Diamonds are among the greatest of the endless desires of a woman! For it adorns her and complements her beauty. But what attracts men is the money quotient attached to it. The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek “adámas”, meaning “proper”, “unalterable”, “unbreakable”, “untamed”, “I overpower”, “I tame”. Scientifically, diamond is a metastable allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice.
Here are the ten largest diamonds of the world:
1. The Golden Jubilee
At 545.67 carats, The Golden Jubilee Diamond is currently the largest faceted diamond in the world. The gem was discovered in 1985 in the Premier mine in South Africa and it was cut by Gabriel Tolkowsky (who also designed the flawless Centenary diamond). The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee – the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown. The value of the Golden Jubilee gem is estimated between $4 million to $12 million.
2. The Cullinan I – aka the Star of Africa
The Cullinan I, a pear shaped diamond weighing 530.20 carats is also known as the Star of Africa. It measures 53mm x 44mm x 29mm, and has 76 facets. It’s called the Cullinan I because it is the largest of 9 large stones cut from the 3106 carat Cullinan Diamond. Cullinan I was placed by King Edward in the Sovereign’s Royal Sceptre as part of the Crown Jewels, and it is now on display in the tower of London. Estimated value of Cullinan I is over $400 million!
3. The Incomparable
Weighing in at 407.48 carats, the Incomparable Diamond was found in 1984 by a little girl that was going through a pile of rubble from the nearby MIBA Diamond Mine in the town of Mbuji Mayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With a weight of 890 carats before cutting, the stone was the largest brown diamond in the world but it was later reduced to 407.5 carats (81.5 g) for the sake of having fewer internal flaws. Fancy brownish-yellow in color, the gem measures 53.90 × 35.19 × 28.18 mm and it was designed by a team led by Marvin Samuels. The value of this rock is around $20 million. Four years were spent studying and then cutting the stone, the biggest piece of rough ultimately yielded the internally flawless gem weighing. It is the third largest diamond ever cut.
4. The Cullinan II
The second largest gem cut from the Cullinan stone, Cullinan II or the Lesser Star of Africa, weighs in at 317.4 carats and it’s the fourth largest polished diamond in the world. The original diamond was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, who opened the Premier mine in South Africa, from which the Golden Jubilee Diamond was also excavated. The Cullinan II Diamond is the massive flawless D-color gem in the center-front of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain. Its value has been estimated to be around $200 million. The Cullinan II was cut from the largest gem-quality diamond ever found, which weighed 3106 carats, or about 1 1/3 pounds. The nine larger stones of the Cullinan diamond remain either in the British Crown Jewels or in the personal possession of the Royal Family.
5. The Spirit of de Grisogono
The Spirit of de Grisogono, is the world’s largest cut black diamond, and world’s 5th largest 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 and was mined several decades ago in west Central Africa. At 312.24 carats, The Spirit of de Grisogono is the world’s largest cut black diamond. It was later brought to Switzerland, where it was cut by Fawaz Gruosi using the traditional Mogul diamond cutting technique. There is no information on the whereabouts of the precious stone or the identity of its current owner.
6. The Centenary
The 273.85 carat gem is the third-largest diamond to have been produced in the Premier Mine. Discovered on the 17th of July 1986, the original stone had 599 carats and it was cut by a team lead by Gabi Tolkowsky. Once the final design was adopted, the grade D color diamond was reduced to 273.85 carats, 39.90 × 50.50 × 24.55 mm and 247 facets – 164 on the stone and 83 around its girdle. The current owner, location and value of this diamond is unknown but the stone was insured for $100 million in 1991. The Centenary was found in Premier mine in 1986, in its rough form it weighed 599 carats. When cutting was completed the Centenary weighed 273.85 carats, measured 39.90 × 50.50 × 24.55 mm, and had 247 facets – 164 on the stone and 83 around its girdle. Never before, had such a high number of facets been polished onto a diamond. The true value of the Centenary diamond is unknown, but the diamond was insured for around $100 million in 1991.
7. The Jubilee
The original stone, weighing 650.80 carats and was found in 1895 in the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa. An irregular octahedron without definite faces or shapes, the rough stone turned into a 245.35 carat superb diamond of exceptional purity and size. Originally known as the Reitz Diamond, it is a colourless, cushion-shaped gem. When during the cutting it became evident that a superb diamond of exceptional purity and size was being produced, it was planned to present it to Queen Victoria in 1897. In the end this did not happen and the diamond remained with its owners. The following year marked the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (the 75th anniversary of her coronation) so the gem was renamed the Jubilee to commemorate the occasion. Rated as an E-grade colourless diamond, its value is unknown.
8. The De Beers
The 234.65 carat, De Beers Diamond was found in the Kimberly mines back in 1888. Originally weighing 428.5 carats, the De Beers diamond was the largest diamond found at the four mines during the time period. It measured 47.6 mm through its longest axis and 38.1 mm square. Notably, the 8th largest faceted diamond in the world was set as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace designed by the House of Cartier in 1928. The Patiala Necklace, as it was known from then on, was made for and named after Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, the then ruling Maharaja of the state of Patiala. The value of this diamond is unknown. Today’s whereabouts of the De Beers diamond and the Patiala Nacklace is unknown.
9. The Red Cross
The Red Cross is canary yellow cushion-shaped diamond with weight of 205.07 carats. The rough stone weighed 375 carats and was found in Kimberly mines (South Africa) in 1901. Back in 1901 and it was presented as a gift from the British Red Cross Society to the 1918 art sale held in London by Christies. The rare feature is a distinctly visible Maltese Cross in the top facet hence the provenance of its name. The value of this gem is estimated at a staggering £2,000,000.
10. The Millennium Star
The Millennium Star is internally and externally flawless pear-shaped diamond. With the weight of 203.04 carats, it is the 10th largest diamond in the world. Originally, the rough stone was 777 carats found in the Mbuji-Mayi district of Zaire in 1990 out of the alluvial deposits. After 5 months of studying and planning the cutting of the stone, it was decided to cut the rough diamond into three pieces. The Millennium Star is the outcome of the largest piece. The value of the stone hasn’t been revealed but the Millennium Star was insured for 100 million English pounds, this is believed to be a fraction of its true worth. The awesome gem is the world’s second largest known Grade D Colorless diamond. The Millennium Star is pear-shaped diamond owned by De Beers. The finished diamond was first displayed in October 1999 as the centerpiece of the De Beers Millennium diamond collection.