What’s not to love about diamonds? The sparkle, the history, the romance . . . the diamond remains one of the most enduring family treasures of all time. But while most people would be satisfied with a good quality one carat diamond, what about the rest? Those individuals who hunger for the big, the bold, the infamous? Well, we’ve got the list just for you! Here are our top five famous diamonds whose weight in the jewelry world relies not only on carat size but notoriety as well. These diamonds are not for the faint of heart.
1) The Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond is the proud title-holder for the world’s largest gem quality diamond ever discovered. Coming in at a whopping 3106.75 carats, this diamond was discovered in South Africa in 1905 by Thomas Evan Powell. The diamond was split up into nine smaller major diamonds, the largest is known as the Cullinan I, aka The Star of Africa. This 545.67 carat pear-cut beauty with 76 facets is truly the king of diamonds, and more notably the diamond of kings. The Cullinan I now sits comfortably in Sovereign’s Scepter in the British Crown Jewels. The Cullinan can also be removed from the scepter and worn as a rather hefty brooch.
2) The Golden Jubilee Diamond
The Golden Jubilee rolls into our line-up next as the world’s largest faceted diamond at 755.5 carats. Also discovered in South Africa in 1985, the Golden Jubilee Diamond had a rather unfortunate beginning as an undesirable find due to its brown color. In fact, it went by the name of “Unnamed Brown” and it was initially used for the purpose of testing new tools and cutting methods for the flawless Centenary Diamond. After nearly two years of cutting (the diamond has several cracks and inclusions), a golden-brown beauty outweighing the prized Cullinan I Diamond was revealed and thankfully earned a more flattering name. The Golden Jubilee Diamond was presented to the King of Thailand for the 50th Anniversary of his coronation.
3) The Centenary Diamond
If you’re looking for the best of the best, the Centenary Diamond ranks as one of the biggest high quality diamond for three of your major Cs: Carat, Color, and Clarity. This diamond was discovered in 1986 at the Premier Mine, the same mine that yielded the Cullinan Diamond. At 273.85 carats, this diamond has flawless clarity and D color, the highest grade of colorlessness and certified by the GIA. The Centenary Diamond was naturally presented at the Centennial Celebration of the De Beers Consolidated Mines. The whereabouts of the diamond are currently unknown as it was purchased anonymously in 2008.
4) The Hope Diamond
In all of our heavy hitters, the Hope Diamond is easily the world’s most famous diamond. In fact it claims to be the second-most visited piece of artwork, after the Mona Lisa. The Hope Diamond is 45.52 carats and it is blue due to miniscule amounts of boron located in the gem’s structure. To add to its mystique, it is unknown as to when the Hope Diamond was discovered although the earliest mention on record is in 1812. And if the beheadings, murder, and intrigue didn’t convince you the diamond was cursed, the glowing red light will! The Hope Diamond also has a curious tendency to give off a faint red glow after it has been exposed to short-wave ultraviolet light. Recently, Harry Winston designed a new necklace setting for the Hope Diamond to replace the Cartier setting before it.
5) The Taylor-Burton Diamond
Though not one of the largest diamonds, this diamond is certainly one of the most famous because of the romantic history behind it. Discovered in 1966, this diamond at 69.42 carats (also from the Premier Mine) is on record as the world’s first million-dollar stone. Harry Winston cut the diamond from its original 241 carats down to a pear shape and it was originally known as “the Cartier Diamond.” Richard Burton purchased the diamond for Elizabeth Taylor and it was renamed as the Taylor-Burton Diamond. The diamond was originally a ring, but deciding that it was too large Elizabeth Taylor had it re-set by Cartier as a necklace.
For more diamond pictures, be sure to check out our Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend Pinterest Board.
Established in 1912, the King family has owned and operated King Jewelers for five generations while building an outstanding reputation steeped in quality, value, and first-class service. Today, King Jewelers has brick-and-mortar stores located in Aventura, FL and Nashville, TN, both of which have won numerous regional and national awards of distinction. Offering a magnificent selection of fine jewelry collections including the hottest Italian designs, estate jewelry, colored gemstones and fancy-colored diamonds, as well as luxury European timepieces, King Jewelers prides itself in being one step ahead of the trend. In addition, King Jewelers offers on-site jewelry and watch repairs, custom design services, appraisals, estate buying, and corporate gift programs. For more information, visit www.kings1912.com.