The Eye of the Lion
The world’s largest cut #chrysoberyl
catseye weighing a staggering 465cts.
In the late 18th century, in the paddy fields of #pelmadulla
a rough chrysoberyl catseye of over 700 carats was found.
The paddy field belonging to The Grand Lady Iddamalgoda Kumarihamy. Born in 1852, the daughter of Iddamalgoda Basnayake Nilame, an aristocratic Chieftain in the #sabaragamuwa
Province and Chief Custodian of Saman Devale. She gifted this to her eldest son in law, the gigantic rough stone was preserved and passed on to her first grandson, whom she adopted as a son as she had no male offsprings. The grandson is a Governor and inherited 20,000 acres of land including life interest over the largest rubber plantation in the entire country.
In 1930 he invited the famous gem cutter to his Walauwa (Manor House) and worked on the gemstone which he supervised. The result was a 465 carats #chrysoberylcatseye
named The Eye of The Lion. The largest cut example in the world cited by @smithsonian
Institute with a fascinating history, owned by a family descendant from King Rajasinha the First, who ruled the island nation from 1581 A.D. to 1593 A.D.
Chrysoberyl catseyes are chrysoberyl family which also includes #alexandrite
. The catseye’s are cut #cabochon
oriented parallel to its rutile needles which potrays the #chatoyancy
Maharaja of Baroda (India) was captivated by the Eye of the Lion, He is said to have not been able to take his eye off it the entire evening on an independence day celebration visit to Sri Lanka.
In 1978, @Smithsonian
Institution, Washington expressed its interest in acquiring it, since then only in 2006, the Eye of the Lion resurfaced to visit the @agta_gems
New York lab in the hands of gemstone dealer Jeffery Bergman @bergmanjeffery
Credit / Photo : gemsociety.org - IGS
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