Historic Stone: Aquamarine of the First Lady – Roosevelt’s Wife
The 1,298-carat stone, now in the Franklin Roosevelt Library and Museum in New York, is considered one of the largest aquamarines in the world.
When Franklin Roosevelt won the election in 1936 and became president of the United States, he and his wife traveled across the ocean to South America. Their ship, USS Indianapolis, once docked at the Rio de Janeiro, where the Brazilian president received a warm welcome.
In honor of the significant meeting, the head of Brazil Getulio Vargas presented Eleanor in a decorative box of incredible beauty and size with a stone. The bluish-green stone was previously in the collection of the Brazilian president and at that time was considered the largest faceted aquamarine.
The original crystal of aquamarine was found in the state of Minas Gerais and before it fell into the hands of a jeweler, weighed 1.3 kg, which is 6,500 carats. It was cut by the great master Gustav Reitbauer in Amsterdam.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s gem has spawned a lot of rumors. Two years after the death of US President Franklin Roosevelt, radio host Drew Pearson accused the ex-first lady of trying to sell a gift from the Brazilian head. The story got published due to the fact that Eleanor was trying to figure out the price of the stone. To save her reputation, she donated it as a gossip exhibit to the Roosevelt library.
In 1949, the former first lady of the United States mentioned aquamarine in the book “This I Remember”: “It seems to me that this stone is interesting to people not only for its price. It is a symbol of friendship, noble goals, generosity, as it was donated to America by the Brazilian people. ” Eleanor died in 1962, and her aquamarine is still kept in Hyde Park in her husband’s museum-library.