Boucheron: a collector’s guide

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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.

Boucheron was a true gemologist. He travelled the world in search of the best of the best: sapphires from Kashmir, rubies from Burma, emeralds from Colombia.

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.