26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union diamond The XXVI Congress of CPSU diamond has been mined on December 23rd 1980 by T. N. Popov. This 342.57-carat diamond was named in honour of the historic 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which took place on February 23rd, 1981. Coming from the Mir mine kimberlitic pipe, in the town of Mirny, the 26th Congress is, to date, the largest diamond found in Russia (or the entire territory of the former USSR, for that matter).
Akbar Shah (aka The Lustre of the Peacock Throne) diamond The Akbar Shah, aka the Lustre of the Peacock Throne, is a 73.60-carat colourless diamond, shaped like an irregular drop. It is not known where the Shah was mined, but it has been around since the time of Akbar Shah I of the Mughal Dynasty (hence the name), who ruled the greater part of the Indian subcontinent and modern day Afghanistan from 1556 until 1605. Historians widely agree that the diamond was a part of the famed Peacock Throne (hence the alias), though they’re not certain which part
Alexander Pushkin diamond The second largest diamond ever found in Russia (or territory of the former Soviet Union), the 320.65-carat Alexander Pushkin was almost named the Indestructible Soviet Union. Given the fact it was mined in 1989 (in the Udachnaya kimberlitic pipe, Yakutia), a mere two years before the collapse of the Soviet Union. For better or worse, the diamond features several cracks, which make its cutting all the more challenging.
Allnatt diamond The Allnatt Diamond is 101.29-carat diamond (second cut), with fancy vivid yellow colouration, as the experts would say. It was named after one of its owners, a certain Major A. E. Allnatt, an English businessman and, as it often happens with businessmen, a philanthropist. Very little is known about the diamond’s past prior to the moment the Major made his purchase somewhere in the early 1950s, though experts think it may have well been mined in South Africa – in De Beers Premier Mine, to be more specific.
Amarillo Starlight diamond The Amarillo Starlight is best known for being the single largest diamond (as of yet) found by a visitor in the Crater of Diamonds State Park (Arkansas) since its inception as a state park in 1972. The diamond itself was found by one W. W. Johnson, a native of Amarillo, Texas (hence the name), only three years after the park opened. Due to a flaw in its centre, the diamond had almost been cut into a 5-carat pear shape, which might have been worth some $15,000. As is, its estimated value ranges between $150,000 and $175,000. Incidentally, visitors may dig for diamonds, for a nominal fee, and they get to keep anything they find, regardless of the value.
Amsterdam diamond The 33.74-carat Amsterdam Diamond gets its name, quite obviously, from the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which is hardly a surprise, considering the central position the city plays in the international diamond trading network. The diamond was purchased in 1972 by the company Drukker & Zn and named after the city in honour of its 700th birthday. The diamond was taken to Amsterdam and cut into a pair shape, the better to highlight its adamantine lustre.
Archduke Joseph diamond The Archduke Joseph is a colourless, 76.45-carat cushion-shaped diamond that shares its place of origin (the Golconda mines of India) with the famed Koh-i-Noor, Daria-i-Noor, Hope Diamond and many others. The diamond was obviously named after its first documented owner, Joseph August, the Archduke of Austria, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. The first evidence of the diamonds existence comes from 1933, when said duke deposited it in the vaults of the Hungarian General Credit Bank.
Argyle Pink Jubilee diamond When it was unearthed in the Argyle mines of Western Australia (hence the name) in 2011, the Pink Jubilee was 12.76 carats, and the biggest pink diamond to ever be found in the mine. Chances are that this will remain the largest pink diamond ever mined from the mines owned by the Rio Tinto Group, seeing as they had made the estimate that the supply of the pinks will be exhausted by the early 2020s.
Ashberg diamond The Ashberg Diamond is a 102.48-carat cushion-shaped diamond (obviously), with exceptionally unique amber colouring, which gives it almost metallic appearance. The diamond was named after one Olof Ashberg, a Swedish businessman and a left sympathizer who was one of the chief financers of the Bolsheviks before, during and after the civil war in what was then Imperial Russia.
Beau Sancy diamond The Beau Sancy is a 34.98-carrat diamond of exceptional historic importance, given the fact it was owned by several of European royal houses. It was named after one of its earliest holders, one Nicolas de Harlay, lord of Sancy (hence the name), who was in service of King Henry III of France. In one version of the story, he probably acquired the diamond during his sojourn in Constantinople as the ambassador to the court of Sultan Selim II, and in the other it was in India.
Black Orlov diamond The Black Orlov diamond is pretty much what it reads on the label – a rare black, cushion-cut stone weighing 67.50 carats, making it the 7th largest black diamond unearthed so far (though some debate it is actually gun-metal dark). It is said that the diamond takes its name after Princes Nadia Vyegin-Orlov, though its origin and history reach much deeper, according to the legend. Originally, the story goes, the diamond was one of the eyes of a Brahma statue in Pondicherry, when it was stolen by a monk.
Blue Moon of Josephine diamond The Blue Moon of Josephine is, as the name suggests, an exceptionally beautiful vivid blue diamond weighing 12.03 carats, unearthed in South Africa in early 2014. It is noted for setting up the record price in November 2015, when it was bought for $48,400,000 at an auction held by Sotheby’s in Geneva. Another, perhaps more piquant detail is that the stone was bought by a Hong Kong billionaire Joseph Lau Luen-hung as a present for his 7-year old daughter, after whom it takes its name.
Briolette of India diamond The unimaginatively named Briolette of India is, obviously, a briolette-cut colourless diamond, weighing 90.38 carats. Briolette is, incidentally, a type of gemstone cut that is elongated, with multiple facets and a hole to thread it so that it hangs like a bead. The style was very popular in Victorian times, though the diamond in question is much, much older.
As a matter of fact, it is considered the oldest diamond in the world, pre-dating even the famed Koh-i-Noor. Although the stone is named for its place of origin, the first known owner was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who in all likelihood passed it on to her son Richard I of England, better known as Richard the Lion Heart. He allegedly took the diamond with him when he took part in the Third Crusade (1189–1192), though it disappeared from historical records afterwards, until it resurfaced in the possession of King Henry II of France more than three centuries later. Currently, the stone is in one of its hiding phases.
Centenary diamond The Centenary Diamond was discovered on July 17, 1986, in the Premiere mine in South Africa. This is, to date, the third largest ever found in the mine, with only the Cullinan I and Cullinan II being larger. At the time, only a handful of people knew about the discovery, and it was not presented to the public (and even then, not fully) until 1988, which celebrated the centenary (hence the name) of the De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.
The cut version was unveiled even later than that, as late as May 1991. On that same note, the raw diamond did yield another a pair of pear-cut diamonds, 1.47 and 1.14 carats respectively. Internally and externally, the stone is considered flawless by the experts. Colourless and weighing 273.85 carats, the gem features a modified heart-shaped cut with 247 facets total. It is comparably the size of a large walnut – a walnut insured at over $100,000,000.
Chloe diamond The Chloe Diamond is, to date, the second largest pure colourless diamond to ever be offered at an auction and the third largest in the world. Sold by Sotheby’s in Geneva in 2007, to Georges Marciano, an American businessman and founder of Guess? Jeans, the stone set a record price of CHF18,193,000 (or $16,189,769). Marciano bought the diamond for his then 12-year-old daughter Chloe, after whom the stone takes its name. Interestingly enough, the previous owner of the Chloe, Ron Cohen, had purposely refrained from even nicknaming the diamond, providing more than enough incentive for Marciano to buy it.
Cora Sun-Drop diamond Considered the largest pear-shaped yellow diamond in the world, the Cora Sun-Drop weighs 110.30 carats. It was sold in November 2011 at an auction by Sotheby’s in Geneva, to an anonymous telephone bidder for the modest price of $10,900,000, incidentally setting the current record for yellow diamonds. There is not much to tell about the Sun-Drop or its history before the 2011 auction, and even less so after.
Creator diamond The Creator is the third largest diamond ever to be found in Russia, or the entire territory of the former Soviet Union, for that matter, coming hard on the heels of the 26th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Alexander Pushkin, first and second largest, respectively. On the flipside, it is the largest post-Soviet diamond ever found in Russia, having been unearthed in 2004. For its part, the Creator weighs 298.48 carats, and it still sits raw in the Russian Diamond Fund in Moscow Kremlin.
Cross of Asia diamond The Cross of Asia was unearthed in the Jagersfontein Mine back in 1902 (the mine is now long abandoned). Upon discovery, this champagne-coloured stone weighed 280 carats, which was to be reduced to 142 carats on the first cut. Today, after four total cuts, it is a 79.12-carat cushion-shaped diamond of a truly unique colouring. Interestingly enough, champagne diamonds (light brown), much like their cognac (brown with reddish or orangish tint) and coffee (deep or vivid brown), have long been fairly unpopular, but their star seems to be on the rise.
Cullinan diamond The Cullinan Diamond is easily the largest single gem-like stone ever to be unearthed, period. It was mined at the Premiere No. 2 mine in Cullinan, back in 1905 (on 26th of January, to be exact), in what is today South Africa. Rough, the gem weighed full 3,106.75 carats and had a white colouration. It has since been cut into nine equally impressive pieces.
Cullinan I (The Great Star of Africa) The Cullinan I, also known as the Great Star of Africa, is the largest piece cut from the Cullinan Diamond mined back in 1905 in what is today South Africa. It is a modified pear-cut stone weighing 530.20 carats, with 74 facets total, retaining the white colour of the original piece. The Great Star of Africa is, as of yet, the largest cut diamond in the world, and can stand toe to toe with many raw stones.
Cullinan II diamond (aka The Second Star of Africa) The Cullinan II, as the astute readers may have already guessed, is the second largest piece cut from the Cullinan Diamond that had been mined in South Africa in 1905, and presented to King Edward VII. It is also sometimes called the Second Star of Africa, though the nickname does not have quite the same ring to it as the Great Star of Africa.
Daria-i-Noor diamond (aka The Sea of Light, The Ocean of Light and The River of Light) The Daria-i-Noor, also known variously as the Sea of Light, the Ocean of Light or the River of Light, is the single largest pink diamond by a large margin. It weighs an estimated 182 carats, though this cannot be confirmed without taking it out of the frame (which would destroy said frame), and makes a part of the Iranian Royal Jewels. Originally, the Daria-i-Noor was unearthed in the Golconda Mines, much like the famed Koh-i-Noor, Hope Diamond or the Nassak Diamond. It was initially in possession of the Kakatiya dynasty, only to pass to the Mughals, and eventually be looted by Nadir Shah of Persia in 1739, along with the Koh-i-Noor and the entire Peacock Throne.
Deepdene diamond The Deepdene is a cushion-cut bright yellow diamond, weighing 104.52 carats, and currently in possession of an anonymous German owner. The stone takes its name from the Deepdene estate of the Boks, a Pennsylvanian couple and its original owners. The Boks had it set in a diamond clip initially, but Harry Winston, who bought it from them in 1954, had it set in a necklace. It is presumably still a part of a necklace, though there is no way to confirm that, as of yet.
DeYoung Red diamond The DeYoung Red Diamond is exactly what it says on the label – an exceptionally unique red stone, round-cut and unmounted. It was quite a fortuitous find by Sydney DeYoung, after whom it takes its name, who bought it at a flea market from a vendor who thought it to be a mere garnet (a silicate crystalline mineral that may contain various metals,which account for its colouration).
The DeYoung is deep red, with somewhat of a brownish tint to it. For those not in the know, red diamonds are the rarest type of coloured diamonds, even more seldom found that pink diamonds. This makes the 5.03-carat DeYoung one of the most valuable gemstones in the world, pound for pound, with a price tag in the neighbourhood of up to $5,000,000. Today, it its caretaker is the Smithsonian Institution, having been given the diamond after its DeYoung’s death in 1986.
Dresden Green diamond The Dresden Green is a 41-carat, pear-cut natural green diamond. Obviously, the stone takes its name after the City of Dresden, which is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony, Germany, and an important cultural centre. The gem itself, however, is not of Dresden initially. It was most likely mind at the Kollur Mind in Andhra Pradesh, judging by its characteristics, though the first written record of it dates from 1722, when it featured in an article of a London news-sheet.
Dresden White diamond The Dresden White diamond is, obviously, a cousin of the equally famous Dresden Green, hence the shared part of the name. The latter part stems from the fact that this 49.71-carat cushion-cut stone is white, or, rather, colourless (the experts categorize it as a D-colour diamond). The diamond is believed to be from the famed Golconda mines of India, mostly due to its superb clarity. Today, as it has for the greater part of its existence, the diamond rests in Dresden.
Dresden Yellow diamond The Dresden Yellow is a bit less known cousin of the storied Dresden Green and Dresden White diamonds. Much like the name says, it’s a yellow-coloured diamond, round-cut to the weight of some 38 carats. It is not known where the diamond comes from, though it stands to reason it originated in India, not unlike the other two famous stones Frederick Augustus II bought at Leipzig Fair in 1741 (probably from the same Dutch merchant, as well). Much like its cousins, the Dresden Yellow sits pretty today in the Green Vault at the Albertinium Museum in Dresden.
Earth Star diamond The Earth Star Diamond is a positively lovely pear-shaped gem of extraordinarily strong brown colour and unique brilliance. The raw diamond was unearthed at one of De Beers’ mines (the Jagersfontein) in 1967, and it weighed 248.9 carats at the time, but has since been cut to the current 111.59 carats.
The gem caused quite a commotion at the mine, because it was, and still remains, one of the few brown gems uncovered at the Jagersfontein. Today, the Earth Star is in private hands, having been bought in 1983 by one Stephen Zbova of Naples, Florida, for the sum of $900,000.
Edcora Red diamond The Edcora Red Diamond is a mysterious trinket, as not much is known about this stone other than its weight, shape and last known location – 5.71 carats, modified pear and Hong Kong, respectively. Granted, the stone’s named red, which is a fair enough description, but if we wanted to be more precise, we’d describe it as fancy red-brown.
Eureka diamond The very aptly named Eureka Diamond was the very first diamond to be discovered in South Africa. The rough diamond was discovered in 1867 by a 15-year-old whose name deserves full mention – Erasmus Stephanus Jacobs. At the time, it weighed 21.25 carats, but has since been cut to its current 10.73-carat cushion-shaped brownish yellow colour brilliance. An interesting fact is that the diamond was purchased by De Beers for the centenary of its discovery (1967) and gifted to the South African people; today it rests at a place of honour at the Kimberley Mine
Empress Eugénie diamond The Empress Eugénie is a colourless diamond with a long and storied history. The perfectly cut oval-shaped brilliant, weighing 51 carats, used to belong to the Empress Eugénie, spouse to Napoleon III, after whom it takes the name. However, the first recorded owner was another empress – the Empress Catherine II the Great, who later gifted it to her purported lover Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin.
Esperanza diamond The Esperanza (Spanish for “hope”) Diamond is said to be the most valuable diamond ever found in the US, with an estimated value in excess of $1 million dollars (though most experts agree this is an extremely conservative estimate, given the stone’s uniqueness).
Not only is this custom-cut icicle-shaped stone among the five largest diamonds found in the Diamond Crater Park, AR (8.52 raw, 4.602 cut), but its clarity is almost unparalleled. The rough stone was found in July 2015 by one Bobbie Oscarson of Colorado, who named it in honour of her niece, Esperanza, and had it set in a gorgeous pendant.
Excelsior diamond The Excelsior Diamond had had the honour of being the largest diamond ever found for some 12 years until Cullinan was unearthed in 1905. The rough stone weighed in at 995.2 carats (971 old carats) and was predominantly white, with a light bluish tint to it. The stone was named, in all likelihood, for its size and shape – “excelsior” being a Latin word for “higher, superior, ever upward”.
Florentine diamond (aka The Tuscan, the Tuscany Diamond, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, the Austrian Diamond, the Austrian Yellow Diamond) The Florentine Diamond has long become a lost legend, a titillating afterthought for many gem-cutters and experts, but not so among enthusiasts. The lemony-yellow (with just a slight hint of green) 137.27-carat diamond, cut into a double-rose shape was almost certainly discovered in India.
French Blue diamond (aka Tavernier Blue, Le Bijou du Roi, Le bleu de France) The diamond known as French Blue goes by many names, though the experts mostly speak of it as the French Blue or Tavernier Blue, the latter being the name of its first recorded owner, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a 17th century French adventurist and gem merchant. Tavernier brought the stone from India, most likely from the famed Golconda mine. The weight of the rough diamond is not known, but we do know that it was (re)cut to 68 carats in 1771, and was a part of the French Crown Jewels until it was stolen in 1792. Today, the vivid blue stone is no more, as it was recut into the renowned Hope Diamond weighing 45.52 carats.
Golden Eye diamond The Golden Eye Diamond is a large, radiant-cut yellow diamond weighing in at 43.51. The name reflects not only the hue, but also the brilliance and fire of what is believed to be the largest gem of this colour and cut. The experts believe the stone came from one of the Kimberley mines in South Africa, though it’s not clear when it was unearthed. We do know that the rough stone weighed 124.5 carats, and it might potentially be identified with the Du Toit II diamond. If these speculations could be proved true, this would trace the diamond back to at least 1882 and the Dutoitspan mine. Today, the diamond rests in private hands.
Golden Jubilee diamond In the right light, the Golden Jubilee (not to be confused with the Jubilee Diamond) looks like something right out of a Tolkien’s book – its unique brown hue and fire rose cushion cut make it appear surreal. The diamond holds one other distinction – weighing in at 545.67 carats, it is the largest cut diamond in the world, outweighing the Cullinan I by more than 15 carats (15.37, to be precise).
Graff Pink diamond The Graff Pink is, obviously, a pink diamond weighing in at 24.78 carats (slightly refurbished to 23.88 carats, actually), featuring an emerald cut. At the time it was sold to its current owner, Laurence Graff (hence the name), in 2010, the stone’s worth was and impressive $46,000,000, making it the most expensive single-piece jewel at the time.
Great Chrysanthemum diamond The Great Chrysanthemum is a 104-15-carat fancy orange-brown diamond, cut into a modified pear shape that very much reminds of a brilliant egg. Unearthed in 1963 in the Kimberley Mines of South Africa, the rough stone weighed in at 198 carats, and it was originally planned to be cut in two. Luckily, it was bought by Julius Cohen in the early 1970s, and cut under his direction.
Great Mogul diamond The Great Mogul Diamond was (“was” being the operating word) a 280-carat rose-cut diamond belonging to Shah Jahan of the Mughal Empire. The stone had been a gift from Emir Jemla, who had sourced it, in all likelihood, from the storied Kollur Mine of southern India. Sadly, the stone was taken as spoils of war by Nadir Shah of Persia, and subsequently stolen.
Gruosi diamond The Gruosi Diamond is a 115.34-carat black diamond cut into a heart shape, and it is hailed as the fifth largest faceted black diamond, and 41st largest faceted diamond overall. The stone was reportedly unearthed in India in 1998, though the precise mine or even region cannot be confirmed. It is known that the rough stone weighed some 300.12 carats, and was cut to its current 115.34 carats under the direction of Fawaz Gruosi (after whom it takes the name), a man who pretty much singlehandedly popularized carbonados (or black diamonds). Interestingly enough, the original plan was to cut the diamond oval, but sometime during the process this was changed, for better or worse.
Heart of Eternity diamond The Heart of Eternity is a 27-64-carat diamond of exquisite blue fancy vivid blue colour mined at the Premier Mine of South Africa, cut into a heart shape and named for it by the master cutters of the Steinmetz Group, who later sold it to the De Beers Group. The stone was unveiled together with nine other rare pieces (such as the Millennium Star) at the onset of the new millennium, and was on display at London’s Millennium Dome the entire year.
Hope diamond In terms of fame, the Hope Diamond stands shoulder to shoulder with the likes of the Koh-i-Noor and the Great Star of Africa, and is probably one of the best-researched gems in the world. It is a 45.52-carat diamond of a unique steel blue colouration (fancy dark greyish blue, officially), cut in the antique cushion shape from the historic Tavernier Blue (aka French Blue), after the 68-carat Crown Jewel was stolen during the French Revolution (1779–1789).
Hortensia diamond The Hortensia Diamond takes the name after Hortense de Beauharnais, the Queen consort of King Louis Bonaparte, a younger brother of Napoleon, who gave him the rule of Holland in 1806 (Hortense was, incidentally, also the natural daughter of Josephine, Empress to Napoleon, and thereby Napoleon’s adoptive daughter, which certainly made family lunches a bit awkward). It is a 20-carat peach-coloured diamond, cut into a singular pentagonal shape, only slightly marred by a very fine crack going from its outer edge to the tip of its pavilion (culet). The diamond shared the fate of the French Blue and Sancy not once, but twice, being stolen in 1792, and then again in 1830. Today it resides at the Louvre, next to the Sancy and Regent.
Incomparable diamond The aptly named Incomparable Diamond is a particularly large brown diamond, weighing in at 407.48 carats. Much like the majority of brown diamonds, the Incomparable Diamond originated in Africa, specifically Zaire (modern day Democratic Republic of the Congo). The rough stone was found in 1984 by a young girl playing around a pile of rubble from the nearby MIBA Mine. It weighed some 890 carats, and was originally planned to be cut so that it becomes the largest faceted gemstone. However, the plan was later changed so that the Incomparable was almost halved in size to reduce the number of internal faults.
Jacob diamond The Jacob Diamond is a 184.5-carat cushion-cut colourless diamond of exquisite beauty and doubtful origin. Most experts believe it is the same as the Victoria Diamond, which had been found somewhere in South Africa (most likely at the Jagersfontein mine or nearby) and came to Britain through some unusual channels in 1884. The rough stone weighed in at 457.5 carats and sported a bluish tinge, still present in the cut gem. It takes its name after A. M. Jacob, who mediated the troubled transaction between the then owners – Syndicate of Hatton Garden and Mahboob Ali Pasha, the 6th Nizam of Hyderabad. Today, the Jacob Diamond is in the possession of the Government of India, and makes a permanent exhibit at the Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.
The Jane Seymour diamond The Jane Seymour is a one-of-a-kind fancy vivid blue diamond, named in honour of the prolific British-American actress. The stone itself weighs in at 2.08 carats and sports a cushion cut. It is set in an 18-carat platinum ring plated with rose gold, framed by floral motifs on either side of it. The diva did wear it on at least one occasion, when she was presented with it in 2016, but it is not the actual owner. That would be the World Of Diamonds Group, who sourced the rough stone from Russia, and announced the sale in July 2016, as a part of a luxurious 8-hour experience.
Jones diamond The story about the Jones Diamond is an unusual one, and it has surely been printed in more than one paper in the Believe-it-or-not section. The rough stone was discovered by the Jones family, or one of the members, at any rate (hence the name) in 1928. The 34.48 gem sat through the Great Depression in a cigar box, until William P. Jones re-discovered it, as it were, and, his curiosity piqued, decided to find out more about it.
Jubilee diamond The Jubilee Diamond (not to be confused with the Golden Jubilee Diamond) is an exquisite colourless diamond weighing in at 245.53 carats, cut into a standard cushion shape. The rough stone was unearthed at the Jagersfontein Mine in South Africa in 1895 (mere two years after the Excelsior), and named the Reitz Diamond, after F. W. Reitz.
Kazanjian Red diamond The Kazanjian Red Diamond is a 5.05 emerald-cut diamond of an exquisite blood-red colour that made it be mistaken for a ruby on at least one occasion. It is the second largest stone of that colour, sitting pretty between the 5.11-carat Moussaieff and the 5.02-carat DeYoung – this makes the trio the only three red diamonds exceeding 5 carats, meaning they are a rare, select few of an alreadyrare type.
Lesedi La Rona diamond The Lesedi la Rona, in addition to being a mouthful to name, is also the third largest diamond to be discovered (if we count the Sergio, which is a carbonado rather than a gem). Weighing in at an impressive 1,111 carats, the Lesedi la Rona is a colourless diamond sourced from the Karowe Mine in Botswana, and was originally named simply the Karowe AK6 after the mine.
Koh-i-Noor diamond Legend says that whoever holds the Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light in Persian) will rule the world. Seeing the diamond makes the saying all the more believable. It is a colourless 105.602-carat, and the unique oval shape it sports today is its second cut. It originally weighed 186 carats, and the raw stone was purportedly 793 carats when discovered, most likely, in the Kollur Mine in Andhra Pradesh.
Koi diamond The Koi Diamond is one of the most unique pieces in the world of diamonds. Weighing in at just over 32 carats, the pear-shaped stone is mostly white and orange, with splotches of light yellow, black and dark blue. It was unearthed in the Republic of Congo somewhere in the early 2000s and originally listed for industrial use.
Lesotho Brown diamond The Lesotho Brown (not to be confused with the Lesotho Promise) was a raw 601-carat pale brown diamond found at the Lets’eng mine in Lesotho (hence the name). Discovered purely by accident in 1967, it was the largest ever diamond to be discovered by a woman (until the discovery of the Lesotho Promise), and it proved to be a godsend for the discoverer and her husband, who walked for four days to reach a reputable diamond merchant.
Lesotho Promise diamond The Lesotho Promise (not to be confused with the Lesotho Brown) is a large white diamond discovered in 2006 at the Lets’eng mine in the Kingdom of Lesotho, almost four decades after the equally famed Lesotho Brown. Interestingly enough, both diamonds were discovered by women.
Martian Pink diamond The Martian Pink is an exquisite fancy intense pink diamond, the largest one of its kind to be auctioned off, and the second largest pink overall (right after the 23.56-carat Williamson Pink). It was cut and polished in 1976, the same year NASA launched their very first mission to Mars, which accounts for the name, an obvious homage to the planet’s colour (the idea came from Ronald Winston, the son of the famous New York jeweller Harry Winston). The stone itself weighs in at 12.04 carats and features a round brilliant cut. It fetched a price of $17,400,000 in 2012, exceeding the expected maximum by well over 5 million.
Millennium Star diamond The Millennium Star is the fifth largest D-colour (purest colourless) diamond in the world. The raw stone originally weighed in at an auspicious 777 carats upon discovery, until being cut to the current 203.04-carat pear shape. It was discovered in Zaire (the Democratic Republic of the Congo) sometime in 1990, although it remained unnamed until 1999, or until its revelation as the centrepiece of the Millennium Collection of diamonds at the Millennium Dome.
Moon of Baroda diamond The Moon of Baroda has a long and storied history spanning hundreds of years, and like any such diamond, it has an interesting curse attached to it. The one here is that the diamond will bring bad luck to its wearer if it crosses the sea. The stone itself is a 24.05-carat of canary yellow, cut into a pear shape. It was unearthed in Baroda (Vadodara) in India as a 25.95-carat raw diamond, and had belonged to the Gaekwada Maharajas for almost half a millennium before finding its way to Maria Theresa of Austria. It’s noted for being worn by Marilyn Monroe for the shooting of the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Moussaieff Red diamond The Moussaieff Diamond is an internally flawless diamond weighing in at 5.11 carats. This makes the Moussaieff Red the single largest red diamond, with the 5.05-carat Kazanjian Red and the 5.02-carat DeYoung Red trailing close behind. It was found by a farmer in Brazil sometime during the 1990s, purely by accident.
Nassak diamond The Nassak Diamond, also variously known as the Nasaac Diamond or the Eye of the Idol is an exquisite blue-white emerald-cut diamond weighing in at 43.38 carats. It was discovered in India sometime during the 15th century at the Amaragiri Mine in Mahbubnagar, and incorporated into the Shivalinga at the renowned Trimbakeshwar temple in the proximity of ashik.
Nizam diamond The Nizam Diamond is a famed lost diamond, and all the information we have about it comes from tales and hear-say. It takes its name after the last Nizam of Hyderabad. There are no photographs, historical documents or other hard evidence, but that it existed is beyond the shadow of a doubt.
Noor-ol-Ain diamond The very aptly named Noor-ul-Ain Diamond (Persian and Arabic for “the light of the eye”) is an approximately 60-carat pink diamond, one of the largest such diamonds in the world. The stone probably came from the Golconda (Kollur) mines in Andhra Pradesh, and had originally been a part of the famed Great Table diamond that belonged to Shah Jahan.
Ocean Dream diamond Carat for carat, the Ocean Dream Diamond is probably one of the most expensive coloured diamonds in the world, although its exceptionally unique deep blue-green hue makes it all but impossible to make an estimate. It is the first and largest of only two diamonds of this colour (the other being the 1.6-carat Ocean Paradise). It is fancy trillion-cut (triangular) stone weighing in at 5.51 carats. Upon discovery, the stone weighed 11.27 carats, it is uncertain where it was found (most likely the Central African Republic).
Oppenheimer Blue diamond The Oppenheimer Blue Diamond (not to be confused with the Oppenheimer Diamond) is a fancy vivid blue, rectangle-cut diamond weighing in at 14.62 carats (slightly re-cut from the original 14.71 carats). The stone set the record for the most expensive diamond ever sold (successfully) at an auction, having been sold (to an undisclosed telephone bidder) for an amazing $50.6 millionin 2016.
Oppenheimer diamond The Oppenheimer Diamond (not to be confused with the Oppenheimer Blue Diamond) is a rough 253.7-carat yellow diamond, formed almost perfectly into an octahedral natural crystal. This makes it the second largest of its kind, right after the 616-carat Kimberley Octahedron (aka the 616 Diamond). It’s also the second largest yellow diamond, trailing after the 407.48-carat Incomparable Diamond.
Orlov diamond The Orlov Diamond, variously spelled as Orloff (not to be confused with the Black Orlov) is a colourless rose-cut diamond, weighing in at 189.62 carats. It is often described as resembling an egg in shape and size. It is believed that the stone was mined at the Golconda mines in India, and that it was mounted as one of the eyes of an idol at the Ranganatha Temple before being stolen somewhere in the mid-18th century.
Paragon diamond The very aptly named Paragon Diamond is a flawless D-colour diamond of extraordinary clarity and brilliance, with no inclusions or faults. Weighing in at 137.82 carats, this is the tenth largest white diamond in the world, and the largest flawless diamond – a paragon indeed. The rough stone was unearthed in Brazil sometime during the 1990s, and it immediately garnered much attention.
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