Myths and legends

What is the most expensive diamond in the world?

To describe and record the spectrum of colors of such diamonds, a formula of fancy color and its intensity is used. It looks like this:

Fancy / Intensity / Overtone / Color , where
Fancy – denotes a fancy color and is always indicated for all such diamonds;
Intensity – intensity or density of color perception, the scale will be given below in the text in the section “Palette, rarity and intensity”;
Overtone – overtone, a general name for shades, overtones and subtones. This parameter describes the presence of a second, third and even fourth color in the stone, if any. If there are none and the stone has one distinct color, the overtone is not indicated.
Color is the main intense color of a diamond, which the human eye perceives immediately without looking at it.

Live example:

Fancy Deep Brownish Yellowish Orange or Fancy Deep Brownish Yellow Orange, where:

Deep – deep rich color;
Brownish – light brownish tint;
Yellowish – light yellowish tint;
Orange is the primary orange color.

The importance of purity and cut quality in such stones also plays an important role, although not as noticeable as with colorless diamonds. Still, in fancy diamonds, color comes first.
However, if the diamond is of a rare color and at the same time perfectly clean and perfectly cut, this is a direct route to auction.

Palette, intensity and rarity

  • Orange;
  • green;
  • magenta (violet);
  • cyan (blue);
  • pink;
  • red (about 300 diamonds of this color are known).
  • Fancy Light is a weakly expressed color, but it is there and the eye can catch it with other light sources;
  • Fancy is a moderate color, the average person will confidently say: “this diamond is exactly this color.”
  • Fancy Intense – intense color.
  • Fancy Vivid is a distinct, rich color. In most cases, the rarest and most valuable intensity;
  • Fancy Dark – dark color, as if a dark film was placed on top of the main color;
  • Fancy Deep is a deep color, very rich and dense, but with a dark tone.

Below I will go into more detail about each key color and its intensity.


The yellow color of diamonds is due to the presence of nitrogen in the structure of a particular crystal.
Nitrogen molecules absorb the blue part of the visible color spectrum, thus giving the diamond its natural yellow color.
The more nitrogen in the stone, the richer and more intense the color.

  • Faint yellow (UV) – pale yellow, very faint shade;
  • Very light yellow (WX) – very light (or slightly) yellow;
  • Light yellow (YZ) – light yellow, quite visible.

Below are live video examples:

The degrees of saturation are given below. Fancy Vivid is the most expensive, priced from $7000 per carat.

Below is a live example:

Like all fancy diamonds, green ones come in thousands of different shades. Pure green is extremely rare and costs between $7000-10000 per carat for a fairly mediocre stone. It is more realistic to find green with a brown or yellow tint.

Green diamonds are no exception in terms of color saturation. The brighter the color, the more expensive the stone. The intensity scale is shown below.

Live examples:

Diamonds with a pronounced blue color are extremely rare, they usually come in blue-gray and blue-green colors.
The presence of boron in the crystal lattice of such diamonds is the main reason for their blue color. The presence of hydrogen is responsible for the gray color, and excessive radiation is responsible for the green color.
Blue diamonds form deeper than all other stones. Mining takes place in only two places on the planet – the Cullinan mine in South Africa and the Argyle mine in Australia.

Degrees of saturation and mixing options for blue, green and gray colors.

First row from left to right: light blue, fancy light blue, fancy blue, fancy intense blue, fancy bright blue, fancy blue (or deep blue), fancy intense violet-blue.

Second row from left to right: fancy light gray-blue, fancy gray-blue, fancy dark gray-blue, fancy gray-blue, fancy deep grayish-blue, fancy light greenish-blue, fancy intense greenish-blue.

Third row from left to right: fancy bright green-blue, fancy green-blue, fancy intense green-blue, fancy bright green-blue, fancy dark green-blue, fancy grayish-greenish blue.

The average price per carat of a blue diamond is 500-700 thousand US dollars.

Famous blue diamonds.

Live examples:

Both of these colors are extremely rare and extremely rare as a base color in stone. Basically, they act as moderating colors, creating a certain shade of the diamond. Typically this is blue-gray for violet and pink for magenta. The combinations turn out to be incredibly beautiful.

Diamonds of this group are mainly mined at the Argyle deposit in Australia, although finds have also been found in Yakutia and Africa.

The violet and purple color is due to the presence of hydrogen in the crystal lattice. Although there is still no clear explanation for the nature of these colors.

Prices start at 70 thousand dollars per carat. However, stones larger than 1 carat are extremely rare.

The author was lucky in his life to see only one pink-purple diamond larger than one carat.

Live examples:

Scientists gemologists still do not have a single clear position on the nature of the pink color in diamonds. So far, the main version is that the pink color is due to a modified crystal lattice in diamond crystals, which POSSIBLY explains this color.

Due to the very deep formation of pink diamonds and the high likelihood of plastic deformation, it is extremely difficult to find pure pink diamonds without inclusions. As a rule, in most cases, ready-made stones have SI-I clarity.

Prices start at $30 per carat.

Color intensity levels of pink diamonds:

Palette of colors and shades of pink diamonds:

Top row: fancy brownish purple pink, fantasy light brownish pink, fantasy brownish pink, fantasy deep brownish pink, light brown-pink, fancy brown-pink, fantasy deep brown-pink, fancy brownish orange pink.
Second row: fancy brownish orange pink, fancy deep brownish-orange pink, fancy light orange-pink, fancy orange-pink, fancy intense orange-pink, fancy bright orange-pink.
Third row: fantasy deep orange-pink, pale pink, very light pink,, light pink, fantasy light pink, fantasy pink, fantasy intense pink, fancy bright pink.
Fourth row: fancy deep pink, fancy purple pink, fancy intense purple pink, fancy bright purple pink, fancy deep purple pink, fancy purple pink, fancy purple pink, fancy intense purple-pink.
Fifth row: fancy bright purple pink, fancy deep purple-pink.

Live examples:

The most famous red diamond — “Moussaieff Red”
This is a perfectly clear Fancy Red Internally Flawless diamond weighing 5,11 carats. Bought at auction by its current owner Moussaieff Jewelers Ltd. for US$8 million in 2002. The original diamond was found in the 90s in Brazil. There is no current estimate of value.

Live examples:

Finding a fancy-colored diamond is a great success for the miner, because the sale of one such stone can cover the cost of mining hundreds of carats of ordinary colorless diamonds (although there are VERY rare crystals among them, but more on that in another article).
Colored diamonds are much less likely than colorless diamonds to be pure without inclusions. By and large, non-white color in diamonds is an anomaly, a defect in the crystal lattice. Such defects “attract” other minerals during crystal growth, which results in an impure diamond crystal. Therefore, finding a pure colored diamond is even greater luck than finding it in the first place.


  • Diamonds are almost always NON-round;
  • The cutting of such stones is often imperfect.

In addition, the round cut reflects most of the light falling on the stone, while fancy shapes allow the natural color of the diamond to be more deeply conveyed.

However, if a diamond has perfect symmetry, proportion and polish, then its price increases greatly. And it looks very cool as in the video below.

In other words, the better the stone is cut, cleaner, larger and has a rarer rich color, the more expensive it is.
You can learn to navigate the real prices of colored diamonds only through extensive practice and experience.
However, only colored diamonds truly have investment potential.

Jewelry Atelier of Konstantin Filatov provides consulting services regarding investments in colored diamonds. For advice, contact us.

The article used materials:
Ori Vechler
Leibish & Co.
Author’s personal archive

One of the rarest minerals is diamonds, which are now mined on almost all continents, with the exception of Antarctica. The age of some of them can range from 100 million to 1,5 billion years, reports Photo: marieclaire

A cut diamond is called a diamond. If it is flawless, then it is called a “pure diamond.”

All diamonds cost a lot of money. Even those who rarely visit jewelry stores know this. How much did you have to pay for the most expensive diamond in the world? How much do the most famous diamonds cost? You will find answers to these and other questions in our article.


The Little Prince, $40

The Little Prince weighs 34,65 carats. This pink diamond was found in the south of India, in the spears of Golconda.

Its owner was Nizam Asaf Jah I. It was passed down from generation to generation along with other treasures until it came to Asaf Jah VII, the last Nizam of Hyderabad. In 1937, the man was one of the richest people in the world. He had many wives and concubines, who bore him 149 children. When India was liberated, the Nizam transferred his power and went to Bombay, and his treasures were auctioned.

The pink diamond ended up at auction in 1960. It was bought by the co-owner of the famous jewelry house Jacques Arpels. In honor of this, a reception was organized in Paris, and at the party it received its name “The Little Prince”.

Then the diamond was sold to an anonymous person for an unknown amount. But in 2013 (at Christie’s auction) it was sold for $39,3 million. This is a record for the USA.


Pink Graff, $46

It weighs 24,78 carats, but is valuable for its deep pink color. It is still not known where he was found and when it happened. It was first talked about in the 1950s when jeweler Harry Winson sold it to a private collector.

It was a unique stone, but for a long time it did not have any name. In 2010, it was put up for auction at Sotheby’s, where its original price was $27-38 million.

It was purchased by Lawrence Graf via telephone, paying $46158674. He called it “Pink Graff”. He took the stone to his cutters, who recut it to improve the color and quality. It decreased to 23,88 carats.


Blue Moon, $48

This is a blue diamond that weighs only 12,03 carats. It has a unique color and transparency. The diamond (29,6 carats) was found in South Africa in 2014.

In 2015, the stone was auctioned at Sotheby’s, and it acquired the name “Blue Moon.” There they managed to sell it for 48 million dollars. It was bought by a businessman from Hong Kong. Joseph Lau bought it for his 4-year-old daughter Josephine.


Wittelsbach, $24

It was called the diamond of kings because. for 300 years it passed from one to another until it became owned by the royal Wittelsbach dynasty.

Nobody knows where he came from, because. The first information about it dates back to the 17th century. But there is an assumption that it was brought from India.

Since 1722, it has been considered a family jewel of the Bavarian Royal House of Wittelsbach, until Ludwig III was forced to abdicate in 1918.

Bavaria became a republic, and the king’s property was transferred to a special fund. The heirs were paid money, but due to inflation they all “burned out.” The state sold the jewelry, including the Wittelsbach diamond (35,56 carats).

In 1931, it appeared at a Christie’s auction, where it was bought by a certain Thorpe for 56 thousand pounds. But there is a version that the price did not suit the auction organizers, and they never sold it.

The diamond itself disappeared, leaving only its copy. It was later discovered by chance by a jeweler in 1962. It was remembered in 2008, when Christie’s put it up for sale again, and it was bought by Lawrence Graff, a famous jeweler, for $24311190.

Pink Star, $71

The Pink Star was found in 1999. The diamond weighed 132,5 carats. The cutting was undertaken by Steinmetz Diamonds, spending 2 years.

A stone weighing 59,6 carats, oval in shape, appeared. In 2013, an offer was made at auction to sell it for $83 million, but the deal did not take place and the money was never received.

The chain of jewelry stores Chow Tai Fook Jewelery Group paid more than $71 million for it.


Centennial, $100

It was named after the largest diamond mining company in England, De Beers, which celebrated its centenary in 1988. The diamond weighed 599 carats. It was said that it was found shortly before the anniversary. But there is a version that this happened 2 years earlier, but the company employees were forced to remain silent about the find.

It was discovered in South African mines. The cutting was entrusted to the famous master Gabi Tolkovsky, and all conditions were created for him.

The Centenary Diamond turned out to be unique, weighing as much as 273,85 carats. It took 3 years to cut. Then the De Beers company sold the stone. It is not known who purchased it and at what price. But it definitely cost at least 100 million dollars, because. This is the amount the diamond was insured for in 1991.


Hope Diamond, $350

It weighs 45,52 carats and is blue in color. There is a legend that says the Hope Diamond brings bad luck.

But its first registered owner was Henry Philip Hope. This was in 1839. It was passed down from generation to generation until Francis Pelham-Clinton-Hope went bankrupt and sold it to a jeweler.

After passing through several more owners, it went to Evelyn Walsh-McLean, and after her to the jeweler Harry Winston. He donated it to the Smithsonian Institution.

Cullinan, not rated

The Cullinan is the largest diamond in the world, weighing 3106,75 carats, i.e. 621,35. It was discovered in 1905. They gave the name in honor of the man who owned the mine.

Then it was presented to King Edward VII for his birthday. The cutter hired by the ruler realized that it would not be possible to make one diamond, but he did everything that depended on him. The result was 2 huge, 7 large and 96 miniature diamonds. The largest adorned the king’s scepter and the crown of the British Empire.


Sancy, no rating

It is a yellow, teardrop-shaped stone that weighs 55,23 carats. The exact origin of the stone is unknown.

In 1570, Nicolas de Sancy bought it from a Turkish jeweler. Then he sold it to King James I, and for about half a century it belonged to the Stuarts until Cardinal Mazarin acquired it.

Then the stone became the property of the Bourbons, but during the revolution the treasury was plundered and famous diamonds disappeared.

In 1828, Pavel Demidov bought it for 80 thousand pounds, in 1865 he gave it to Jijiboy Jamsetji for 100 thousand pounds, who, in turn, resold it.

In 1906, Sancy belonged to the American industrialist Astor, and their family owned it for 72 years. 4 Lord Astor sold this stone to the Louvre in 1978 for $1 million.


Kohinoor, not rated

This 105-carat diamond has a rich history that dates back to 1300. It is now part of Queen Elizabeth’s crown.

It came to Britain in 1850, when Queen Victoria reigned. In 1852, the diamond was recut to give it new colors. Its weight has become significantly less, from 191 to 108,9 carats, i.e. he lost more than 42% of his mass. The operation was called questionable.

In 1853, the Kohinoor was set into the British crown, along with 2 thousand other diamonds. Now he remains in the Tower with the crown.

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