Paul Bassange and Charles Boehmer are jewelers to the French crown.

In 1778, they create a prestigious diamond necklace, one of the most extraordinary of all times. This exceptional jewel gives rise to a romanesque adventure narrated by Alexandre Dumas in "The Queen's Necklace".

This unique piece, privilege of a Queen, was made up of 540 diamonds for a total weight of 1245 carats. Previously ordered by Louis XV for his mistress Madame du Barry, the necklace needs to find a new buyer when the King dies unexpectedly.

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Marie-Antoinette Queen's necklace diamonds pearls Baszanger Geneva 1771

A few years later, Bassange et Boehmer present the necklace to the Queen Marie-Antoinette. While dazzled by its splendor, she hesitates to acquire the jewel : France is not doing well and the price of this magnificent piece is worth more than a battleship.

Meanwhile, Madame de la Motte, an intriguing courtesan, is working on her decieving plan to steal the diamond necklace. She convinces the Cardinal de Rohan who has fallen into disgrace, to serve as an intermediary. He will secretly acquire the extraordinary piece for his Queen. In exchange, he will regain her favors.

The jewelers only realize the scam at the date of the first payment, alas all too late... In 1785 the scandal breaks out. The necklace has been dismantled by the thieves and the diamonds scattered...

A major trial follows where Queen Marie-Antoinette, tainted by this infamy, is summoned to testify of her innocence. The guilty parties are imprisoned, the jewelers are ruined and the necklace is lost forever...

This affair of the necklace led to the French Revolution.

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