Rare and valuable minerals

What is the name of the most expensive diamond in the world?

A diamond is a specially cut, ground and polished natural diamond. High hardness complicates the cutting process. For each large crystal, a cut type is selected. The correctly chosen shape allows you to obtain a diamond with the least loss of weight of the original crystal and reveal the ability of light refraction. Very often it is impossible to make an equally large diamond from a large diamond. There may be voids and cracks inside the crystal. Due to these natural defects, the stone can break into many small fragments during the cutting process. In order not to risk losing the entire diamond, the crystal is immediately cut into several parts. Only high skill and talent of the cutter make it possible to obtain a large diamond with minimal losses during cutting. The “Golden Jubilee” became such a diamond. The largest mined diamond in the world is the Cullinan. After it was divided and cut, the largest piece was named Cullinan I (Great Star of Africa). The weight of this diamond was 530,2 carats (106,04 grams). For 80 years from 1908, the Cullinan I ranked first in the world as the largest diamond. However, after the cutting of the Golden Jubilee Diamond in 1988, the Cullinan I dropped to second place. Weighing 545,67 (109,13 grams), this yellow-brown diamond has become the world’s largest diamond, a position it has held for 31 years. In 1985, the future Golden Jubilee Diamond was discovered at the Premier Diamond Mine. This is the same mine where Cullinan was mined. The mine was located in South Africa on the territory of the modern province of Gauteng, South Africa. In 1985, the mine belonged to De Beers, the largest corporation that specializes in the extraction, cutting and sale of diamonds. In its raw state, the crystal weighed 755 carats. The color of the diamond was classified as a fancy yellow-brown. But due to deep cracks and small inclusions, the stone was considered unattractive and did not attach much importance to the find. For this reason, the diamond did not have a name for a long time. They called him “Nameless Brown.” The unnamed diamond was handed over to the Tolkowsky dynasty by De Beers for cutting. At that time, the company was headed by Gabriel Tolkowsky, who is considered the greatest diamond cutter of all. At that time, the company was developing new diamond cutting technologies. The unnamed brown diamond was the perfect opportunity to test them. The diamond cutting process took Tolkowski two years. To unlock the stone’s enormous potential, Gabriel created a cut specifically for it. The brilliant cutter combined two types of cuts. He added elements of the fire rose cut to the cushion cut. By 1988, a talented craftsman had transformed the unnamed brown diamond into a magnificent, sparkling diamond with a mysterious fiery sparkle within. Appraisers and gemologists from the Emporium Gold salon, located in Moscow at ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 32, office 402. Within 5 minutes, a certified gemologist at our salon will evaluate the diamond and offer an attractive redemption amount. A beautiful yellow-brown diamond with an exceptional cut did not receive the publicity and attention it deserved. In 1988, De Beers celebrated its 100th anniversary and introduced the Centenary Diamond, the cutting of which was also entrusted to Tolkowski. The high quality of even the rough Century diamond was eclipsed by the appearance of a huge yellow-brown diamond. However, De Beers sent the Unnamed Brown Diamond to Thailand for the Board of Investment exhibition in Bangkok. Bhumibol Adulyadej owner of the Golden Jubilee diamond At an exhibition in Thailand, a large diamond attracted the attention of a large number of people. There were huge queues to see such a rare exhibit. Only 7 years later, in 1995, a group of Thai businessmen led by Henry Ho purchased the diamond from De Beers. Henry Ho bought the diamond with one purpose – to present it two years later as a gift to King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, also known as Rama IX, in honor of the 50th anniversary of his coronation. In 1997, before presenting the gift, the diamond was blessed by Pope John Paul II, and then by the Supreme Buddhist Patriarch and Supreme Muslim Imam of Thailand. In 1997, the unnamed brown diamond was named the Golden Jubilee Diamond and became known as the world’s largest diamond. Today, the Golden Jubilee Diamond, a fancy yellow-brown color, still belongs to the Crown of Thailand. The original plan was to set the diamond in the royal scepter or royal seal. However, the diamond has not yet been placed in any setting and is displayed in the Throne Hall of the Golden Temple at the Royal Museum in Bangkok. The sparkle of diamonds leaves no one indifferent, so it is not surprising that for centuries this gemstone has been a sign of wealth and status. It has long been called the embodiment of purity and radiance, and diamond jewelry was worn by many monarchs, kings, aristocrats and other celestials. Large diamonds are always something special, which is why specimens weighing more than 25 carats even get their own names. And many of these stones are known not only in narrow circles of professionals, but also to people far from the art of jewelry. We will tell you about the largest and most expensive diamonds ever mined.

What criteria are used to evaluate diamonds?

First, let’s talk about how the cost of precious stones is determined and why the largest diamonds are not always the most expensive. You should know that a diamond is a diamond that has been cut. It is thanks to her that the stone acquires its characteristic shine and sparkles so beautifully in the sun. To assess the quality of a diamond, the “4C” system is used:

  • cut (cut used);
  • color (received color);
  • clarity (purity, transparency);
  • carat (weight in carats).

These parameters allow you to evaluate the characteristics of a gemstone and find out how close they are to ideal.

One of the most important indicators of quality is purity. Any defects and foreign inclusions affect transparency, which means they reduce the price of the diamond several times.

Depending on the shade of the stone, the following groups are distinguished:

  • Classic. This category includes completely colorless diamonds, as well as stones with a yellowish tint.
  • Fantasy. The group includes diamonds of other shades: blue, blue, pink, green, etc.

The weight of stones is indicated in carats. 1 carat corresponds to 0,2 standard grams.

“Aurora Green”

It is no coincidence that this stone is included in almost all ratings of the most famous and beautiful diamonds. It has a rare green tint, which is why it is so prized by collectors and jewelers.

In 2016, the jewel was put up for auction at Christie’s. As a result, it was purchased by a famous jeweler for a colossal sum of $16,8 million.

Aurora Green is far from the largest stone – its weight is a little more than 5 carats, that is, a little more than 1 gram. The stone is used to create the “VS2” ring, in which it is surrounded by pink diamonds and gold.

Green diamonds are considered rare and are also difficult to obtain. The fact is that when a mineral is extracted from the earth under the influence of sunlight, it can change color. Therefore, initially green diamonds often turn yellow or red.

“Sweet Josephine”

Another rare type of diamond, it combines an intense pink color and a high degree of transparency. The stone is cushion cut and set in a gold and platinum ring with small white diamonds.

Put up for auction in 2015 at Christie’s. The 16,08-carat diamond was purchased by Chinese billionaire Joseph Lau for $28,5 million. The stone was purchased as a gift to her seven-year-old daughter, in whose honor it was later renamed The Sweet Josephine.

Interestingly, over the past 250 years, only 3 Fancy (deep pink) diamonds weighing more than 10 carats have been offered for sale.

“Winston’s Legacy”

This colorless diamond weighs 101,73 carats (that is, approximately 20,3 grams). It has almost perfect purity.

It could be purchased at Christie’s Geneva auction in 2013. At that time, the diamond became the largest one put up for sale. The auction ended with a bid from American jeweler Harry Winston, who offered $26,7 million. It was in honor of the new owner that the diamond received its name.

Winston’s Legacy is so rare that it is one of only 2% of diamonds mined worldwide. But it is worth noting that the title of the largest natural green diamond belongs to the Green Dresden Diamond – its weight is 40,7 carats.

Hope Diamond

This stone can be called the most famous in the world. It has a unique sapphire blue color, and its history is shrouded in many legends and secrets.

The diamond is believed to have come from the 115-carat Tavernier Diamond, which was brought from India to Versailles. After this, the diamond was sold to the royal jeweler, who made several stones from the mineral. The “Hope”, placed in a gold pendant, is believed to have been worn by Louis XIV. Under Louis XVI, the stone was decorated with a gold pendant with the Order of the Golden Fleece. The stone then passed to King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

At the end of the 18th century, with the outbreak of the revolution, the royal family was under house arrest, and thieves entered the palace and stole almost all the royal jewelry. The Hope Diamond was also on the list of missing items.

For a long time, the fate of the stone remained unknown, until in 1829 it was acquired by banker Henry Hope. The diamond was named in honor of its first official owner.

Blue diamond is often associated with the legend of a curse. For a long time it was believed that the stone brings misfortune to its owner. According to legend, the diamond originally adorned the statue of the goddess Sita. And the thief who tried to steal it died from a lightning strike.

Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, who brought the stone from India, sold it to the King of France. And then he went bankrupt, fled and died in Russia.

King Louis XIV died shortly after showing the diamond to the Shah of Persia. And his mistress, Madame de Montespan, who dreamed of receiving a diamond as a gift, almost immediately lost the king’s favor and died into oblivion in a Parisian convent.

Marie Antoinette wore the diamond and even lent it to the Princess of Lamballe. As you know, Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis XVI, died on the guillotine, and the Princess of Lamballe was brutally murdered by a crowd. Their deaths are also linked to the Hope Diamond.

As for the other numerous owners of the stone, many of them suffered death, illness, loss of a child and other accidents. As a result, the diamond acquired fatal fame – it was believed that touching it would lead to a terrible death.

Since 1958, the diamond has been kept in storage at the Smithsonian Institution in the USA. The estimated value of the diamond is almost $350 million.

“Cullinan-I”

We reached the diamond that once held the title of the largest in the world. Its weight is 530,2 carats, which is slightly more than 106 grams (today the title of the largest was awarded to the “Golden Jubilee” weighing 545,67 carats).

Cullinan I was derived from the Cullinan (or Star of Africa) diamond, which weighed 3106 carats (over 621 grams). This diamond was found in 1905 in South Africa and was named after the owner of the mine.

There were cracks in the diamond that did not allow it to be made into one large diamond. Therefore, its parts were used to create 9 stones. There is a legend that lapidary Josef Asker spent several months preparing to split the stone along natural cracks with just one blow. Asker was so worried that after performing the ceremonial blow, he lost consciousness. However, the blow was carried out so precisely that the diamond split into the desired halves.

The largest fragment was used to make the Cullinan I diamond, or the Great Star of Africa. It was presented to the English king Edward VII and decorated his scepter. Today the diamond is kept in the Tower of London along with other British crown jewels. Its value has never been established – the stone is considered priceless.

“Kohinoor”

In the list of the most expensive diamonds, one cannot fail to mention Kohinoor or Koinur. It weighs 105 carats (21,6 grams) and is currently set in the crown of Queen Elizabeth II. The stone can rightly be called the most famous jewel in the British treasury.

The stone originally had a delicate yellow tint, but after being recut in 1852 it became completely transparent. The time of its discovery is not known for certain. The history can be traced back to approximately the beginning of the 14th century. It is known that the diamond was previously located in Ancient India and was one of the fragments of a large diamond weighing 700 carats.

Then the mineral came to a descendant of Tamerlane, after which it was captured by the Persian Shah. After this, the diamond went to the Afghan who founded the Durran dynasty, and then returned to India. Years later, the stone was transferred to the British East India Company, and in 1850 it was presented to Queen Victoria.

It was after this that the stone was cut, as a result of which it lost almost 37 grams of weight, but acquired ideal transparency. The value of the stone has not been established, so it is considered priceless.

Diamond “Sancy”

Another stone, the value of which is not known for certain, is pale yellow in color and weighs a modest 55,23 carats (approximately 11 grams). Judging by the cut, “Sansi” is of Indian origin.

The first historical mentions of the diamond date back to the 11th century. According to legend, a merchant found a large transparent diamond at the bottom of a deep gorge that weighed about 101 carats. It was from this that the Sancy diamond was obtained.

The Sultan ended up with the stone, but several centuries later the diamond was lost from the treasury. It is known that it was exported from India, and in the second half of the 15th century it came to Charles the Bold.

The diamond received its name in honor of Nicolas de Sancy, a French attorney in Constantinople, who purchased the diamond in 1570 from a Turkish jeweler.

The most famous owner of the stone was King Henry III, who used the diamond to adorn a beret to cover his baldness. Also, during its existence, the stone visited other kings, merchants, industrialists, architects and even thieves. Subsequently, “Sancy” ended up in the French Louvre, where it remains to this day. It can be seen in the Apollo Gallery.

Other famous diamonds

As you understand, these are not all the large and expensive diamonds that you can remember. Let’s list a few more stones that were sold at auctions at different times:

  • The ranking of the most expensive diamonds includes “Martian Pink,” which was sold in Hong Kong in 2012 for $17,4 million. It weighs 12,04 carats (that is, approximately 2,41 grams). It received its unusual name in 1976 from the light hand of jeweler Ronald Winston. This marked the start of NASA’s Mars mission and the launch of the Viking spacecraft.
  • The Archduke Joseph diamond was sold at auction a record 4 times. In 2010, it was sold to an anonymous buyer for $21,48 million. The stone weighs 76,02 carats (approximately 15,2 grams) and is named after the Austrian Archduke Joseph August. It is still unknown how the diamond ended up in the possession of the Habsburg dynasty.
  • One of the largest pink diamonds is the Little Prince. The history of this stone is covered with many legends and secrets. It is known to have been found more than 300 years ago in the diamond mines of Golconda. The jewel received its unusual name in honor of the son of Sita Devi, the Maharani of Gujarati Baroda. The diamond weighs 34,65 carats. It was sold at auction in 2013 for $39,3 million.
  • Among the most unusual is the “Orange” stone. This is a bright orange pear-shaped diamond that weighs 14,82 carats. It was sold at a Geneva auction for $35,54 million. Orange stones are very rarely found in nature, and appear even less frequently at auctions.
  • In 2015, a rare blue diamond with the memorable name “Blue Moon” went under the hammer. This stone sold for a record $48,4 million, weighing a very modest 12,03 carats. The stone was obtained in 2014 after cutting a diamond from the Cullinan mine. The cutting process lasted almost six months, resulting in the diamond taking on the shape of an “oval cushion.” Due to its intense blue color and new shape, it is classified as a flawless gemstone. Joseph Lau purchased the stone (the same one who bought “Sweet Josephine”). The magnate also gave the second diamond to his seven-year-old daughter, in whose honor the jewel was renamed The Blue Moon of Josephine.

Of course, acquiring such diamonds is difficult and not always possible, but this does not mean that we cannot admire them. We are sure that in the future the list of the most expensive stones will be replenished with bright and unusual jewelry!

m. Prospekt Prosveshcheniya

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