale in…

June 06, 2024

We’ve got some new spinels! We now have two more stones in our collection. Our spinel boasts vibrant colors, mesmerizing brilliance, and a…

June 05, 2024