The Golden Maharaja diamond is a modified pear-shape, 65.57 carat, Fancy Dark Orange-Brown, VS2 clarity as certified by the GIA. It is believed the stone emanates from South Africa; however few details are known regarding its origin, date of discovery, and original owners. Similarly, the reason for its being named the ‘Golden Maharaja’ is unknown.
It first appeared cut and polished when it was first exhibited at the Paris World Fair, in 1937. From 1975 to 1990, the diamond was loaned by its owner Mrs. Ella Friedus to the American Museum of Natural History. It is reported that Mrs. Friedus sold the diamond in 1991 for USD1.3 million. The diamond was put up for auction again in 2006 at Sotheby's New York where it achieved a record price of USD1,382,400.