London Pawn-brokers: Security for a Loan

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What high-end Pawnshops can be asked to value

Coloured Diamonds

Many pawnbrokers will be asked to value diamonds during their day to day dealings, and will do so using reference to the 4C’s. One of the 4C’s being colour, which is a determined using comparison stones, the whiter the stone the more desirable that stone is. But when we are dealing with coloured diamonds, its how intense and even that colour is becomes more important.

Only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural colour and is referred to as a coloured diamond.  Therefore coloured diamonds have been sought after throughout history and some the most famous diamonds recorded are coloured; such as the stones featured below;

The Allnat diamond is a cushion cut fancy vivid yellow diamond. Prior to 1950 there is no recorded history for this diamond although experts guess it came from the premier diamond mine in South Africa. In 1950 Major Allnat commissioned Cartier to make a setting for the diamond. In 1996 the ring was placed on auction at Christies and sold for over 3 million dollars. The stone was re-cut from 102.07 carats to 101.29 carats and it was regarded as a vivid fancy yellow increasing its value. It’s currently in the “Splendor of Diamonds” collection at the Smithsonian Museum.

Many pawnshops will be asked to value diamonds during their day to day dealings, and will do so using reference to the 4C’s. One of the 4C’s being colour, which is a determined using comparison stones, the whiter the stone the more desirable that stone is. But when we are dealing with coloured diamonds, its how intense and even that colour is becomes more important.

Only one in every 10,000 diamonds possesses natural colour and is referred to as a coloured diamond.  Therefore coloured diamonds have been sought after throughout history and some the most famous diamonds recorded are coloured; such as the stones featured below;

The Allnat diamond is a cushion cut fancy vivid yellow diamond. Prior to 1950 there is no recorded history for this diamond although experts guess it came from the premier diamond mine in South Africa. In 1950 Major Allnat commissioned Cartier to make a setting for the diamond. In 1996 the ring was placed on auction at Christies and sold for over 3 million dollars. The stone was re-cut from 102.07 carats to 101.29 carats and it was regarded as a vivid fancy yellow increasing its value. It’s currently in the “Splendor of Diamonds” collection at the Smithsonian Museum.

Allan Diamond

The Heart of Eternity diamond is one the most famous fancy blue diamonds. It came from the premier mine in South Africa which has the largest production of fancy coloured diamonds. Blue diamonds represent 0.1% of the mine’s total output, and of the ten highest priced diamond sales, 6 of them were blue.  The stone was part of the DeBeers Millennium Jewels Collection and was the target of an unsuccessful diamond heist at the Millennium Dome during the year 2000 celebration. The gem is 27.64 carats and is classified as fancy vivid blue. The DeBeers Corporation won’t confirm current ownership but a recent exhibit at the Smithsonian indicated it was on loan from a private collector, leading to speculation it was purchased during the Millennium Dome Exhibition.

The Heart of Eternity

The Hope Diamond and is probably the most well-known and historically interesting of all coloured diamonds. It was originally known as the Tavernier Blue which was a crudely cut triangular diamond. According to legend, it was stolen from an Indian statue of Sita and purchased by Jean-Baptiste Tavernier around 1660. The diamond was sold to King Louis XIV of France who had it cut into a 67.125 carat stone. It was renamed the French Blue and worn for ceremonial functions in France. The diamond was rarely seen until Louis XVI gave it to Marie Antoinette who added it to her jewellery collection. When the French Revolution started the diamond was stolen and resurfaced in La Havre four years later. The diamond disappeared for another 20 years (which coincidentally is exactly how long it took for the statute of limitations to run out on the crime) when it resurfaced in the hands of a London diamond merchant Daniel Eliason in 1812. Henry Philip Hope purchased the diamond in 1824, after his death his heirs fought over the diamond. It passed through three generations of the Hope family until Henry Francis Hope Pelham-Clinton Hope fell into bankruptcy and was forced to sell the stone. The diamond continued to change hands until Pierre Cartier acquired it in 1910. They reset the stone and sold it to socialite Evelyn Walsh McLean. She left the stone to her heirs; however it had to be sold again to settle outstanding debt. The stone was purchased by legendary jeweller Harry Winston who had the lower portion of the stone cut to increase its brilliance. After having the diamond as part of his travelling exhibit known as “the court of jewels,” he donated it to the Smithsonian Institution. The diamond is said to have been cursed by the Hindu God from whose statue it was originally stolen because financial ruin or sudden death occurred to many who owned it. In 2005 new computer research proved that the Hope Diamond was indeed the French Blue that was stolen from the jewellery collection of Marie Antoinette.

The Hope Diamond

These are obviously very rare examples of coloured diamonds and ones that the pawnshops are not very likely to see, but many other examples exist, and with their beauty and rarity comes value. This makes them a very portable form of wealth which a loan can be made against. Specialist pawn brokers, Hopkins and Jones, based in central London can issue loans against such items.

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On November 24, 2016
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Hopkins & Jones Ltd is a trade member of The NPA (The National Pawnbrokers Association). Hopkins and Jones Limited, Company registration Number 433606. Registered Office, 7 William IV Street, London, WC2N 4DW. Hopkins and Jones Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority licence No 6520002 for the provision of pawnbroking loans.