The jeweller Frédéric Boucheron opened his first shop in the arcades of the Palais Royal, Paris; more than 160 years later, the maison he founded is a world leader.
One such gem was the Polar Star, a 41-carat Golconda diamond that passed through the hands of Napoleon’s brother Joseph and Felix Youssoupoff — a Russian prince who married the niece of Tsar Nicholas II. In 1980, it fetched $4.6 million at Christie’s Geneva, a world record at the time. The actual diamond has not been seen since, but in 2006 it resurfaced — albeit in different guise — at auction on a Damien Hirst canvas that sold for more than $350,000.
Luxury is an old industry with old money, read more.