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Largest Diamonds

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Below is a list of the largest and most famous Diamonds.

Sefadu, 620 carats rough / found 1970.

Sefadu was found in Sierra Leonne in 1970. It is owned by the American diamond company Lazare Kaplan. The uncut stone weighs 620 carats.

This is the largest Diamond in the world known at this time, although if cut, will no doubt be smaller than three or four of the largest cut diamonds below.

Sefadu Diamond

Golden Jubilee, 755 carats rough / 545 carats cut / found 1985.

The Golden Jubilee is currently the largest cut diamond in the world. The 1985 discovery of this large brown diamond of 755.5 carats (151 g) was made in the Premier mine in South Africa, also the origin of the Cullinan diamonds in 1905, as well as other notables such as the Taylor-Burton in 1966 and the Centenary in 1986.

The Golden Jubilee is known to have been purchased from De Beers by a group led by Henry Ho of Thailand in 1995, it is now located in the Royal Thai Palace as part of the crown jewels.


Golden Jubilee Diamond

Cullinan I, 3,025 carats rough /530 carats cut / found 1905.

The Cullinan diamond was the largest diamond ever discovered in the Premier mine in South Africa in 1905, weighing a staggering 3,025.75 carats. It was presented to Edward VII by the government of the Transvaal as a birthday present, then taken to Amsterdam to be cut where it yielded 2 principal stones (the Cullinan I and Cullinan II ) and another 7 major stones.

The Cullinan I, or the First Star of Africa, is now set in the British Sovereign's sceptre with cross. This was the largest polished diamond in the world until the 1985 discovery of the Golden Jubilee Diamond, 545.67 carats.

The Sceptre with the Cross, and the other Crown Jewels, may be found on display at the Jewel House in the Tower of London.


Cullinan I

Incomparable, 890 carats rough / 407 carats cut / found 1980s.

The Incomparable was found in the town of Mbuji Mayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in the 1980s. It was found by a young young girl playing in a pile of rubble outside her uncle's house.

The girl gave the diamond to her uncle, who sold it to some local African diamond dealers, who in turn sold it to a group of Lebanese buyers, who sold it to De Beers, who sold it to Donald Zale, chairman of the board of the Zale Corporation, the Dallas-based jewelry store chain.

In November 2002, the Incomparable appeared on the internet auction site Ebay. The seller wanted an opening bid of about $15 million. The auction's time ran out with the stone remaining unsold.


Incomparable Diamond

Cullinan II, 3,025 carats rough /317 carats cut / found 1905.

The Cullinan diamond was the largest diamond ever discovered in the Premier mine in South Africa in 1905, weighing a staggering 3,025.75 carats. It was presented to Edward VII by the government of the Transvaal as a birthday present, then taken to Amsterdam to be cut where it yielded 2 principal stones (the Cullinan I and Cullinan II ) and another 7 major stones.

Cullinan II, 317.4 carats, is set in the lower front of the British Imperial State Crown.

The British Imperial State Crown, and the other Crown Jewels, may be found on display at the Jewel House in the Tower of London.


Cullinan II Imperial State Crown

Spirit of de Grisogono, 587 carats rough / 312 carats cut /found ?

The Spirit of de Grisogono is the world's largest cut black diamond, and the world's 5th largest cut diamond. In a white gold mounting, it is set with 702 white diamonds totaling 36.69 carats.

This diamond originally had a rough weight of 587 carats. It was mined several decades ago in west Central Africa before being imported into Switzerland. The diamond was then cut using the Mogul diamond cutting technique.

The Spirit of de Grisogono is described in the report of the Gubelin Gem Lab, as a rare specimen for this type of diamond in view of its great size. It is the largest natural black diamond which the GGL laboratory has ever tested. The stone is reported to have since been sold by Fawaz Gruosi to a private client.


Spirit of de Grisogono Diamond

The Great Mogul, 787carats rough / 279 carats cut / found 1650.

The Great Mogul is one of the worlds largest diamonds. The rough diamond was discovered in the 17th century. It was named after Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal. The largest diamond ever found in India. It was discovered as a 787-carat rough stone in the Golconda mines in 1650, and cut by the Venetian lapidary Hortentio Borgis.

The subsequent history of the Great Mogul is a complete blank, it is said to have either been lost or destroyed, to be in existence under another name, such as the "Orloff" diamond, or the "Koh-i-noor," to be in the possession of the Shah of Persia, or to be lying forgotten among the jewels of some Indian prince.

The Great Mogul Diamond

Centenary Diamond, 599 carats rough / 273 carats cut / found 1988.

The De Beers Centenary Diamond, at 273.85 carats (54.77 g), was the third-largest diamond to have been produced in the Premier Mine in South Africa. The Centenary Diamond is rated in color as grade D by the Gemological Institute of America, which is the highest grade of colorless diamond. It is said to be internally and externally flawless.

The diamond is said to have been sold in June 2008 to an unknown young entrepreneur, apparently of British/Israeli origin, living in the United States, although De Beers declines to comment, citing its anonymity policy.


Centenary Diamond

Millennium Star, 777 carats rough / 203 carats cut / found 1990.

The Millennium Star is a famous diamond owned by De Beers. This is the world's second largest known top-color (D), internally and externally flawless, pear-shaped diamond.

The diamond was discovered in the Mbuji-Mayi district of Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1990. It was purchased by De Beers during the height of the country's Civil War that took place in the early to mid-nineties.

It was first displayed in October 1999 as the centerpiece of the De Beers Millennium diamond collection. The collection also includes eleven blue diamonds totaling 118 carats (23.6 g) and The Heart of Eternity. They were displayed at London’s Millennium Dome over the year 2000. There was a failed attempt November 7th 2000 to steal the collection from the Millennium Dome.


Millennium Star

Orlov, 189 carats cut / found 1700s ?

The Orlov is a large diamond that is part of the collection of the Diamond Fund of the Moscow Kremlin. The origin of this relic can be traced back to a Hindu temple in 18th century Tamil Nadu, southern India.

Count Grigory Grigorievich Orlov, is said to have paid 400,000 Dutch florins for the diamond.

He gave the diamond to Catherine the Great of Russia in an attempt to rekindle their romance. Although Cathrine the Great married someone else, she held on to the diamond and had her jeweler, C. N. Troitinski, design a sceptre incorporating the Orlov.

Now known as the Imperial Sceptre, it was completed in 1784.


Orlov Diamond

Regent Diamond, 410 carat rough / 141 carats cut / found 1698.

In 1698, a slave found the 410 carat (82 g) uncut diamond in a Golkonda mine in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. An English sea captain stole the diamond from the slave after killing him, then sold it to an Indian merchant. Thomas Pitt acquired it from a merchant in Madras in 1701. Pitt bought the diamond for £20,400 (£2,964,490 as of 2010), then had it cut in to a 141 carats (28 g) cushion brilliant.

After many attempts to sell it to various European royalty, including Louis XIV of France, it was sold it to the French Prince, Philippe II, Duke of Orleans in 1717 for £135,000 (£18,634,090 as of 2010).

In 1792, during the revolutionary furor in Paris, the diamond was stolen along with other crown jewels of France, but was later recovered. It remains in the French Royal Treasury at the Louvre. The Regent Diamond has been on display there since 1887.


Regent Diamond

Premier Rose, 353 carats rough / 137 carats cut / found 1678.

The Premier Rose Diamond was one of the large rare gems produced by Premier Mine, of De Beers in South Africa. The diamond was cut up with the two main diamonds of 137.02 (Big Rose) and 31.48 (Little Rose).

The Premier Rose collection ranks among the finest polished gems in the world, becoming the benchmark in symmetry and proportions for large fancy cut diamonds.

The Premier Rose was sold in 1979 to an anonymous buyer for about $10,000,000. The stone is now valued at over $10,000,000.


Premier Rose Diamond

Koh-i-noor, 105 carats cut / found 1300s ?

The Koh-i -noor, which means "Mountain of Light" from Persian, is a 105 carat (21.6 g) diamond that was once the largest known diamond in the world. The Koh-i-noor originated at Kollur, Guntur district in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. It has belonged to various Hindu, Mughal, Persian, Afghan, Sikh and British rulers who fought bitterly over it at various points in history, and seized it as a spoil of war time and again.

It was finally seized by the British East India Company, becoming part of the British Crown Jewels when Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India in 1877.

The Koh-i-noor, or Mountain of Light diamond, is now mounted on one of the most impressive of the crowns on display at the Tower of London, the crown made for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.


Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother crown

Allnatt Diamond, 101 carats cut / found ?

The Allnatt Diamond is a diamond measuring 101.29 carats (20.258 g) with a cushion cut, rated in color as Fancy Vivid Yellow by the Gemological Institute of America. This diamond is named after one of its holders, Major Alfred Ernest Allnatt, a soldier, sportsman, art patron and benefactor. While it is not known precisely where the Allnatt originated, many experts believe that it was probably found in what is now known as the De Beers Premier Diamond Mine in South Africa.

The Allnatt was resold at auction in May 1996 by Christie's in Geneva for $3,043,496 US. After being sold to the SIBA Corporation, the diamond was re-cut to its current weight with its intensity upgraded as a result.

The Allnatt was displayed as part of the Smithsonian's "The Splendor of Diamonds" exhibit, alongside The De Beers Millennium Star and The Heart of Eternity.


Allnatt Diamond

Star of the East, 94 carats cut / found ?

After their marriage in 1908, Edward B. McLean and his bride Evalyn, traveled to Europe for their honeymoon. Each had received $100,000 from their respective fathers as a wedding present. When the couple reached Paris, Pierre Cartier showed her the Star of the East, a fine 94.80-carat pear-shaped diamond, mounted on a chain below a hexagonal emerald of 34 carats and a pearl of 32 grains, which may have belonged to the Sultan Abd al-Hamid. Evalyn purchased the Star of the East for $120,000.

After her death, Harry Winston bought the diamond in 1951, then sold the Star of the East to King Farouk of Egypt. By the time of the King's overthrow in 1952, Mr. Winston had still not received payment for the gem. He was able to reclaim the Star of the East from a safe-deposit box in Switzerland a few years later.

The Star of the East was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1978, at a reception marking the 50th anniversary of Harry Winston Inc. Its present whereabouts are unknown.


Star of the East Diamond

Shah Diamond, 88 carats cut / found 1400s ?

The Shah Diamond is 88.7 carat (18 g), 3 cm long, yellow diamond, extremely clear. This diamond was found in Central India, probably in 1450. It has been in the hands of the Shahs of Iran for many centuries. In 1591, Shah Nizam ordered carving on one of the facets of the diamond.

In the same 1591, the ruler of Northern India, the Great Moghul Akbar, occupied Ahmadnagar and seized the diamond. In 1738, Nadir Shah attacked India, seized the diamond, and took it to Persia.

In 1829, Russian diplomat and writer, Alexandr Griboyedov, was murdered in the capital of Persia, Tehran. The Russian government demanded severe punishment of those responsible. In fear, the court of Shah Fath Ali Shah, sent the Shah's grandson, Khosrow Mirza, to Saint Petersburg, where he gave the Shah diamond to the Russian Tsar as a present.

The Shah diamond is now exhibited as one of Seven Historical Gems at the Kremlin.


Shah Diamond

Idol's Eye, 70-carats cut / found ?

The Idol's Eye diamond is a 70.21-carat, colorless diamond with a slightly bluish tinge, characteristic of diamonds originating from the Golconda Mines in Southern India. The cut of the diamond is somewhere between an old-mine cut and a triangular brilliant.

The name Idol's Eye seems to indicate the origin of the diamond, which is believed to have been stolen from the eye of a Hindu idol belonging to a sacred Hindu temple in India. Other diamonds which were believed to have had similar origins, were the Orlov and the Hope diamonds.

In January 1983, Mr. Laurence Graff was able to put together a lucrative deal that saw the disposal of three famous diamonds, the 70.21-carat Idol's Eye, the 41.94-carat Emperor Maximilian, and the 70.54-carat Sultan Abdul Hamid II, to the same anonymous buyer, for an undisclosed sum, considered to be one of the highest priced diamond transactions ever known. The Idol's Eye is still believed to be owned by this anonymous buyer.


Idols Eye Diamond

Taylor-Burton Diamond, 241 carats rough /68 carats cut / 1966.

The Taylor-Burton is a diamond made famous when purchased by actor Richard Burton for his wife Elizabeth Taylor in 1969. The original rough diamond was found in 1966 in the Premier Mine in South Africa, weighing 241 carats (48 g). It was cut by Harry Winston to 69.42 carats (13.88 g) in the shape of a pear

The diamond was originally owned by Harriet Annenberg Ames. It was subsequently purchased at auction by Robert Kenmore, owner of the luxury brand Cartier, for a then record $1,050,000.

After their divorce, Taylor auctioned the diamond in 1978 for $5,000,000, which was used to build a hospital in Botswana.

The Taylor-Burton Diamond was bought by Henry Lambert, a New York-based jeweler. Its current owner is Robert Mouawad, who had the diamond recut to 68.0 carats (13.6 g).


Taylor-Burton Diamond

Excelsior Diamond, 971 carats rough / 68 carats cut / 1983.

The Excelsior Diamond was found June 30th 1893 at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa, by a worker while loading a truck. The man was able to hide the diamond from the supervisors, then delivered it to the manager of the mine himself.

Until 1905, when the larger Cullinan diamond was found, the Excelsior was the largest known diamond in the world. It had a blue-white tint and weighed 971¾ carats (194.2 g).

This diamond was cut into ten stones, weighing from 13 to 68 carats. The Excelsior I, the largest gem cut from the crystal, was eventually bought by the jeweler Robert Mouawad.


Excelsior I Diamond

SANCY, 55 carats cut / found 1500s ?

This 55 carats pear-shaped stone was first owned by Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, who lost it in battle in 1477. The stone is in fact named after a late owner, Seigneur de Sancy, a French Ambassador to Turkey in the late 16th century. There are numerous questions regarding how Mr. Sancy obtained his diamond, but most likely, he acquired it on his travels in the Far East.

The Sancy has changed hands many times through history such as: being sold to King James I of England, later came into the possession of Cardinal Jules Mazirin, acting First Minister of the Crown, who bequeathed the Sancy and another stone to the French Crown, disappeared during the French Revolution in 1782, found its way to a Spanish nobleman, in 1828 found its way to to Prince Nicholas Demidoff in Russia, passed to his son, who gave it to his Finnish bride, purchased by William Waldorf Astor in the 1890s for his wife Lady Astor, sold by Viscount Astor, reputedly for $1,000,000 in 1978, now on view at the Louvre Museum in Paris.


Sancy Diamond

Hope Diamond, 45 carats cut / found ?

The Hope Diamond is a large, 45.52 carats (9.10 g), deep-blue diamond, housed in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C.

The Hope Diamond is blue to the naked eye, because of trace amounts of boron within its crystal structure, but it exhibits red phosphorescence under ultraviolet light. It is classified as a Type IIb diamond, and is famous for supposedly being cursed.

According to some, the Hope Diamond was stolen from an eye of a sculpted idol of the goddess Sita, the wife of Rama, the seventh avatar of Vishnu. This however may have been the invention of Western authors during the Victorian era. Talk about the Hope Diamond's "cursed origin" began in the 20th century, seemingly to add mystique to the stone in an attempt to increase its sales appeal.


Hope Diamond

Dresden Green, 41 carats cut / found 1700s ?

The Dresden Green diamond is a 41 carats (8.2 g) natural green diamond that has a historical record dating to 1722, when a London news-sheet carried an article about it in its October 25th edition. It is named after Dresden, the capital of Saxony, Germany, where it has been on display for most of the last two centuries.

In 2000, American jeweler Harry Winston, arranged to display the Dresden Green in his New York store, then later at the Smithsonian in Washington DC, USA , where it was displayed in the Harry Winston pavilion next to the Hope diamond.

The Dresden Green Diamond is a rare Type IIa, said to be internally flawless. This diamond is located in the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in The New Green Vault.


Dresden Green Diamond

For a substantial list of diamonds, visit:: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_diamonds.

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